May 28, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018: Mental Health in YA Literature Presentation

Saturday, May 12 was Twin Cities Teen Lit Con, a wonderful yearly event that I have now had the honor of speaking at for the past three years. This year it took place at Chaska High School, an absolutely stunning (and giant!) school. If you’re unfamiliar with Teen Lit Con, it’s exactly what it sounds […]

Book Review: Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles edited by Jessica Burkhart

Publisher’s description Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD. Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every day? […]

Emily X.R. Pan On Grief, Mental Health, & Her YA Debut “The Astonishing Color of After”

The debut author talks about the novel’s many iterations, why it’s important to talk about mental health in YA, and what she’s working on next.

Graphic Novels Offer Windows, Mirrors on Mental Health

A small but growing YA category, graphic novels that deal with mental illness reflect readers’ own experiences and help them better understand and empathize with others.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Life Inside My Mind by Jessica Burkhart | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –In this much-needed, enlightening book, 31 young adult authors write candidly about mental health crises, either their own or that of someone very close to them.

#MHYALit: Small Towns and Mental Illness, a guest post by This is Not a Love Letter author Kim Purcell

Today we are honored to have a guest post by author Kim Purcell. She is discussing with us the topic of small towns and mental health. She is also generously offering to give away one copy of THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER, which comes out tomorrow, January 30th, from Disney Hyperion. In This Is […]

Libraries Can Help Disrupt School-to-Prison Pipeline

A recent conference at the Brooklyn Public Library focused on “Interrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Publisher’s description The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.    Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move […]

Book Review: Sparrow by Sarah Moon

Publisher’s description Sparrow has always had a difficult time making friends. She would always rather have stayed home on the weekends with her mother, an affluent IT Executive at a Manhattan bank, reading, or watching the birds, than playing with other kids. And that’s made school a lonely experience for her. It’s made LIFE a […]

Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner Crown Books for Young Readers, March 2017 Reviewed from an ARC And now it’s somehow time to speculate about Printz? How can that be?? Ready or not, though, here we are, and it’s time to read, review, debate, and decide! (I am sure many of you are far more ready […]

Book Review: Madness by Zac Brewer

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of School Library Journal.    Madness by Zac Brewer ISBN-13: 9780062457851 […]

Book Review: The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

Publisher’s description Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove […]

How a Teen Librarian Addressed “13 Reasons Why” in Her Community

A public librarian gathered teens, school leaders, and parents for community forum on the controversial adaptation of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

Social Justice and Mental Health: Accessibility to Treatment in YA Literature, a guest post by Alyssa Chrisman

Today we are honored to present to you a Mental Health in YA Literature guest post that looks at the accessibility to treatment in YA literature. You can read all the #MHYALit posts here or by clicking on the tag below. When I was 12-years-old, I went to therapy for the first time. Seventh grade […]

Jennifer Yu on Mental Health, Writing, and Her Debut “Four Weeks, Five People”

The debut author chats about her inspiration for Four Weeks, Five People, her writing process, and what she’s working on next.

In Our Mailbox: More Thoughts on 13 Reason Why, Teens and Libraries

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Sexual Violence and Suicide So I received a message in my email asking my thoughts on 13 Reasons Why and programming. At the same time, Heather Booth was thinking about doing a book discussion and she tweeted out asking people their thoughts, so we called and talked about it. Here’s what […]

#MHYALit: A Letter to My Teen Self, by author Sara Wolf

As part of our ongoing discussion of teens and mental health, we are honored to host author Sara Wolf, who has written a beautiful letter to her teen self. You can find all the #MHYALit posts here. Dear Teen Me, In the grand scheme of things, you’re a bit of a shit, aren’t you? You […]

Thinking about 13 Reasons Why: Teens, Mental Health and Media

Please Note: This Post Will Contain Discussions of Triggering Topics and Spoilers for the Book/Show You are probably aware that 13 Reasons Why the book by Jay Asher has been made into a popular Netflix show. And you’ve probably seen a lot of discussion about this show. In fact, if you’re life looks anything like […]

#MHYALit: Better Is Not a Place, a guest post by Sam J. Miller

I thought I was fundamentally and forever broken.   The sight of normal boys made me sick. I’d see them walking down the high school, easy and confident and cruel and strong, and I’d get physically ill. I’d skip lunch. I lived on coffee. My stomach hurt all the time.   Being gay and having […]

Book Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Publisher’s description You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. […]