Stuff that sucks: Accepting what you can’t change and committing to what you can (secondary age)
This short book helps readers manage their emotions and thoughts, and achieves what the title claims. Ideas presented are based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. It outlines stuff that sucks and provides an understanding of painful emotions and thoughts, and explores areas of life that contribute to these experiences – recognising the things readers can’t change but directing attention to the things the reader can. Suggestions on techniques to try are provided, and an openness to trying things until finding the ones that work are encouraged. The reader is also encouraged to connect with what they value, and through accepting thoughts and emotions they are experiencing instead of struggling with them. This allows readers to recognise that this will give them more energy to be doing the other stuff that matters to them in life.
Stuff That Sucks is easy to understand and uses age appropriate language. The chapters flow and build nicely on each other, with illustrations creatively spaced throughout the text. Self-help tools provide both educational information and ideas on techniques to try, are evidence-based and reflect the author’s experience of their effectiveness when working with young people.
The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens (secondary age)
An easy to read and follow book with step-by-step activities and education about how social anxiety develops, how it affects teenagers and how to overcome this. Many young people struggle with fears and worries about how they are perceived or judged by others, responding by avoiding social situations that increase their social anxiety. This book helps teens recognise they are not alone in their struggles, discover links between their thoughts, feelings and actions and assists them to challenge fears and overcome anxiety. Most pages include clever, fun animations or cartoon-style illustrations of the concepts being explained.
Information is easy to understand and worksheets require teens to consider their own situation and clear effective strategies to develop skills needed to overcome social anxiety. This is a self-help book using evidence-based CBT and ACT, but can also be used as a workbook by mental health clinicians. Brief information on when to seek professional help is also included.
The Sound of Silence (primary age)
The words and illustrations in this story come together beautifully to tell the story of little Yoshio who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He’s curious about his world, particularly sounds. He meets an elderly woman playing the koto, a traditional stringed instrument, who tells him that the most beautiful sound is in fact “ma” (silence). As he moves through the hustle and bustle of the day, Yoshio eventually becomes aware that silence is always there too, if only you learn how to notice it. The ideas explored in this book align nicely with some of the Five Ways to Wellbeing concepts, and the story encourages children to be curious, to contemplate, to get out and explore, connect with others, and to be respectful of the passing of knowledge between generations.
The Sound of Silence encourages young readers to get fully involved in the story, try out the ever-changing sounds with Yoshio and ask questions about Japanese culture and customs. Important values are portrayed throughout this story, such as respect for elders, rituals, music, the environment and studying. The background information contained within the afterword adds depth to the story and connection to the author and illustrator’s lives. This book encourages readers to experience the story through multiple senses, and perhaps come away a little curious to enable them to reflect on their own lives to see if they can find pockets of silence among all the noise.
The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens (secondary age)
Mindfulness Skills to Help you Deal with Stress
First, the bad news: your teenage years are some of the most stressful of your life. Up to 70 percent of teens say they’re stressed out, and with pressure about grades at school, parents who just don’t seem to get it, and friends who drive you crazy, it’s no wonder. Here’s the good news! If you learn a few strategies for getting stress under control now, you’ll have the skills you need to deal with problems and difficult feelings that life sends your way in high school and beyond.
Turtles All The Way Down (secondary age)
This book centres on 16-year-old Aza who lives with anxiety and OCD. Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (secondary age)
Filled with moments of deep emotion and unexpected humor, this understated and wise novel explores the complexities of living with OCD and offers the prospect of hope, happiness and healing.
Marry Robyn Plummer.
The instant Adam Spencer Ross meets Robyn Plummer in his Young Adult OCD Support Group, he is hopelessly, desperately drawn to her. Robyn has an hypnotic voice, blue eyes the shade of an angry sky, and ravishing beauty that makes Adam’s insides ache. She’s also just been released from a residential psychiatric program—the kind for the worst, most difficult-to-cure cases; the kind that Adam and his fellow support group members will do anything to avoid joining.
Adam immediately knows that he has to save Robyn, must save Robyn, or die trying. But is it really Robyn who needs rescuing? And is it possible to have a normal relationship when your life is anything but?
Visiting Feelings (primary age)
This hardcover book is a beautifully illustrated children`s book that looks at children`s feelings, and explores how they can be welcomed in. It allows children to fully experience the present moment and accept their feelings using awareness and mindfulness. Visiting Feelings is easy to read and takes children on a safe mindfulness journey.
Also included is a note to parents section that provides more information about emotional awareness and mindfulness. This includes practical advice and activities for introducing mindfulness into daily family routines, and helpful guidance when dealing with childhood stress and anxiety.
When Life Gives You Lemons (secondary age)
When Life Gives You Lemons is a beautifully written and illustrated creative book for young people experiencing, or wanting to understand and learn how to manage, depression and anxiety. The two young female authors share their experience and support other young people to develop an understanding of depression and anxiety. This book is short and easy-to-read, serving as a great self-help resource packed with helpful and clearly presented information. The illustrations are bright, colourful and expressive for readers who learn visually. It is an inspirational read filled with tips and quotes, with a continuous thread of hope woven throughout. Facts, experiences and practical ideas are presented from a young person’s perspective, therefore creating a tool to support other young people to recognise they are not alone in their experiences.