Teen Books About Mental Illness: Turtles All The Way Down

Teen Books About Mental Illness: A Book Review of Turtles All The Way Down by John Green Sixteen-year-old Aza has suffered the sudden loss of her father.  She is also battling inner demons of mental illness—unkind thoughts and words that threaten to consume and possibly kill her. Trapped in the darkness of her own mind, Aza must navigate the unforgiving halls of high school with her fan fiction writing best friend, Daisy. One of many poignant teen books about mental illness, Green delivers another heart wrenching and devour-able read. Meet Our Girl Detectives  When the town billionaire disappears days before being arrested for corruption, Aza and Daisy decide to investigate. The case is important to Aza.  She has a crush on and connection with the fugitive’s son, Davis Pickett.  A link of souls dating back from a summer camp fling, Aza cannot separate her emotions. Gaining momentum on the details…

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Review: The Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer

Flynn, Amos, and Poppy represent the spectrum of adolescence as well as a dysfunctional, nontraditional, and white family. Their parents have been through multiple marriages with added instabilities of affairs, aloof-ism, and alcoholism. The by-products of different marriage combinations, the siblings find themselves once again caught in the selfish throes of their parents’ latest whims. In an effort to buy off the family’s understanding, the parents—who are already in Bora Bora—decide to fly Amos, Flynn, and Poppy out for an extravagant boat ride to break the news of their upcoming separation. When ten-year-old Poppy relays her suspicions to Amos and Flynn, they decide to runaway during their layover at LAX. The Hangover-style, the youth meet up with Flynn’s latest crush and find themselves touring LA, attending parties, and going to Disneyland, mostly all with the wrong crowd. During this newly found freedom, Amos and Flynn must reconcile their romantic feelings…

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Review: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Priyanka or “Pri” lives in a world where she does not fully understand who she is or where she came from. Her mom mysteriously left India and hasn’t spoken to their family in over a decade. Whenever Pri inquires about her Indian father, her mother changes the subject. Both mother and daughter fail to understand each other’s motivations, creating an angsty relationship. While struggling with her identity, the sphere of Pri’s family also starts to see cracks. Her Uncle Jatin, a father-like figure that picks her up from school and takes her on special Indian foodie adventures, and his wife are having their first baby. With her world falling apart, Pri prays to the goddess Shakti, a silent wish that changes her outlook on life and current and almost self-destructive course. With such serious tones, add in a magical pashmina made from Indian golden thread, and Pri finds herself on…

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Review: Lumberjanes- Unicorn Power (Lumberjanes #1)

Based on the popular graphic novel series, Lumberjanes has decided to take these hardcore ladies into novel format for another round of friendship to the max. The Roanoke Cabin is working on their plant badges. Having stumbled across a magical field of unicorns and a mysterious mountain, the girls are determined to climb and explore this new territory since April has decided that like Rosie, the fearless camp director, she wants to earn the Extraordinary Explorer medal.   Of course, if you know these talented and intelligent ladies at all, you understand that they will find themselves trapped in one crazy and heartfelt adventure with cloud people, smelly unicorns, clingy vine, and disappearing mountains. With the dangers that come with being bold and their friendships and interests tested to the max, these ultra-femme scouts must figure out who they want to be while also escaping a cloudy future. The Lumberjanes series…

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Review: The List by Patricia Forde

In Ark, where only 500 words exist, Letta is an apprentice to the wordsmith. All other words are illegal and forgotten, and the residents speak in garbled sentences. The police strictly monitor this bubbled, alleged Utopia, and all aspects of life, including meals, are regulated. Letta loves her words and buys into this society until she meets Marlo, a resister who lives self-sufficiently in the outskirts of town—a place where music, art, and language still exist. As Letta’s master suspiciously goes missing, Letta begins to realize that this world is not as safe and happy as it seems, and she is the only member who has the ability to save the words from an evil dictator with misguided politics, John Noa. Noa is relentless in his convictions and actions, and the future of the world relies on the thwarted flick of a canister and a heartfelt revolution. A middle grade…

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Review: The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner is an incredibly endearing and moralistic children’s read: The fox is terrible at being an intimidating and terrifying carnivore.  This lack of scare-factor is unfortunate because his appetite is insatiable. His frequent trips to the farm annoy the mother hen and prove the guard dog’s nonchalant laziness. The wolf suggests that fox stealthy steal eggs and hatch them into plump and tasty meals. A seemingly brilliant idea, the chicks hatch and assume fox is their momma. Reminiscent of Mother Bruce, fox raises the chicks.  He engages them in fantastical play such turnip tea parties and role-playing about the big bad fox. Predictably when dinnertime arrives, fox realizes that he loves his little chicks.  Since wolf has his own plans for chicken dinner, fox must seek sanctuary at the farm. Comical and sweet, The Big Bad Fox is a juvenile graphic novel for second to…

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