Erika’s List: Books About Mental Illness

This is our response to Erika’s open letter to the coach of the Waunakee Wisconsin High School cheer squad, asking her to think about mental illness in America. One in five American young adults have a serious mental illness. We want no one to feel invisible, so we compiled a list of YA books we’d read which deal with mental illness in a very real, accepting, and hopeful way, and hope this list is useful to you.

YA writers are listening, Erika.

Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story [our review]
Sonya Sones, Stop Pretending
Patricia McCormick, Cut.
John Neufeld, Lisa, Bright & Dark
Deb Caletti, Wild Roses
Norma Fox Mazer, When She Was Good
Dia Calhoun, The Phoenix Dance
Christine Fletcher, Tallulah Falls [our review]
Susane Colasanti, Waiting for You

Stephanie Hemphill, Your Own, Sylvia
Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why
– submitted by Laura Salas

Garth Nix, Lirael
– submitted by Farida, Saints & Spinners

Dia Reeves, Bleeding Violet
Cheryl Rainfield, Scars
– submitted by bookgazing

Suzanne Selfors, Mad Love [our review]
Holly Schindler, A Blue So Dark
Tracy White, How I Made it to Eighteen [our review]
– submitted by aquafortis

Andrew Smith, The Marbury Lens [our review]
submitted by Joe Lunievicz

Melina Marchetta, Saving Francesca [our review]
– submitted by Doret

John Green and David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson [our review]
Jennifer Hubbard, Try Not to Breathe (title may change)
– submitted by Jennifer Hubbard

Julie Schumacher, Black Box
Julie Halpern, Get Well Soon
– submitted by Jennifer Buehler