Books & resources for young people

The following is a list of recommended books and resources for young people. The Location(s) available column shows where these books are available, eg, from your local Christchurch City Library (CCL) and/or from the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC).

Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting CCL or MHERC. If a book is not available, a librarian may be able to suggest another book or place a hold on a book. To borrow or place a hold on a book, you must be a member of the library. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including those living in rural areas, and will include a post-paid bag for returning books. Once read, books need to be returned to the library.

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CoverTitle & AuthorDescriptionYearLocation(s) available
Stand by me

By John Kirwan
Subject: Teenage focus on depression and anxiety

Investigates issues around teenage mental health, with a focus on depression and anxiety. A window into an all too real issue facing New Zealand families, and a powerful tool for anyone concerned about the wellbeing of young people in their care.
2014CCL

MHERC

SL
Cain's Legacy

By Jeanne Safer
Subject: Families, brothers and sisters

Safer explores the roots of inter-sibling woes, and provides compassionate guidance to brothers and sisters whose relationship is broken. She reveals how they can come to terms with the one peer relationship they can never sever even if they never see each other again
2012CCL

SL
S.E.X.: The All you need to know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High school and College

By Heather Corinna
Subject: Youth

Have you ever wondered… Am I normal? (and what is "normal," anyway?) What's up down there? I really like girls, but I like boys sometimes, too. Am I gay, bisexual, or just messed up? Are we both really ready to have sex? Is it ok if I masturbate? I feel like I can't ever say no to my partner. What's the problem? Heather Corinna and Scarleteen.com have been providing sex education and information for young adults, parents, and mentors for nearly ten years. Whether you're straight, gay, sexually active, or just plain curious, S.E.X. spells out everything you need to know, including: A sexual readiness checklist Illustrations of female and male reproductive anatomy How to love your body, even when it's changing every day Tips on safer sex for body, heart, and mind An in-depth birth control breakdown How to create and enjoy the relationships that are right for you Popular mechanics of partnered sex: sexual activities explained, including pregnancy and STI risks STIs 101: what they are and how to keep yourself from getting them.
2007MHERC

SL
The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Overcome Fear, Worry, & Panic

By Jennifer Shannon
Subject: Youth

Based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this book helps identify the 'monkey mind' the primitive part of the brain where anxious thoughts arise. Full of powerful yet simple cartoon illustrations, this book also teaches practical strategies for handling even the toughest situations that previously caused feelings of anxiety or worry.
CCL

SL
Conquer your fears and Phobias for Teens: How to Build Courage & Stop Fear From Holding You Back

By Andrea Umbach

(SL only)
Subject: Youth

Offers easy to use cognitive behavioural techniques to help overcome fears and phobias. Includes practical skills for coping with distressing thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours that can arise because you are scared.
CCL

SL
The mindfulness & acceptance workbook for social anxiety & shyness: using acceptance and commitment therapy to free yourself from fear & reclaim your life

By Jan Fleming

(SL only)
Subject: Youth

Shyness is a common problem that comes with a high price. If you suffer from shyness or social anxiety you might avoid social situations and may have trouble connecting with others due to an extreme fear of humiliation, rejection, and judgment. As a shy person, you may also experience panic attacks that make it even more likely that you'll avoid social situations. With The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness, the authors' acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) program for overcoming shyness has become available to the public for the first time.
CCL

SL
My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic


By Michael Tompkins and Katherine Martinez
Subject: Youth

Outlines a simple and proven plan to help understand and deal with anxiety and panic. Full of simple to use tools and strategies that easily fit into any teens routine.
CCL

SL
Banish your Body Image thief


By Kate Collins

Subject: Youth

Build positive body image with this fun and effective workbook for young people. Watch out - the Body Image Thief is about! He's the sneaky character who keeps stealing your positive body image from your Body Image Vault, leaving only negative thoughts and feelings about your body behind. But don't worry - you can banish him for good. Based on cognitive behavioural and mindfulness principles and techniques, it is packed with strategies that will help you change how you think and act in order to build a positive body image. Engaging, informative and easy to read, this unique workbook is suitable for young people aged 10+ to work through on their own or with the help of a parent or practitioner.
CCL
Fighting invisible tigers : a stress management guide for teens


By Earl Hipp
Subject: Youth

Discusses the pressures and problems encountered by teenagers and provides information on life skills, stress management, and methods of gaining more control over their lives.
CCL

SL
Banish your Self-Esteem thief: A cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on building positive self-esteem for young people


By Kate Collins-Donnelly
Subject: Youth

Look out - the Self-Esteem Thief is on the prowl! He's the crafty character who keeps stealing your positive self-esteem from your Self-Esteem Vault, leaving only negative thoughts and feelings about you behind. But the good news is you can banish him for good. This workbook will help you change how you think and act in order to build positive self-esteem, protect your Self-Esteem Vault and banish your Self-Esteem Thief for good! Fun, easy to read and full of tips and strategies, this is an excellent workbook for young people aged 10+ to work through on their own or with the help of a parent or practitioner.
CCL

SL
The shyness & social anxiety workbook for teens

By Jennifer Shannon

(SL only)
Subject: Youth

The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens offers worksheets and comic-style illustrated scenarios that help teen readers identify their values and practice evidence-based skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for overcoming shyness and social anxiety.
CCL

SL
Am I depressed and what can I do about it?: A CBT self-help guide for teenagers experiencing low mood and depression


By Shirley Reynolds
Subject: Youth

Around 10% of teenagers are estimated to have an episode of depression and many more experience persistent low mood. This accessible, engaging and age-appropriate self-help guide is based on current research and best practice for young people aged 13 to 17 who experience low mood and depression, and their friends, family and health professionals. It provides an essential bridge for young people who have not yet asked for professional help as well as support for those who are waiting for treatment.
CCL

SL
The Self-Esteem Team's guide to sex, drugs and WTFs?!!


By Grace Barrett

(CCL & SL)
Subject: Youth

Sometimes being a teenager can seem like a relentless merry-go-round of people telling you how to dress and behave, who to be friends with, what grades you must get in order to avoid a destiny of failure and, most importantly, why you're spectacularly effing it all up. The Self-Esteem Team know this because they were teenagers once. In fact, they were teenagers enduring bullying, chronic skin issues, 'puppy fat' that refused to budge and 'I'm different from everyone else' related angst. Later, they battled self-harm, depression and an eating disorder.
CCL

SL
After the suicide of someone you know : information and support for young people


By Tricia Irving Hendry
Subject: Youth

This newly updated and revised edition has been specifically written for NZ young people affected by the suicide of someone they know. Simply written, in a youth friendly style and featuring colour and photos, this helps teens to process and handle what's happened. Ideal for schools, youth service providers and youth groups. It has also proved popular with young adults and adults. It is a skylight/SPINZ partnership publication and is now used widely around NZ after a suicide.
CCL

MHERC
Mind your head


By Juno Dawson
Subject: Youth

Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people's mental health - whether fleeting or long-term - and how to manage them, with real-life stories from young people around the world.
CCL

SL

The teenage guide to stress


By Nicola Morgan

(CCL & SL)
Subject: Youth

Explains what stress is and looks at the ways teenage stress is different. This book deals with a number of issues that affect teenagers from anger, depression and sexual relationships to cyber-bullying, exams and eating disorders and offers guidance and advice. It also shows how to deal with and prevent the symptoms of stress.
CCL

SL

Stuff That Sucks: A Teen's guide to accepting what you can't change and committing to what you can

By B Sedley

Subject: Control

Sometimes everything sucks. This unique, illustrated guide will help you move past negative thoughts and feelings and discover what truly matters to you. If you struggle with negative thoughts and emotions, you should know that your pain is real. No one should try to diminish it. Sometimes stuff really does suck and we have to acknowledge it. Worry, sadness, loneliness, anger, and shame are big and important, but they can also get in the way of what really matters. What if, instead of fighting your pain, you realized what really matters to you--and put those things first in life? If you did that, maybe your pain wouldn't feel so big anymore. Isn't it worth a try? Stuff That Sucks offers a compassionate and validating guide to accepting emotions, rather than struggling against them. With this book as your guide, you'll learn to prioritize your thoughts, feelings, and values. You'll figure out what you care about the most, and then start caring some more! The skills you'll learn are based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Yes, there are a few written exercises, but this isn't a workbook. It's a journey into the stuff that sucks, what makes that sucky stuff suck even more, and how just a few moments each day with the stuff that matters will ultimately transform the stuff that sucks into stuff that is just stuff. Make sense? Maybe you want to be more creative? Or maybe you simply want to do better in school or be a better friend? This book will show you how to focus on what you really care about, so that all that other sucky stuff doesn't seem so, well, sucky anymore.
2015CCL

The 10pm Question

By K De Goldi

(CCL & SL)
Subject: Anxiety

Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie’s worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school — a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own — Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, The 10 P.M. Question will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.
2010CCL

SL

Teenage Depression - A CBT Guide for Parents

By M Parkinson & S Reynolds
Subject: Teenage Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems and is estimated to affect around 15 per cent of people at some point during their life. For many people depression is a life-long disorder which starts during the teenage years -around 10 per cent of teenagers are estimated to have an episode of depression and many more experience persistent low mood. This accessible companion book to Overcoming Your Low Mood for teenagers follows essentially the same structure and makes use of the same case studies, but looks at the issues from the parents' point of view, and incorporates additional strategies for parents. From 'what to look out for', through what the evidence says about different forms of treatment, to family communication and relapse prevention. Each section includes troubleshooting boxes.
2015CCL

All the Bright Places

By J Niven

Subject: Grief & Loss

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
2015CCL

SL
Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

By D Siegel

(CCL & SL)
Subject: Wellbeing

Between the ages of 12 and 24, the brain changes in important, and oftentimes maddening and challenging ways. In this book, the author, a psychiatrist busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence. He shows that, if parents and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult, they will be able to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one another. According to the author, during adolescence we learn important skills, such as how to leave home and enter the larger world, how to connect deeply with others, and how to safely experiment and take risks, thereby creating strategies for dealing with the world's increasingly complex problems. Here he presents an inside-out approach to focusing on how brain development affects our behavior and relationships. Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, he explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.
2014CCL

SL
Turtles all the Way Down

By J Green

Subject: Anxiety

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery 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 Russel Pickett's son, Davis. Azra 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.
2017CCL

SL
Because Everything is Right but Everything is Wrong

By E Donohue
Subject: Anxiety

"Can you be lost and not know it? Can other people stop you from being lost? Seventeen-year-old Caleb’s world is disintegrating, his walls are closing in, his sky is threatening to fall. He’s barely holding on. To deadlines. To friends. To family. To mum. To Pat. But he has Casey. Maybe she can save him..." -- Provided by publisher.
2017CCL

SL

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