Books for Children and Adolescents
about Mental Health Issues


Books for Kids

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The following books for kids have a solid reputation as being incredibly helpful for a child or adolescent dealing with mental health issues, especially in talking with their parents.  These books have proven themselves over time and with experience.  These publications are recommended for consideration for the use of therapists or parents looking for practical resources which are useful with their children.


50 Activities & Games
for Kids with ADHD

Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your Add or ADHD

The games, puzzles, activities, articles, and resources in this exciting collection from the newsletter BRAKES offer more than 50 ways for kids to handle the challenges of ADHD. Along with practical tips for solving problems and getting organized, boys and girls can also read about real kids like themselves. And they can discover a wealth of ideas that make life more manageable—and more fun!


Patricia O. Quinn, MD, is a developmental pediatrician in Washington, DC. Dr. Quinn obtained her medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School. She completed a pediatric internship at Georgetown University Medical Center, a pediatric fellowship in Developmental Pediatrics and Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Georgetown Hospital, and a Pediatric Level 2 residency at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Dr. Quinn is a well-known international speaker and conducts workshops nationwide about ADHD, and has authored several best-selling and groundbreaking books on the topic. In the last decade, she has devoted her attention professionally to the issues confronting girls and women with ADD (ADHD) with a particular interest on the relationship of a mother and child with ADHD. She also feels a strong commitment to working with teenagers and college students with ADHD, helping them to identify and manage issues specific to their age group. In 2000, Dr. Quinn received the CHADD Hall of Fame Award.

Judith M. Stern, M.A., is an educational consultant in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, specializing in work with children who have leaning disabilities and ADHD, as well as their parents and teachers. She is also the author of several books for young people with attention disorders and learning disabilities.


Incredible You

Internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has written a book just for kids. Beautifully illustrated, Incredible You uses simple, uplifting rhymes to give kids their own tools for creating happiness.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He has written numerous bestselling books and has created a number of audios and videos. He has appeared on thousands of television and radio programs, including the Today show and Oprah.

Kristina Tracy is the former Director of Publicity at Hay House publishing. She is currently a stay at home Mom, caring for her 2 small children. This is her first book.

Incredible You! 10 Ways to let your greatness shine through

Unstoppable Me

Unstoppable Me!: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life

Following in the footsteps of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s first children’s book, the bestseller Incredible You! this work goes even further toward expressing Wayne’s positive message for children. In Unstoppable Me! Dr. Dyer teaches children how to hold on to the no-limit thinking he believes they were born with, rather than just trying to “fit in.” In doing so, they can learn to truly enjoy life and become unstoppable as they strive to attain their dreams.

The 10 important lessons in this book include the value of taking risks, dealing with stress and anxiety, and learning to enjoy each moment. Each point includes an example showing how a child might apply the concept in his or her everyday life. Similar to Incredible You! there are questions at the end of the book to help spark discussion and to further reinforce Wayne’s message.


A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Review

"Dr. Dawn Huebner has created a completely accessible, easy-to-understand book to show worrying children a new way of life. Kids will breathe a sigh of relief to learn solutions that really work." --Tamar Chansky, PhD, Author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety

This book takes ideas that are overwhelming for a small child and presents them in manageable chunks. It is the first step to saying goodbye to anxiety! Portland Book Review

The title says it all really, what to do when you worry too much. Huebner gently explains that worries are normal and all kids have them. She uses humorous illustrations and metaphors to explain that if your worries have grown so big that they get out of hand and bother you almost every day, you might need some extra help. --The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction to Parents and Caregivers - If you are the parent or caregiver of an anxious child, you know what it feels like to be held hostage. So does your child. Children who worry too much are held captive by their fears. They go to great lengths to avoid frightening situations, and ask the same anxiety-based questions over and over again. Yet the answers give them virtually no relief. Parents and caregivers find themselves spending huge amounts of time reassuring, coaxing, accommodating, and doing whatever else they can think of to minimize their child’s distress. But it doesn’t work. The anxiety remains in control. As you have undoubtedly discovered, simply telling an anxious child to stop worrying doesn't help at all. Nor does applying adult logic, or allowing your child to avoid feared situations, or offering reassurance every time the fears are expressed. Anxiety has a way of growing, spreading, shifting in form, and generally resisting efforts to talk it out of existence. But there is hope. What to Do When You Worry Too Much will teach you and your child a new and more successful way to think about and manage anxiety. The techniques described in this book will help your child take control.


Dinosaur's Divorce

Dinosaurs Divorce (A Guide for Changing Families)

Dinosaurs Divorce Will Help you Understand: * Divorce Words and What They Mean * Why Parents Divorce * What About You? * After the Divorce * Living with One Parent * Visiting Your Parent * Having Two Homes * Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions * Telling Your Friends * Meeting Parents' New Friends * Living with Stepparents * Having Stepsisters and Stepbrothers.

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: A Guide for Changing Families
  • Paperback: 32 pages

Review

My Review of Dinosaurs Divorce

By Kathleen Donlon on April 30, 2001

Format: Paperback

This book plays as a comic strip filled with vital information for a child whom is experiencing the tragedy of divorce. The pages light up with the vibrant depictions of the dinosaur families. The characters are depicted with great detail to facial expressions. The cartoon drawings will help the reader understand and relate to the different emotions expressed. This great learning tool includes the topics: divorce words and what they mean; why parents divorce; what about you; after the divorce; living with one parent; visiting your parent; having two home.... It lets the child know that it is not their fault for the parents' divorce. It reassures the child that parents divorce when they are no longer able to get along no matter how hard they try. Feelings that a child may not be used to experiencing such as sadness, shame, anger, guilt, and/or worried about who will take care of you. The book instructs the child to talk about how they feel so they may feel better. Often a child may be afraid to cry but Dinosaurs Divorce lets them know that it is okay to let their feelings out through tears. What I really love is that the book is realistic and never lies to the child. A child is told the truth that although they may hope that their parents will marry each other, it is very unlikely because divorce is final and most parents do not get back together. While reading the book, the reader gains useful tips about what to do after the divorce. An example is to not listen when parents say bad things about each other. The book offers the advice to tell them that you love both of them and hearing such bad things upsets you. Every area of divorce and the repercussions that may follow are covered in this book.


My Family's Changing

This unusual picture book for younger children explores the issue of divorce. The author of this book is a psychotherapist and counselor and helps children to face their fears, worries and questions when their family is going through a break-up. A special feature, "What About You?" sidebars appear frequently with questions directed at the child reading the book. The questions encourage children to explore their own feeling about the situation. Full color illustrations throughout.

My Family's Changing (A First Look At Series)

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4This plainspoken text by a psychotherapist and counselor deals with the basic problems and feelings accompanying a divorce and is directed to children and those adults who are helping them confront this traumatic experience. The signs of an impending marital separation; experiences that may occur with divided custody; and common emotions of sorrow, anger, and loneliness are addressed. Questions designed to help youngsters discuss various aspects of their situations are interspersed throughout the narrative. The language is simple and impersonal. Guidelines for adults and names of useful organizations are appended. Pleasant, brightly colored, cartoon-style pictures of varied sizes and shapes show a boy and girl and their parents in various stages of the family breakup and the reconfiguration of their lives. Although psychologically correct, the book lacks the appeal of Laurene Browns Dinosaurs Divorce (Little, Brown, 1986), which is accurate but also gently witty.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


My Dad Loves Me,
My Dad Has A Disease

"My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease" A Child's View: Living with Addiction

The basic premise of this book is that chemical dependency is a disease; the alcoholic/addict is a sick person not a bad person. This disease affects not only the addicted person but those who love that person as well. This is a book that will help others affected by chemical dependency to become well.

My Dad Loves Me My Dad Has A Disease was originally written as a result of Claudia Black's work with young people who had a parent in treatment for their alcoholism. These children were learning at a very young age that it was not safe for them to openly talk about their family experiences. Art therapy was a wonderful medium for them to find the words and a voice in which to talk honestly. It was also a wonderful tool in which to not only share feelings but to problem solve, lessen denial, and to put words to that which was so confusing.

The original pictures were all drawn and the stories written by children age five through fourteen that had one or two alcoholic parents. After many years and thousands of children using this workbook, it has been revised to address the fact that today, if a child lives with addiction, it may not be alcohol addiction. The family member may be addicted to other drugs as well. Words have been rewritten, some pictures changed and new pictures added making it possible for more children of addiction to experience their own recovery process.

Many years ago when Claudia Black was a counselor in an alcohol and drug treatment program, she asked a six-year-old daughter of a man in treatment for his addiction if she knew why her father was in this program. The girl paused and with confidence said, My Dad Loves Me, but My Dad Has a Disease. In spite of her father's addiction she knew her father loved her. That is a message Claudia would like all young people to be able to believe. Unfortunately when people are addicted they often lose the ability to act in loving ways toward those they love.Growing up in an addicted family usually means living by the rule: it is not all right to talk about the drinking or using in your family. Having been raised in an alcoholic family herself, by the age of six Claudia shared the feelings of loneliness, fear and frustration of her family.

Working through the loneliness, fear and frustration by expressing feelings is what this book is all about. This workbook gives children age 5 - 12 the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings and to better understand addiction.


It Will Never Happen To Me

This "little green book," as it has come to be known to hundreds of thousands of C.O.A.'s and A.C.O.A.'s, is meant to help the reader understand the roles children in alcoholic families adopt, the problems they face in adulthood as a result, and what they can do to break the pattern of destruction.

Claudia Black offers help to the most neglected members of the alcoholic family--the 28 million children of alcoholics in America today. She shows how to understand roles, deal with problems, and break destructive patterns of behavoir. Author tour. HC: M.A.C. Publishing.

'It Will Never Happen to Me!' Children of Alcoholics Publisher: Ballantine Books