Below are the books that have been read and discussed by our Youth Book Club members:
I Can Fix It! By Gayle Grass
I Can Fix It is a tale from the Iris the Dragon Series focuses on educating audiences about Asperger’s Syndrome, one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Iris the Dragon, our hero, creates an Iris Kind Deed Card Campaign. The Riverbank Animals and Iris decide to go to their local community and observe the townspeople. When they notice someone helping a child with a mental health challenge, they quietly go up and hand an Iris Card to that person. Gradually, as more and more people receive a card, they start a ripple effect which spreads good deeds throughout the town. The whole community gradually becomes aware of these children in a positive way. Education will break down myths and misperceptions of these children and a caring community will seek ways to promote mental health education and acceptance. Thus, stigma will be broken. Amazon Review
Getting Out of a Stress Mess By Michaelene Mundy
Here's a book that gives some of the simplest advice ever to kids experiencing stress: Be yourself-be a kid! Some stress is natural as children face developmental challenges, contends the author, a school and community counselor. But throw in societal pressure to be an "all-star," life changes, and family stress-and kids can end up in a "stress mess." Amazon Review
Dear Bully By Megan Kelley Hall
You are not alone. Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.
Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
The Sibling Slam Book By Don Meyer and David Gallagher
Formatted like the slam books passed around in many junior high and high schools, this one poses a series of 50 personal questions along the lines of: What should we know about you? What do you tell your friends about your sib's disability? What's the weirdest question you have ever been asked about your sib? If you could change one thing about your sib (or your sib's disability) what would it be? What annoys you most about how people treat your sib? THE SIBLING SLAM BOOK doesn't slam in the traditional sense of the word. The tone and point-of-view of the answers are all over the map. Some answers are assuredly positive, a few are strikingly negative, but most reflect the complex and conflicted mix of emotions that come with the territory, with a disability.
Full Mouse Empty Mouse By Dina Zeckhausen
Within this beautifully illustrated book, there is a story which addresses the complex challenges of eating disorders. The author uses language that children can understand. The story centers around two mice who use food in an effort to cope with “mouse stress”. Their “ mouse stress” involves a cat, mouse traps, a dog and the Grumble family. This book will capture the imagination of children and adults alike. It will also serve as a catalyst for the important adult-child discussions about body image and feelings.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
This semiautobiographical novel takes us on a journey through the many challenges faced by 14-year-old Arnold Spirit, aka Junior, a Spokane Indian. Junior faces and overcomes difficulties caused by birth (water on the brain), life circumstances, and moving beyond the known (high school “on the rez”) to the unknown (white school in town). By expressing himself through drawing cartoons and interacting with friends, Junior seeks answers to questions about identity and community. His humor and resilience carry him through.
Sunny’s Story: How to Save a Young Life by Ginger Katz and Marci Alborghetti
"Ian's story, told through the eyes of his dog, Sunny, will help children understand how even "good kids" can fall prey to the lure of drugs. Ian's tragically lost life is still doing good by the commitment of his parents to help young people and their parents understand that the danger never stops and having the courage to face the hard issues is the only way to keep our children safe." --Salvatore J. Corda, Ph.D Superintendent of Schools, Norwalk, CT
The book about Sunny will be an asset to our language arts curriculum. It will be required reading for my school. --Dr. Lynn Moore, Middle School Principal
This book is an important and unique addition to the list of preventive tools so necessary for children in today s world. Sunnys Story masterfully opens a dialogue and introduces complex issues to a young audience. Teachers, parents and children will benefit from the dialogue. Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Professor of Practice and Associate Dean, Harvard School of Public Health