As an important part to overall health, the month of May brings us Mental Health Awareness Month. This month’s picks address bullying, mental illness, and the importance of surrounding oneself with loved ones through adversity.
A Blue Kind of Day
by Rachel Tomlinson, illustrated by Tori-Jay Mordey
Psychologist and author Rachel Tomlinson released her newest children’s book about depression and the power of listening, “A Blue Kind of Day.” When Coen is having a bad day, his family tries multiple ways to cheer him up. Despite their efforts, nothing works. After some time, space and reassurance, Coen is able to express to his family what he needs. With “A Blue Kind of Day”, both Tomlinson and Mordey make an effort to normalize depression by focusing on feelings rather than circumstance, especially in communities of color. Recommended for ages 4-8.
A Grandma’s Magic
by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Asa Gilland
Just in time for Mother’s Day, L.A. based author Charlotte Offsay releases “A Grandma’s Magic,” a picture book that serves as a tribute for grandmas. This book showcases all the magical things a grandma and grandchild can do together like exploring, baking, and gardening. Featuring a diverse set of grandmas and their grandchildren, “A Grandma’s Magic” is a book that families can enjoy together and appreciate the magic that grandmas offer.
The Road to After
by Rebekah Lowell, illustrated by Rebekah Lowell
Inspired by her own experiences as a domestic abuse survivor, author-illustrator Rebekah Lowell releases her debut novel, “The Road to After.” When Lacey’s grandparents help her mother and sister escape their abusive father, she learns to rediscover all the possibilities life offers. As her father’s control lessens, Lacey begins to sketch in her nature journal and create memories with family and friends. Although Lacey’s situation is extreme, readers can connect to the feeling of being freed from a controlling existence. “The Road to After” is on sale May 10. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.
Adult Assembly Required
by Abbi Waxman
For fans of “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill,” USA Today bestselling author Abbi Waxman returns with “Adult Assembly Required.” In the “Bookish Life of Nina Hill”, readers were introduced to Nina, an introverted bookseller in Los Angeles. Now, New York native Laura Costello faces homelessness after moving to Los Angeles. Soon, Laura sets foot in the Larchmont bookstore and befriends Nina as they navigate the “adulting” world. Filled with relatable characters and clever dialogue, “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” touches on important themes such as isolation, self-care and mental health. On sale May 17.
by Estelle Laure
With a rise in cyber bullying among youth, “Practice Girl” by Estelle Laure is about a girl who ultimately rejects her label and chooses to define herself. Although Jo Beckett has liked a few boys, none of them have liked her back. At one party, Jo finds out the truth; she is a “practice girl,” a popular term for a girl who is good enough to hook up with, but not to date. After this revelation, Jo refuses to let that label define her. However, while building her confidence back up, Jo is forced to face uncomfortable truths in all of her relationships—from her best friend to the boy she likes. “Practice Girl” addresses double standards, reputation and overcoming bullying. On sale May 17. Recommended for ages 14 and up.
Zyla & Kai
by Kristina Forest
Fans of “Moonrise Kingdom” will enjoy young adult author Kristina Forest’s newest novel, “Zyla & Kai.” On a school trip to the Poconos Mountains, high school seniors Zyla Matthews and Kai Johnson run away, leaving their friends and family confused. Prior to running away, the two seniors had been broken up since the previous summer. In this star-crossed love story, readers view the perspectives of both Zyla and Kai, and how they became unlikely friends, how they fell in love and why they ultimately may or may not have broken up. On sale June 7.
For more book suggestions, check out our April Book Corner.