Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Which Feature Characters Who...

Today's Top Ten Tuesday theme, hosted by Broke and Bookish, is, Books Which Feature Characters Who... I chose books with characters who suffer from mental illness.

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I read this one when it pubbed back in 2007 and thought it was one of the best and truest depictions of teenage depression I ever read. While it is a tad mature for my most of my students, I have it on the "eighth grade only" shelf for "that" reader. Tragically, the author committed suicide.

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern. Right on the heels of It's Kind of a Funny Story, Julie Halpern's book released and was equally compelling. A sequel, Have a Nice Day, pubbed in 2012 and dealt with the aftermath of Anna's three-week hospitalization in a mental ward.

Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo. Again, this YA debut was a tad mature for my crowd, but it was one of the first books I had read that dealt with OCD.

Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! This was one of my favorite audiobooks ever! While not explicitly stated, Blink is probably schizophrenic. He hears voices. Blink is a homeless teen. Unfortunately, a fair number of the homeless do suffer from a variety of mental illnesses and receive no treatment.

Inside Out by Terry Trueman. Trueman's debut and Printz Honor-winning novel, Stuck in Neutral, absolutely gutted me. And so did Inside Out, which, if I'm not mistaken is his sophomore novel.

Jump by Elisa Carbone. The mental illness in this story is secondary to the rock climbing adrenaline rush these two climbers go seeking. It sure was a fantastic read.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. This extraordinary debut was a 2014 Morris Award Finalist. James Whitman is depressed and attempts to channel Walt Whitman as he deals with his abusive father, his sister being kicked out and a royally dysfunctional family situation. 

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nivens. While I didn't feel the absolute devotion and love that many expressed about this book, I thought that the writing was beautiful. 

I hesitate to add the next three as I may be spoiling the reading experience but they are too good not to mention.

I Will Save You by Matt de la Peña. Kidd is a good kid, who has escaped from a group home and really, really wants to make a fresh start away from the negative influences of a friend.

Tighter by Adele Griffin. Page-turning thriller. That is all.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier. This first-person account by a self-admitted compulsive liar is absolutely gripping. It was also one of the first covers (that I knew of) to be called out on white-washing. 


  1. I am reading Dr. Bird now, and I love the writing and the MC's voice. Many of the novels on your list was new to me, so I have to look further into them on Goodreads. Love making new discoveries like this :)

  2. "I yawp most mornings to irritate my father, the Brute." What a first line! Agreed, the voice is compelling and the writing is gorgeous! Enjoy. I think we are kindred reading souls.

  3. Fantastic list. I really need to check out some of these books. Thank you for stoppung by my blog earlier. :-)

  4. Interesting list! I don't think I've read that many books that have dealt with mental illness. Of the ones I have read, one I hesitate to name because it would be a major spoiler, and another one I just plain didn't like (the mental illness aspect seemed to come out of nowhere, and it wasn't handled very well).

  5. Really interesting list! I want to read It's Kind of A Funny Story.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesdays-2/