Five Books to Read for Mental Health Awareness Month
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert writes about a blended family. A Black mom and her daughter are blended together with a white boy and his father. It’s a loving family; however Suzette goes off to boarding school and comes back from the summer. That is when we find out her brother (step brother) has bipolar disorder and she finds herself falling for the same girl that her brother, Lionel, has a crush on. This novel addresses how families deal with different identities, race, disorders, and manage it all. It is also a young adult novel so it definitely is a quick read and powerful story. It also addresses the stigma around medication for mental health disorders and dives into what “bipolar” actually is and describes it in a way that is very understandable and I really think this book should be on everyone’s list who is saying they are an advocate
Deep Condition by Elle Jeffries. She writes about a character dealing with past traumas while trying to navigate college and pretending to be whole. Also the main character is navigating her race during college and what that means to folks around her. We see a character struggle with making a decision to enter therapy even and when she finally does, it is extremely realistic because we see the work that it takes and how she isn’t magically “better.” But instead Jeffries who does an amazing job of weaving a story that illustrates that healing isn’t linear. Also, check out my chat with the author.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez. I believe Sanchez book is a must read to understand mental health and minority communities in lower socio-economic environments. We do get to see the contrast between Julia and Connor—although I wish we saw more of—and through this we are able to see the different types of problems that weigh on Julia and somewhat shape her whole life. I also think that addressing grief and loss of a sibling is so important at such a young age because it happens more often than we would like to acknowledge. Sanchez is a writer to be reckoned with and is changing the narrative in young adult fiction and it is necessary.
Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden. This books is not for the faint of heart. It is a heavy book but so necessary. Trigger warning in the fact that it discussing sexual assault and violence. Yet, it is still a must read. I believe McFadden does an amazing job discussing childhood traumas and their effects on our lives as we get older and our abilities to love. It is really hard to love someone who does not know how to love themselves and that is what we see with Donovan. I wish I read this book instead of listened there were parts I wish i could go back and highlight and revisit specifically.
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen. I already wrote about this book on my blog and i will restate that it is a must read!!\
if you have any others drop them in the comments