Skip to Content

Emotional wellbeing: 20+ books to support tweens or teens

Tween and teen emotional wellbeing is hard to keep an eye on; largely because these age groups are starting to strive for independence. In doing so, they can pull back from parents and carers, so connections are harder to maintain. They no longer like to spend all their time with you, like toddlers, but are striving to find their “place” in the world. Just because they are moving away though, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important possible to support emotional wellbeing; we just have to be a little more subtle about it. That’s where books can come in very handy. 😂

We have developed a list of books to help support wellbeing in tweens and teens; some to help them explore their emotions, and others to explain them. As always, we have also created a checklist for them too.

We hope that you find these useful for your classes, or kids.

Emotion wellbeing books for tweens and teens

1. A Pocket Full of Stars by Aisha Bushey

Safiya and her mum don’t seem to understand one another, but when tragedy strikes what brings them together? Will it be the reality or the life of gaming?

2. Perfectly Imperfect Stories by Leo Potion

A fantastic book that celebrates the idea that it is okay to not be okay, especially when children’s mental health is challenged.

3. Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson

A different style of book than we expect from Julia Donaldson. This thriller explores the secrets behind a family feud. Can Leo discover what is behind all the secrets?

4. Open your Mind by Gemma Cairney

An honest resource about stress, trauma, anxiety and anything else in the world. A great book to teach us a way to deal with our struggles.

5. Night Shift by Debi Gliori

This wonderful book explores how depression can impact your life, and how we can learn to cope.

6. Generation Hope by Kimberlie Hamilton

A book of statistics, fun and wonder. It looks at all ways that life has changed, who has made a difference and how they made that difference.

7. Being Billy by Phil Earle

Billy is angry. He is angry at the world, the social workers and everyone involved in his life that has caused his anger to magnify. Can he move on from his anger and find himself in a life that is less lonely?

8. Bang Bang You’re Dead by Narinder Dhami

Mia’s life changes when a gunman take her class hostage. Does Mia know the gunman, and can she save the rest of her classmates?

9. Its Ok to not be Ok by Dr Tina Rae

A book that explores mental health disorders, why they happen and how we can build resilience.

10. What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

When a young girl accuses her boyfriend of hurting her, it divides the entire student body. Who is lying and who is telling the truth?

11. Good Enough by Jen Petro-Roy

Riley suffers with anorexia, but if she wants her life back and everything that she loves then she needs to recover. But will her newfound friend from therapy jeopardise her recovery.

12. Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson

With Frankie’s worries about her mum’s illness, she makes friends with Sally, an unexpected friend. Frankie wants to be more than friends, but does Sally feel the same?

13. The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter

With big dreams of becoming a comedian, Billy has to overcome his stammer. Will he find his voice and the confidence to live out his big dream.

14. Big Ideas for Curious Minds by The School Life

The book takes us to meet leading figures of philosophy from around the world and shows us how their ideas continue to matter.

15. The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish

When an accident strikes taking Kacey from Ethan, his life changes forever. He moves to another town and meets a friend who is also hiding secrets but could what she is hiding put them both at risk.

16. Shadow Jumper by JM Forster

With Jack’s allergy to the sunshine, this story is about loss, friendship and bravery. With secrets of the past, how far will Jack go to reach the truth?

17. A Friend in the Dark by Pascal Ruter

Victor’s life is turned upside down and he seems to be failing at life, but when Marie-Jose begins to help him with his homework, is there more to it than friendship and help?

18. Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

Not the usual party girl, rather preferring a good book, Tabby joins a book group. When she meets her new friends at book club, can they help her celebrate her uniqueness and embrace her weirdness.

19. A Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A book about tragedy and love all at once. Hazel is terminal (cancer) – but then Augustus Waters comes into her life and things get complicated and the plot changes suddenly.

20. A Girl Called Owl By Amy Wilson

Nothing about Owl’s life is normal, but when she starts seeing strange patterns on her skin, could she be carrying around more than just her human traits? Could this link to her mysterious father?

21. Do You Know Me? By Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott

Tally is proud of who she is and her autism, but when she is unexpectedly in the ‘popular’ group of girls, does she see that they are less than kind.

22. The Sky is Mine by Amy Beashel

Izzy must find her voice if she wants to feel released of her shame. Her mum and best friend have always been there to save her.

[This book contains material which some readers may find distressing, including discussions of rape, coercive behaviour, domestic violence and abuse.]

23. A Secret of Birds and Bone by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Below the Italian city and the bones, lies a secret that is terribly frightening. When Sofia’s mum doesn’t return home one day, she has to find out the truth and what lies beneath the bones.

24. Looking For Alaska by John Green

Nothing will ever be the same. When tragedy strikes, Miles comes face to face with death and discovers the value of loving.

Not quite 25 books focused on emotional wellbeing for kids – check them out and see whether there are any to add to your library or bookshelves.

<< Download the book list here – just click on the circular image below. >>

We hope you like this list, let us know if there are any missing. Don’t forget to check out some of the other booklists we have for wellbeing on the site too.

Wellbeing books for kids

Here are some more of our book lists for #BeWellRead focusing on using reading as a means for developing positive mental health.

Try these ideas for wellbeing too:

Mindful activities for kids from other sites

Here are a few more ideas for you about mindful activities that your kids can do today.

Thanks for coming to the site – feel free to sign up to our weekly newsletter if you like the content.

We hope that you come back soon too.


Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.