Step into another person’s shoes, or mind, through these amazing reads that center around neurodiverse characters and mental disorders.
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie are best friends in a competition to see who can be the skinniest. But when Cassie succumbs to her demons, Lia feels haunted by her friend and must confront her own demons.
Mental Illness: Anorexia
MADE YOU UP
by Francesca Zappia
Alex struggles daily with reality and her mind. She wants to “be better” before college and when she meets Miles, she feels he is helping her. Her life gets brighter, but Alex can’t figure out if Miles is real or if she’s unraveling again.
Mental Illness: Schizophrenia
ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
by Jennifer Niven
Finch and Violet meet on the school’s roof and discover they need each other more than they want to admit. Finch is able to tackle his obsession with death, and Violet can confront her grief from her mom’s death. But when Violet starts to improve, Finch feels his world is shrinking, making him wonder whether their friendship is mutually beneficial.
Mental Illnesses: Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
by David Arnold
Mim’s life is falling apart when she is shipped to Mississippi with her dad and stepmom. When she learns her mom is sick in Ohio, she starts a cross-country road trip with a cast of characters that will change her life forever.
Mental Illnesses: Psychosis, Depression
Neurodiversity: Down Syndrome
THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE
by Patrick Ness
What happens to the kids who aren’t “the chosen ones”? Mikey and his friends just want to graduate without the school blowing up. Again. They try to navigate “normal” life and find that ordinary can be quite extraordinary.
Mental Illness: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
LILY AND DUNKIN
by Donna Gephart
Lily is a girl with a boy’s body. Norbert, aka Dunkin, is dealing with his father’s death and his recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. These two form an unlikely friendship over their differences and the common goal to save a neighborhood tree.
Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder
by Sophie Kinsella
Audrey wears large sunglasses to protect herself from the light. She stays inside and doesn’t like talking to people. But when her brother’s friend Linus starts hanging around the house, Audrey is invigorated and energized to start her life again. But dealing with anxiety is a daily struggle, so Audrey must overcome her own fears to move forward in her life.
Mental Illnesses: PTSD, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder
EVERY LAST WORD
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Sam tries her best to hide the awful thoughts in her head, the ones that consume her until she can’t breathe. Then Caroline introduces her to Poet’s Corner and Sam is able to find an outlet, friends, and a possible romantic interest.
Mental Illness: Pure Obsessional OCD
HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOR
by John Corey Whaley
Solomon hasn’t left the house in three years. When Lisa discovers this, she makes it her mission to “fix” Solomon. With her boyfriend, Clark, the three of them form a friendship that helps Solomon with his struggles. But the brewing chemistry between Solomon and Clark seems to help the most.
Mental Illness: Agoraphobia
QUEENS OF GEEK
by Jen Wilde
Charlie, Taylor and Jamie get to go to their favorite convention, SupaCon. They know it’s going to be amazing, but none of them are prepared for how life-changing a weekend can be. Charlie meets someone who could be the love of her life, while Taylor starts to be honest about her feelings for Jamie and learning to step out of her shell.
Mental Illness: Social Anxiety Disorder
Neurodiversity: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Do you have any recommendations for books with mental diversity? Let us know in the comments below!