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Reading and Mental Health: Exploring Emotions through Books

At Alexander Youth Network, we understand the importance of mental health and emotional well-being in children’s lives. One powerful way to explore and understand emotions is through reading. Books can serve as tools to help children navigate complex feelings, understand themselves better, and build resilience. Here are some recommended books that address various emotional themes from Kate Zalewski, Education Supervisor, at our Charlotte Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF): 


“I Can Do Hard Things” by Gabi Garcia 

This empowering book teaches children that they can overcome challenges and face difficult situations with courage and resilience. It encourages them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
Find the book here.   


“Don’t Be Greedy, Graham” by Phil Roxbee Cox 

Through the story of Graham, children learn about the importance of sharing and being generous. It promotes empathy and kindness, fostering positive social interactions. 

Find the book here 


“Punk the Skunk Learns to Say Sorry” by Misty Black 

This book explores the theme of forgiveness and the importance of apologizing when we hurt others. It teaches children about taking responsibility for their actions and making amends.  

Find the book here. 


“Tori” by Shani Taylor 

“Tori” addresses the topic of self-acceptance and embracing one’s uniqueness. It encourages children to celebrate their individuality and recognize their inherent worth.  

Find the book here. 


“A World Without Failures” by Esther Pia Cordova 

Through a journey of resilience and perseverance, this book teaches children that setbacks and failures are a natural part of life. It emphasizes the importance of resilience and learning from mistakes.  

Find the book here. 


“The Energy Bus for Kids” by Jon Gordon 

This book inspires children to adopt a positive mindset and approach challenges with optimism. It teaches valuable lessons about attitude, gratitude, and the power of positive thinking.  

Find the book here. 


“Big Feelings” by Alexandra Penfold 

“Big Feelings” helps children understand and navigate their emotions. It validates their feelings and teaches healthy ways to express and cope with various emotions.  

Find the book here 


A big thank you and shout out to Kate Zalewski for these book recommendations! Through reading and discussing these stories, we hope to promote emotional intelligence, empathy, and resilience in children. Let’s continue to explore the world of books as a tool for supporting children’s mental health and well-being. 


Written by Brenna Drury

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