Being a teen is rough. Sometimes you have questions that are difficult to ask, or you’re just not sure how to ask them. The library is a great place to start, we have tons of books on sensitive topics that will help you. For extra privacy we have self check-out stations you can use. Always remember, you belong at your library.
This Book Is Anti-Racist
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist—we must be ANTI-RACIST.” —Angela Davis
Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. Exercise prompts get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge.
Author Tiffany Jewell, an anti-bias, anti-racist educator and activist, builds solidarity beginning with the language she chooses—using gender neutral words to honor everyone who reads the book. Illustrator Aurélia Durand brings the stories and characters to life with kaleidoscopic vibrancy.
After examining the concepts of social identity, race, ethnicity, and racism, learn about some of the ways people of different races have been oppressed, from indigenous Americans and Australians being sent to boarding school to be “civilized” to a generation of Caribbean immigrants once welcomed to the UK being threatened with deportation by strict immigration laws.
Find hope in stories of strength, love, joy, and revolution that are part of our history, too, with such figures as the former slave Toussaint Louverture, who led a rebellion against white planters that eventually led to Haiti’s independence, and Yuri Kochiyama, who, after spending time in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII, dedicated her life to supporting political prisoners and advocating reparations for those wrongfully interned.
This book is written for EVERYONE who lives in this racialized society—including the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life, the kid who has lost themself at times trying to fit into the dominant culture, the children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves, and also for their families, teachers, and administrators.
With this book, be empowered to actively defy racism to create a community (large and small) that truly honors everyone.
Life Inside My Mind
Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD.
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough,” “not good looking enough,” “not thin enough,” or “not smart enough”? Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is “just so” on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?
You’re not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. However issues around mental health still tend to be treated as something shrouded in shame or discussed in whispers. It’s easier to have a broken bone—something tangible that can be “fixed”—than to have a mental illness, and easier to have a discussion about sex than it is to have one about mental health.
Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. These essays tackle everything from neurodiversity to addiction to OCD to PTSD and much more. The goals of this book range from providing home to those who are feeling alone, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member struggle, and to open the floodgates to conversation.
Participating writers include E.K. Anderson, J.L. Armentrout, Cyn Balog, Amber Benson, Francesca Lia Block, Jessica Burkhart, Crissa Chappell, Sarah Fine, Kelly Fiore, Candace Ganger, Meghan Kelley Hall, Cynthia Hand, Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, Tara Kelly, Karen Mahoney, Melissa Marr, Kim McCreight, Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Neumyer, Lauren Oliver, Aprilynne Pike, Tom Pollack, Amy Reed, Cindy Rodriquez, Francisco Stork, Wendy Tolliver, Rob Wells, Dan Wells, Rachel Wilson, and Sara Zarr.
Speak: The Graphic Novel
The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic Speak is now a stunning graphic novel.
"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless—an outcast—because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.
This title has Common Core connections.
The powerful, unforgettable graphic memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents.
In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.
Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.
Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.
Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex--accordion fold--format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive. Though he is able to get a job as a busboy at a restaurant, he is severely undercompensated--he receives less than half of the minimum wage! Risking his boss reporting him to the authorities for not having proper resident papers, Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community.
What Does Consent Really Mean?
"Consent is not the absence of 'NO', it is an enthusiastic YES!!" While seemingly straightforward, Tia and Bryony hadn't considered this subject too seriously until it comes up in conversation with their friends and they realise just how important it is. Following the sexual assault of a classmate, a group of teenage girls find themselves discussing the term consent, what it actually means for them in their current relationships, and how they act and make decisions with peer influence. Joined by their male friends who offer another perspective, this rich graphic novel uncovers the need for more informed conversations with young people around consent and healthy relationships. Accompanying the graphics are sexual health resources for students and teachers, which make this a perfect tool for broaching the subject with teens.
Red Moon Gang
This inclusive, unapologetic, and humorous guide to menstruation quashes stigmas and provides us with the latest research and information on periods.
Filled with information and free from cultural hang-ups, this gender-neutral book is directed at anybody that's ever dealt with having a period. Writer and influencer Tara Costello has been writing about menstruation for more than a decade and, here, she pulls together her research and experience into a book that's wide-ranging, inclusive, and fun. Boldly illustrated by Mary Purdie, Red Moon Gang tackles every aspect of the menstrual cycle--from the biology and science behind why you bleed every month, to the latest findings on hormonal fluctuations (aka, why you're PMSing so bad). It takes a deep dive into the different types of menstrual products available, including their pros and cons, and covers various period conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. Drawing from her own experience, Costello explores how having a period shaped her relationship to her body and her place in the world. And she discusses topics that aren't generally covered in health class too--such as how periods are a particular challenge to those experiencing body dysmorphia, individuals living in poverty, and disabled people. Finally, she offers up a Period Toolkit, listing products and retailers she loves, tips on how to make menstruating easier, and resources for further education.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay
A charming, highly relatable graphic memoir that follows one young woman’s adventures in coming out and coming of age.
Ellie always had questions about who she was and how she fit in. As a girl, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and found dating boys much more confusing than many of her friends did. As she grew older, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters, and everyday courage, Ellie tells her story through gorgeous illustrations—a fresh and funny self-portrait of a young woman becoming herself.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay reminds us that people sometimes come out not just once but again and again; that identity is not necessarily about falling in love with others, but about coming to terms with oneself. Full of vitality and humor, it will ring true for anyone who has taken the time to discover who they truly are.
Monday's Not Coming
"Jackson’s characters and their heart-wrenching story linger long after the final page, urging readers to advocate for those who are disenfranchised and forgotten by society and the system." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
From the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, comes a gripping novel about the mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.
Black is...sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.
Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.
Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.
Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.
Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.
Lighter Than My Shadow
A beautiful, heartbreaking and ultimately heart-lifting graphic memoir.
Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.
But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. One day you can find yourself being told you have two weeks to live.
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
(Don't) Call Me Crazy
What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when a label like that gets attached to your everyday experiences?
To understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.
In (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, thirty-three actors, athletes, writers, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore a wide range of topics:
their personal experiences with mental illness,
how we do and don’t talk about mental health,
help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently,
and what, exactly, might make someone crazy. If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages . . . and let’s get talking.
A brave teen recounts her debilitating struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder—and brings readers through every painful step as she finds her way to the other side—in this powerful and inspiring memoir.
Until sophomore year of high school, fifteen-year-old Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home.
But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality.
It started with avoiding sidewalk cracks and quickly grew to counting steps as loudly as possible. Over the following weeks, her brain listed more dangers and fixes. She had to avoid hair dryers, calculators, cell phones, computers, anything green, bananas, oatmeal, and most of her own clothing.
Unable to act “normal,” the once-popular Allison became an outcast. Her parents questioned her behavior, leading to explosive fights. When notebook paper, pencils, and most schoolbooks were declared dangerous to her health, her GPA imploded, along with her plans for the future.
Finally, she allowed herself to ask for help and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This brave memoir tracks Allison’s descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths.
Instead of giving him lunch money, Rex's mom has signed him up for free meals. As a poor kid in a wealthy school district, better-off kids crowd impatiently behind him as he tries to explain to the cashier that he's on the free meal program. The lunch lady is hard of hearing, so Rex has to shout.
Free Lunch is the story of Rex's efforts to navigate his first semester of sixth grade--who to sit with, not being able to join the football team, Halloween in a handmade costume, classmates and a teacher who take one look at him and decide he's trouble--all while wearing secondhand clothes and being hungry. His mom and her boyfriend are out of work, and life at home is punctuated by outbursts of violence. Halfway through the semester, his family is evicted and ends up in government-subsidized housing in view of the school. Rex lingers at the end of last period every day until the buses have left, so no one will see where he lives.
Unsparing and realistic, Free Lunch is a story of hardship threaded with hope and moments of grace. Rex's voice is compelling and authentic, and Free Lunch is a true, timely, and essential work that illuminates the lived experience of poverty in America.
The Pride Guide
Sex education materials meant to explain important basics to kids are too-often not written with an empathic understanding of what those basics are. This is particularly obvious regarding books that include LGBTQ identities. Even when they do hit the mark, many have a limited scope and don't take into account the practical realities of developing sexuality. The Pride Guide is written explicitly for the almost ten percent of teenagers who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or any of the unique identities that are not heterosexual/ cisgendered. It explores sex, dating, relationships, puberty, and both physical and online safety in one resource. The issue, today, is not whether or not queer youth will get sex education. The issue is how and where they will gather information and whether or not the information they gather with be applicable, unreliable, or exploitative. Equipping teens and their families with knowledge and self-confidence, this work provides the best protection against the unfortunate consequences that sometimes accompany growing up with an alternative gender or identity. With real-world information presented in a factual and humorous way, responsible adults can teach queer youth to (and how to) protect themselves, to find resources, to explore who they are, and to interact with the world around them while being true to themselves and respectful of others. Written with these issues in mind, The Pride Guide covers universal topics that apply to everyone, such as values clarification, digital citizenship, responsibility, information regarding abstinence as well as indulgence, and an understanding of the consequences and results of both action and inaction. For LGBTQ youth, this is a resource containing information on the unique issues queer youth face regarding what puberty looks like (particularly for trans youth), dating skills and violence, activism, personal safety, and above all, pride. Parents and other supportive adults who are motivated to educate themselves and who are interested in gaining some tools and skills around making these necessary conversations less uncomfortable and more effective will benefit from this book. The go-to resource for making informed decisions, The Pride Guide is indispensable for teens, parents, educators, and others hoping to support the safe journey of LGBTQ teens on their journey of discovery.
A Safe Place
A Safe Place provides services addressing domestic violence and human trafficking in Lake County, Illinois.
24-Hour Helpline: (847) 249-4450
The Cuba Township Food Pantry
The Cuba Township Food Pantry provides non-perishable foods, paper products, cleaning supplies, and toiletries for those in need of assistance.
Phone: (847) 381-1924
CYN Counseling Center
The Community Youth Network Counseling Center is a non-profit comprehensive community-based counseling center that serves children, adolescents, and adults who are struggling with a variety of mental health issues.
Phone: (847) 548-6000
Lake County Health Department
Lake County Health Department: Access information and connect with various health services that include preventative care, behavioral health, environmental health, maternal and child health services, healthy living programs, animal control, and more.
Phone: (847) 377-8000
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Lake County
The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with a mental health conditions, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers, and the public. HelpLine staff and volunteers are experienced, well-trained, and able to provide guidance.
PADS Lake County
PADS Lake County is a community-based organization that Provides Advocacy, Dignity & Shelter to individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis.
Phone: (847) 689-4357
United Way of Lake County 211
Community resources including mental health, housing, food, and immigration help.
Call 211 or Text 898211 24/7 English and Spanish
Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center
The Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center is a place where survivors of sexual assault and abuse can heal and also mobilizes the community toward action to end sexual violence.
Direct Voicemail: (847) 244-1187
24-Hour Helpline: (847) 872-7799
Gay Straight Alliance Network
The Gay Straight Alliance Network is an LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe.
PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
24-Hour Helpline: (866) 488-7386
Text: START to 678-678
ANAD: Eating Disorder Support Groups and Services
The association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders is for anyone struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or another type of eating disorder.
Helpline: (888) 375-7767
National Runaway Safeline
National Runaway Safeline serves as the national communication system for runaway and homeless youth.
24-Hour Helpline: (800) 786-2929
National Suicide Prevention
National Runaway Safeline serves as the national communication system for runaway and homeless youth.
24-Hour Helpline: (800) 786-2929