Addressing issues of mental health with our children can be intimidating: Where do we start? How much do we tell children? How should we act, and how should we expect them to act? Difficult conversations can be eased by the use of children’s literature. Today, finding children’s books addressing the variety of mental health issues we face is literally a click away. Search engines and commercial websites generate book lists and enable easy purchases in minutes, or provide names of books and authors to find in many public libraries.
As a start, below are several websites which list children’s books on a variety of mental illness issues. For books specifically targeting the Jewish audience, search Jewish Publishers or Jewish Children’s Books Publishers and browse the catalogs of the variety of publishing companies.
(Please note, this sampling of lists is provided for the readers’ convenience. The books listed themselves would need to be individually reviewed to assure they meet the needs and approval of any interested reader.)
Children Understanding Mental Illness: Books for Children that Explain Mental Illness and Family Issues
A selection of books for children and youth that have a theme of parental mental illness.
Publisher’s notes and/or brief descriptions included. Compiled by Sharon Van Volkingburgh, RCSW (included here with her permission).
Allen County Public Library,
Fort Wayne, IN
Child, Adolescent, Family,
and Adult Services
(Plymouth County, MA)
Books Dealing with Children’s Mental Health: Topics for Children, Adolescents, and their Parents
Laura Aron Milhander has a background in Jewish Studies and both Jewish and secular education. She and her husband, Rabbi Kenneth Milhander are the parents of four children and live in Orange County.