Minds and emotions of all ages need tending to! In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, CBLDF has gathered great graphic novels and illustrated texts for kids ages 3 and up. These stories help young people understand their experiences and the experiences of others, helping keep us all connected. We encourage parents and those who care about kids to be involved in selecting books for your reader based on their emotional maturity and not just their chronological age. If you’re looking for good reads for adults, check out our 12 Grown Up Graphic Novels to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness.
Give yourself a hug, give a shout out to a loved one, give a smile to a neighbor, and give your kiddo a great read!
Where to get good books?
- Shop your local comic shop! Search our list of partner retailers by state to see how they are still safely serving you.
- Check your library–they may even offer free digital reading options!
- Support independent bookstores at BookShop.org
- Lastly, check for digital availability through Comixology or Kindle
Reads for Teens (13 or so and up)
I Kill Giants
By Joe Kelly
Battles, both real and imaginary, internal and external, are fought, won, and woven together in this collected edition of the popular Manga Award-winning miniseries.
Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction
by Jarrett Krosoczka
The author’s true story of childhood turmoil and finding the help and determination to thrive anyway.
By Jeff Lemire
Being alone and being befriended, longing and belonging, this collection is an earnest tale of finding one’s place.
Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens and Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma
By Janina Scarlet and Wellinton Alves
A self-help handbook where superheros share their skills for vanquishing foes like depression, anxiety, anger, and shame.
Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life with Anxiety
By Maureen “Marzi” Wilson
A comics collection woven into a cute, hilarious, sincere mini-guide to life with anxiety.
How I Made it to Eighteen: a mostly true story
By Tracy White
For high school readers: inspired by the author’s real life experiences, this book follows 17-year-old Stacy’s intense therapeutic journey through mental and physical health catastrophes.
Reads for Kids and Tweens 8+
You Can Do All Things: Drawings, Affirmations and Mindfulness to Help With Anxiety and Depression
By Kate Allan
A handy, happy little book of positivity, gentle mental health reminders, mindfulness tools, and cute animals!
By Jerry Craft
The pressures of living up to parents’ expectations and finding one’s place when you feel you don’t fit.
Pie in the Sky
By Remy Lai
Two brothers laugh, annoy, and soul-search their way through life in a new country.
Pilu of the Woods
By Mai K. Nguyen
Willow tries to run away from her life, triggering a bittersweet story of loss, emotional release, and finding solace.
By Raina Telgemeier
A thoughtful, humorous, and deeply personal story of worry and the courage to face our fears.
Reads for Young Kids
A Little SPOT Stays Home
By Diane Alber
Written in response to the current virus outbreak, this story gives a positive and empowering explanation to kids 4–12 years old about viruses and why remaining home and keeping a safe distance is so important right now.
A Little SPOT of Sadness: A Story About Empathy and Compassion
By Diane Alber
For kids ages 3–9, the Little SPOT series helps kids visualize their emotions and explore how to guide those feelings back to a peaceful spot. This book helps with feelings of sadness.
Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion
By Gabi Garcia and Ying Hui Tan
For ages 5–10, this story of kindness helps young people be better friends to themselves by practicing compassion, self-acceptance, and positive self-talk.
When I am Worried
By Michael Gordon
Part of a series of books designed to help kids ages 3–5 learn to identify, understand, and self-regulate their emotions. This book helps with worry and anxiety.
Angry Ninja: A Children’s Book aBout Fighting and Managing Emotions of Anger
By Mary Nhin and Jelena Stupar
This relatable series for kids ages 3–11 stars a cast of ninjas who discover better ways to manage emotions and be their best selves. This book helps with feelings of anger and frustration.
If you need help now or know someone who does:
www.mentalhealth.gov recommends the following resources:
Emergency Medical Services—911
If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911, available 24 hours a day.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.