I’m sure you’re all cosied up, tearing open presents, or arguing with the family you usually try to avoid the rest of the year. Whatever you choose to do today, I hope you’re all having a wonderful time and, most importantly, you receive lots and lots of books. Merry Christmas.
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
Christmas is such a wonderful time. The air is crisp, the leaves are crunchy, the stars fill the sky, the shoppers bombard through one another to find that perfect gift or else the World will collapse. That sounds about right doesn’t it?
Today we take one day out of the year to recognise mental health issues. If only the general populace could recognise them on the other 364 days. Mental health issues commonly begin during the teenage years and often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
For me, the above quote from Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story aptly describes the ups and downs of depression. Ned Vizzini struggled with the illness for years before taking his own life in 2013.
The Young Minds website has a great list of YA books that raise some light on various mental health issues. They can be found here. These books may be able to help young people struggling with mental illness or, at least, help them become aware of the issues that are out there, so our next generation can be more enlightened and more able to help or cope with illness.
Illustration by Jim Kay from A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
I’ve always considered myself a pretty good authority when it comes to children’s literature, however I’ve recently noticed a few gaps in my knowledge, gaps that involve some fairly significant books. I thought I could just start picking out a few popular titles from the shelf, but that seems like a perfect recipe for chaos. I like a system; a well formed, well thought out list. Continue reading
I’ve recently returned from visiting a friend and her family. She has three children: a girl of three, a boy and two and a boy of two months. Although she raises them equally and with very little television, the eldest is still getting influenced by the little television that she does watch. She discovered pink from Peppa Pig and princesses from Frozen. Her mother hates anything stereotypically “girly”, and although she accepts that that is what her daughter likes, I know she wishes her role models were a little more balanced.
“I rub the ears of my dog, my stupid goddam ruddy great dog that I never wanted but who hung around anyway and who followed me thru the swamp and who bit Aaron when he was trying to choke me and who found Viola when she was lost and who’s licking my hand with his little pink tongue and whose eye is still mostly squinted shut from where Mr. Prentiss Jr. kicked him and whose tail is way way shorter from where Matthew Lyle cut it off when my dog – my dog – went after a man with a machete to save me and who’s right there when I need pulling back from the darkness I fall into and who tells me who I am whenever I forget.”