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Saturday, 15 May 2010

Mental Health Awareness plus Giveaways

After reading Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and it's references to depression, there were messages all over Twitter on Friday 14th May about mental health issues.
I thought I would include them on the blog as it is a subject close to my heart. As you already know my oldest daughter has dyspraxia, she was diagnosed when she was 3 (mainly because she kept falling over). Her physical abilities have improved significantly with the help she received in the form of Occupational and Physical Therapy when she was younger. However, we were told that one of the problems with dyspraxia is low self-esteem and confidence which can result in depression, etc as she gets older. At 9 the awful teenage hormones are starting to kick in and you can really see the body image issues start to surface.

Thanks to the post by Keren David at Almost True I am now aware that there is a charity dealing with the emotional well-being of children and young adults called Young Minds. It is brilliant  to know there is some where to turn for advice and support. Congratulations to Keren on being long-listed on the Young Minds Book Awards 2010.

The books selected for the long list are:

■Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham (AuthorHouse)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Fourteen year old Georgie Harris feels as if the summer holidays are over before they have even begun. Banned from going to the local drama workshop by her bully of a step-dad and her increasingly fragile mum, she is consigned to six long weeks of looking after her tooth-fairy obsessed kid sister. Sick of feeling like the outsider at home and at school, she starts emailing the one person she thinks might understand; Dylan Curtland, star of the popular soap opera Jessop Close. And when Dylan starts emailing back, Georgie finally feels a tiny spark of hope. At last she has someone who really gets her, someone who really wants to help. But in the faceless world of email all is not as it seems...

■Desperate Measures by Laura Summers (Piccadilly)
Synopsis: From GoodReads
Vicky and Rhianna are twins but they couldn't’t be more different. For their fourteenth birthday, Vicky wants a card from the hottest boy in school. Rhianna, brain-damaged at birth, wants a Furby. Instead they get a nasty shock – their foster parents can’t cope and it looks as if Vicky and Rhianna and their younger brother Jamie will have to be split up. How can they stay together? Desperate times call for desperate measures… Exciting, fast-moving and deeply affecting, this innovative story is Laura Summers’ first novel.
■Ember Fury by Cathy Brett (Headline)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Pyromania: A mental derangement, excitement or excessive enthusiasm for fire.
Having celebrity parents isn’t as hot as it sounds. Yes, there’s money to burn, fame and some totally smoking guys...But when your dad’s more interested in blazing a trail to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school, again, it can make you seriously angry. And if there’s one thing Ember knows, it’s that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble...

■Ice Lolly by Jean Ure (Harper Collins Children’s Books)
Synopsis: From Amazon
A heart-warming gem of a novel about a very special girl who suddenly finds herself all alone in the world! Laurel is only twelve when her mum dies and she is shipped off to stay with relatives she hardly knows. Her new family don't seem to care about anything Laurel loves, including books and Mr Pooter, her old marmalade-coloured cat. So Laurel decides that she won't feel anything: she'll become Ice Lolly, the girl with the frozen heart. But a special friend and a mysterious letter open up new possibilities for Ice Lolly, and for Mr Pooter!

■Inside by J A Jarman (Andersen press)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Aged seventeen, Lee is inside for a crime he has committed. And he soon finds out that prison is not the holiday camp he's heard about. Warned to 'play by the rules' he has to decide whose rules - the screws' or the other cons'. Life in a Young Offenders Institution is about survival. But the real struggle is inside Lee himself. Is he destined to be a 'career con' or can he choose to change his life?

■Lottie Biggs is not desperate by Hayley Long (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Lottie Biggs is recovering from her mental disorder of a reasonably significant nature with the help of her counsellor, who rather helpfully looks like Johnny Depp. Things are looking up - her hair is an excellent shade of black, she has a Saturday job in a hairdresser and Gareth Stingecombe and his manly thighs are still the love of her life. When Gareth undoes his trousers to show Lottie a fetching bruise on one of the aforementioned thighs, she comes to the realisation that, unlike everyone else she knows, she is A TOTAL UTTER VIRGIN. But how can she get any sort of experience when her boyfriend is doggedly, stubbornly and infuriatingly determined to preserve his energies for the rugby field?

■No Way To Go by Bernard Ashley, (Hachette)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Amber is shocked when her brother falls to his death from a tower block. She's convinced it wasn't an accident, and so begins her journey to discover the truth and bring some kind of justice for Connor. With twists, turns and a fabulous multi-layered plot, Bernard Ashley has created a thrilling and engrossing tale. Set in south east London, this is a incredibly gritty and absorbing novel.

■Running on the cracks by Julia Donaldson (Egmont)
Synopsis: From Amazon
14-year-old Leo runs away from her aunt and uncle's home, where she has been living since the sudden death of her musician parents. Leo is driven away by the disturbing behaviour of her uncle. But she is not just wanting to escape her life: she wants to discover the secret behind the feud between her father and his Chinese family.Leo's journey is peopled with a cast of fabulous characters: 12-year-old Finlay, who can never get anything right and is always in trouble; Mary the manic depressive, who provides a hideaway for Leo; Rab, the grumpy corner-shop owner and Marina the no-nonsense doughnut lady, both of whom give Finlay work - and plenty of unsolicited advice! Julia Donaldson has crafted a funny, moving, heart-stopping thriller with characters that will stay in your heart long after you have turned the final uplifting page.

■Them and Us by Bali Rai (Barrington Stoke)
No synopsis available
■The Truth about Leo by David Yelland (Penguin)
Synopsis: From Amazon
It had happened again. Dad had shouted and yelled, thrown things and smashed things up. And then he had quietly cleaned everything away.’ Leo’s dad has changed. Since Mum died, his drinking is worse and now he’s a different person, someone Leo doesn’t recognize. The truth is that Leo is covering up for him and when things get bad Leo escapes into his own head, pretending everything’s OK. Things need to change, but what can Leo do? No one understands, except maybe his friend Flora. Leo wants his old dad back so they can be happy again – because Dad is all he has left . . .

■When I was Joe by Keren Daivd (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Synopsis: From Amazon
When Ty witnesses a stabbing, his own life is in danger from the criminals he’s named, and he and his mum have to go into police protection. Ty has a new name, a new look and a cool new image – life as Joe is good, especially when he gets talent spotted as a potential athletics star, special training from an attractive local celebrity and a lot of female attention. But his mum can’t cope with her new life, and the gangsters will stop at nothing to flush them from hiding. Joe’s cracking under extreme pressure, and then he meets a girl with dark secrets of her own. This wonderfully gripping and intelligent novel depicts Ty/Joe's confused sense of identity in a moving and funny story that teenage boys and girls will identify with - a remarkable debut from a great new writing talent. To follow Keren David's When I Was Joe blog, please click here

■Zellah Green by Vanessa Curtis (Egmont)
Synopsis: From Amazon
My name is Zelah Green and I am a Cleanaholic. I spend most of my life on Germ Alert. Or Dirt Alert. It's a miracle I ever get to school.My life was going OK despite that - you know, school, best friend, bad hair days - until four weeks ago. That's when Dad vanished.Now my stepmother has packed me off to a place with some crazy people. So I'm stuck with the Doc and Alice, Lib, Caro and Sol.Sol, who doesn't speak. Sol, who has brown eyes and olive skin. Sol, who I actually want to touch. Now I'm on Flirt Alert!Maybe, just maybe, something good could happen...This is a moving story of one girl's attempt to come to terms with her grief, told with humour and real insight.
From a personal point of view I am grateful that there are books like these available to help young people (& adults like me). It is sometimes easier to read about topics that affect you personally than it is to discuss them, it helps put them into perspective and insight. Well done to everyone one the list :)
Giveaway also happening at Keren's blog Almost True click the link to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Swapped by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja. I have almost finished reading Split by a Kiss it is so funny and easy to relate to :)
Synopsis: From Amazon
Rachel hates her life and everyone in it - she even has suspicions that her on/off boyfriend David might not be entirely trustworthy. However, when David invites her to a music festival in England featuring their friend's band, she jumps at the chance for an overseas adventure. Hoping to surprise David, Rachel arrives at the festival early, where she runs into a nasty surprise of her own - she sees David kissing their friend Jo. Distraught, Rachel runs off, wishing she could leave her life behind...the next thing she knows, she's back with David. But not as herself...She's now in Jo's body! Can she keep the swap a secret from David until she can work out exactly what's going on and get her revenge? Over the course of a very weird weekend, Rachel puts herself in someone else's shoes and finds that her own maybe weren't as uncomfortable as she'd always thought. But can she ever be herself again?
Lastly in this mega post :)Pledge | Stamp Out Stigma

1 comment:

  1. That certainly is an interesting collection of books.


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