Reading Well for Children

Reading Well for children supports the mental health and wellbeing of children, providing them and their families and carers with information, advice and support for coping with feelings and worries, daily life and getting through a tough time.

The books have been chosen and endorsed by leading health professionals in partnership with children and families. The book selection panel included colleagues from public libraries, NHS England, Mind, the Royal College of GPs, and the School Library Association.

The books are aimed at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) but includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

Healthy minds

  • What's Going on Inside my Head? - Molly Potter
  • Healthy for Life: Self-esteem and Mental Health - Anna Claybourne
  • How Not to Lose It: Mental Health Sorted - Anna Williamson


  • How Are You Feeling Today? - Molly Potter
  • Mindful Me: Exploring Emotions - Paul Christelis
  • Feeling Angry! - Katie Douglass
  • Sometimes I Feel Sad - Tom Alexander


  • Ruby's Worry - Tom Percival
  • Questions and Feelings About: Worries - Paul Christelis
  • Grobblechops - Elizabeth Laird
  • Me and My Fear - Francesca Sanna
  • All Birds Have Anxiety - Kathy Hoopmann
  • Worry Angels - Sita Brahmachari
  • Outsmarting Worry - Dawn Huebner

The world around you

At school

  • Dealing With Bullying - Jane Lacey
  • Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet - Zanib Mian
  • Ella on the Outside - Cath Howe


  • #Goldilocks - Jeanne Willis

In the news

  • Something Bad Happened: A Kid's Guide to Coping with Events in the News - Dawn Huebner

Dealing with tough times

When someone dies

  • Mum's Jumper - Jayde Perkin
  • Michael Rosen's Sad Book - Michael Rosen
  • If All the World Were - Joseph Coelho
  • Clownfish - Alan Durant

Tough times at home

  • The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself - Ali Redford
  • Up and Down Mum - Child's Play
  • The Colour Thief: A Family's Story of Depression - Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters

When you have a condition

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Can I Tell You About ADHD? - Susan Yarney
  • Check Mates - Stewart Foster

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

  • Questions and Feelings About: Autism - Louise Spilsbury
  • M is for Autism - The Students of Limpsfield Grange School and Vicky Martin


  • The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People - Kate Power and Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Double Felix - Sally Harris

Having a disability

  • Questions and Feelings About: Having a Disability - Louise Spilsbury

For more suggestions about useful reading and advice please visit the Reading Well website.

Children's titles available with OverDrive

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon
  • Ella on the Outside - Cath Howe

Reading Well for teenagers and young adults

Reading Well can help you cope with the pressures of life, feel better about yourself and boost your confidence using books.

The Reading Well books have been chosen by young people and health experts to help you with difficult feelings and experiences that affect your wellbeing.

Look out for the books on the Reading Well list. They offer tips and ideas to help you understand and manage your emotions as well as cope with difficult situations. It's free to join the library and it's free to borrow the books. Take one home today!


  • Blame My Brain - Nicola Morgan
  • Mind Your Head - Juno Dawson
  • Stuff That Sucks - Ben Sedley
  • The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!!
  • Every Day - David Levithan
  • House of Windows - Alexia Casale
  • I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
  • Kite Spirit - Sita Brahmachari
  • Quiet the Mind - Matthew Johnstone


  • Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking control of your ADD or ADHD - Patricial Quinn and Judith Stern

Anxiety, worry and panic

  •  My Anxious Mind - Michael Tompkins & Katherine Martinez
  • The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens - Jennifer Shannon
  • The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens - Jennifer Shannon
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Autism and Asperger Syndrome

  • Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome - Luke Jackson
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  • The Reason I Jump - Naoki Higashida

Body image and eating disorders

  • Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders? - Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson
  • Banish Your Body Image Thief - Kate Collins-Donnelly
  • Tyranny - Lesley Fairfield


  • Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies - Michele Elliott
  • Vicious True stories by Teens About Bullying - Ed Hope Vanderberg

Confidence and self-esteem

  • Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief - Kate Collins-Donnelly
  • Self-Esteem and Being You - Anita Nalk
  • Face - Benjamin Zephaniah


  • Am I Depressed and What Can I Do About It? - Shirley Reynolds and Monika Parkinson
  • Can I Tell You About Depression? - Christopher Dowrick and Susan Martin
  • I Had a Black Dog - Matthew Johnstone

Mood swings

  • Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens - Sheri Van Dijk


  • The Truth About Self-Harm - Celia Richardson


  • Breaking Free from OCD - Jo Derisley and others
  • The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B - Teresa Toten
  • Touch and Go Joe - Joe Wells


  • Fighting Invisible Tigers - Earl Hipp
  • The Teenage Guide to Stress - Nicola Morgan

For more suggestions about useful reading and advice please visit the Reading Well website.

Teen and young adult titles available with OverDrive

  • Mind Your Head - Juno Dawson
  • Face - Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Unlikely Hero of Room 12B - Teresa Toten
  • The Reason I Jump - Naoki Higashida
  • I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson

Reading Well has been developed by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected and Association of Senior Children's and Education Librarians. The scheme is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust.

Milton Keynes Libraries contact information

Milton Keynes Central Library, 555 Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes MK9 3HL