What strategies can we use to deal with difficult issues in our lives?


Freaking Out: Real Life Stories About Anxiety

Edited by Polly Wells
Illustrated by Peter Mitchell

The 13 true stories in this collection span the anxiety spectrum, from heightened adolescent angst to full-blown disorders, exploring anxiety’s run amuck power to take over your thoughts. The triggers for the teens in this book range from the stress of getting into college, to the loss of a parent, to day-to-day social encounters. Their stories explore the different ways they each learned to unshackle themselves from the weight of overwhelming worry.


It’s Not All Black and White: Multiracial Youth Speak Out

St. Stephen's Community House

Through poems, interviews, and short essays, a group of young people tell what it’s like to be biracial, multiracial, or of mixed race. These poignant firsthand accounts reflect the unique and varied voices of the writers, whose backgrounds range from Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Latin American to First Nations, Spanish, and Irish, among others.

With devastating honesty, the youth tell what it’s been like to make their way in the world with their roots in many places and in many cultures. Themes include navigating mixed-race relationships, dealing with prejudice and the assumptions people make based on appearances, and working through identity confusion to arrive at a strong and positive sense of self.


Hooked: When Addiction Hits Home

Edited by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes with Decode

This collection of ten true stories is based on interviews with people who, in their youth, lived with an addicted parent or sibling.

The subjects speak honestly about what it was like to grow up with a family member addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, pills, or gambling. While describing how they managed to cope, interviewees explore the full range of situations and emotions they experienced—from denial, anger, and confusion to acceptance and forgiveness.


i.d.: Stuff that Happens to Define Us

Written by Kate Scowen
Illustrated by Peter Mitchell

Everyone remembers that first love. Or the first all-out fight with a parent or sibling; the feeling of being let down by someone you love; losing something or someone that matters to you; struggling to fit in. i.d. collects 12 first-person accounts about life’s pivotal moments and offers each as an incisive graphic narrative.

With raw honesty, these true stories tackle the universal experiences from childhood and adolescence that stay with us forever. Each anecdote, and accompanying reflection, reveals how individual identity can be shaped by common themes of growing up. By turns thoughtful, painful, funny and fierce, i.d. powerfully demonstrates that what happens to define us in youth doesn’t have to confine us forever.


To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful

Shane Koyczan, Various Artists

In February 2013, Shane Koyczan’s passionate anti-bullying poem “To This Day” electrified the world. An animated video of the lyric narrative went viral, racking up over 12 million hits to date and inspiring an international movement against bullying in schools. Shane later performed the piece to sustained applause on the stage of the 2013 annual TED Conference.

Now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany “To This Day.” Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant.

Born of Shane’s own experiences of being bullied as a child, To This Day expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience.


In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You

Written by Shari Graydon
Art by Karen Klassen and Katy Lemay

From fairy tales and Hollywood movies to magazine ads, reality TV and the Internet, we absorb the lesson early: being beautiful is the answer to our dreams. It’s harder than ever for teens to tune out the endless media messages promoting unattainable ideals, yet at no time in history have they had more tools to change the message.

With In Your Face, Shari Graydon encourages readers to think critically about the culture of beauty both past and present. Whether it’s the different standards for guys versus girls, racial and size biases, the assumptions we have about models and celebrities, or the message that the “right” clothes, makeup, or surgical procedure can make you a better person, Graydon’s unbiased look into the realities behind our ideals will help teens deconstruct the beauty industry hype.

The appealing magazine-style format, stylish illustrations, and conversational tone will draw readers into this empowering exploration of the complex subject of beauty.


Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know

Written by Shari Graydon
Illustrated by Michelle Lamoreaux

Ads are everywhere these days: they are trying to be your friend on Facebook, popping up in the background of your videogame, and even messaging your phone when you walk by a store. More than ever before, kids are the prime target of these marketing messages. But they also have more power than ever to fight back.

For ten years, Made You Look has been an essential self-defense guide for anyone trying to make sense of the complex world of advertising. Now fully revised and with a fresh new look, the book has been updated to reflect the modern ad landscape, from digital tracking and cookies to social media, viral videos, and reality television.

From the earliest roots of advertising to the undercover marketers of the 21st century, this revealing book shows readers where ads come from, how they work, and why kids need to be informed. Made You Look is bursting with real-life examples, thought-provoking questions, and plenty of tips to empower young consumers.


Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go?

Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka

Why are designer jeans so much more expensive than no-name ones? Why does a burger cost $4.50 when the ingredients only cost $1.38? How do credit cards work?  This lively, kid-friendly book answers these questions and more. Discover the trail your money takes as it goes to pay for everything including the raw materials used to make a product, the workers who produce it, and the advertisers who promote it.

Humorous illustrations demystify the process by providing a visual breakdown of all the elements involved in monetary transactions. Accessible and fun, Follow Your Money is a vital introduction to the way money flows.


Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels Through the Ages

Written by Jennifer Croll
Illustrated by Ada Buchholc

The title says it all: Bad Girls of Fashion explores the lives of ten famous women who have used clothing to make a statement, change perceptions, break rules, attract power, or express their individuality. Included are Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. Sidebar subjects include: Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, and Vivienne Westwood.

Photos illuminate the text, while edgy, vividly coloured illustrations depict the subjects with interpretive flair. Readers will learn not only about changing fashion styles through history, but about changing historical attitudes toward women, and the links between fashion and art, film, music, politics, and feminism.