Health and Help for tweens & teens


There is certainly a boom in books targeting young people to empower them to be their best selves and take action for the greater good. As it happens I have quite a pile of them here so have decided to compile them into this one post. All are very worthy additions either to a personal or library collection.

Perfectly Unique: Love Yourself Completely, Just as You Are – Annie F. Downs

Harper Collins Australia

January 2020

  • ISBN: 9780310768623
  • ISBN 10: 0310768624
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Religious – US

RRP: $22.99

As it would happen I had seen this book while browsing for other titles for our collection and added it some time ago. In particular for either Christian families or schools, you will find this a charming and heartfelt message for our young girls.

Each section takes a look at various parts of the body and the ways in which each has the potential for a girl to grow in her faith whilst understanding the often confusing and contradictory moods of her changing body.

Annie is a well-known podcaster and author based in Tennessee who strives to impart via her writing the presence of a loving and present God. For young girls the turbulent teens, the powerful influences via social media and peer pressure can be overwhelming and Annie’s mission is to provide these girls with the tools, skills and strength to withstand these and stand strong in faith.

Read more about Annie here

Dare to be You: Defy Self-Doubt, Fearlessly Follow Your Own Path and Be Confidently You! – Matthew Syed. Illustrated by Toby Triumph


September 2020 | 9781526362377 | RRP $19.99

Following the runaway success of You are Awesome Matthew Syed continues to empower young people, providing them with the tools to employ their own positive thinking.

Combining his humour and personal insights with the stylistic illustrations, Matthew introduces real-life role models such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai as an aide to encouraging diverse thinking.

Matthew wants children and young people to stop doubting themselves, accept that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ and embrace their own wonderful selves with confidence to grow into happy, well-adjusted adults.

Looking after your Health – Caroline Young

Harper Collins Australia

July 2020

  • ISBN: 9781474982757
  • ISBN 10: 1474982751
  • Imprint: Usborne – GB
  • List Price: 14.99 AUD

It’s not just about mental health of course and this super little book is perfect for kiddos from around eight years upwards to teens, to encourage them to take care of their physical well-being as well as their mental health.

It takes a quirky, often humorous, approach to sharing useful information none of which is either too radical or ‘out there’ but more like a common sense approach to looking after themselves whether its diet, exercise, sleep, managing stress, maintaining and regulating friendships or relationships (so tricky at times!).

This not an onerous read and certainly not ‘preachy’ but quite fun to read with some solid advice for young people. This one is going to feature in the Kid’s home schooling this term part of which is focusing on the human body and health.

Helping our Planet – Jane Bingham

Harper Collins Australia

July 2020

  • ISBN: 9781474982764
  • ISBN 10: 147498276X
  • Imprint: Usborne – GB
  • List Price: 14.99 AUD

I think this and the following book are perfect companions to those above because we know that many young people are increasingly anxious about the state of the world’s environment and also, that by becoming actively involved with relevant causes, they will of course also be aiding their own mental and physical health.

Offering some really simple to implement strategies any one, young or old, could benefit from these suggestions. For example:

Five Moves to beat ‘Hidden Plastic’

  1. Stop buying wet ones, glitter and glittery things
  2. Don’t buy chewing gum
  3. Buy plastic-free teabags or go for loose tea
  4. Try to avoid drink cans, take away coffee cups and cartons
  5. Buy clothes made from natural fibres, such as bamboo or wool

Easy peasy! and there are loads more ideas as well as of course the facts behind important issues such as water conservation, planet-friendly shopping and waste management.

Hope: 50 Ways to Help Our Planet Every day

Penguin Australia

August 2020

ISBN: 9781760896737

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $14.99

Did you know your food travels an average of 4000 kilometres to get to you? Have you ever wondered where exactly ‘away’ is when you throw something away? Or what happens to the 3 billion drink cans Australians go through in a year?

There will be many families as well as classes who are inspired and impassioned by the War on Waste series hosted by Craig Reucassel not to mention the thousands who are, quite rightly, extremely concerned about climate change and this is the perfect jumping-off point for readers from as young as eight years old but upwards to early secondary. In fact, I will be offering both these books to our Year 8 team for their unit on Waste (or as we call it at school the Rubbish unit – haha!).

Case studies (from kids), inspirational quotes from leading world figures, practical advice and simple activities will engage and involve classrooms, families and communities.

Most of all the premise of this little book is as the title says to offer ‘hope’ that it’s not too late to make the changes our world needs so badly.

Overall I highly recommend all of these for either your family or your collection.

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