Books Dealing with Children’s Mental Health Topics
For Children, Adolescents and their Parents

Books Dealing with Children’s Mental Health Topics

Carol Watkins MD
410-329-2028
Northern County Psychiatric Associates

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication To Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books

The listing of these books does not imply an endorsement of all of the authors' ideas. Parents should read and discuss books with their children. Some of the books deal with specific types of situations which may not be applicable to any given child or adult.


 

 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books


 

 

Attention Deficit Disorder

Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

Learning Disabilities

Explaining Psychiatric Medication for Children

Adoption

Divorce

Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders

Substance Abuse

Death and Bereavement

Autism, PDD and Asperger's

Alzheimer's Disease

Interactive Decision-Making Books

Other Mental Health Books

 

 



Carol Watkins, M.D., a child psychiatrist and Nicole, a middle school student (now a high school student--we've been at this for three years), both review books on ADHD, depression, family problems, decision-making and many other topics.

Attention Deficit Disorder
Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child
Learning Disabilities
Explaining Psychiatric Medication To Children
Adoption
Divorce
Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent
For Siblings of Children with Psychiatric Disorders
Substance Abuse
Death and Bereavement
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Depression
Autism, PDD and Asperger's
Alzheimer's Disease
Interactive Decision-Making Books
Social Skills

Other Mental Health Books

Awards for This Site

The listing of these books does not imply an endorsement of all of the authors' ideas. Parents should read and discuss books with their children. Some of the books deal with specific types of situations and may not be applicable to any given child or adult.

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Attention Deficit Disorder in Children, Adolescents and Adults

Books for Parents of Children and Adolescents with AD/HD

Books for AD/HD Children and Adolescents

Books dealing with Adult AD/HD

 

Books for Parents of Children and Adolescents with AD/HD

1.       Daredevils and Daydreamers : New Perspectives on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder , 1997 by Barbara D., Ph.D. Ingersoll A well-rounded book, dealing with the diagnostic process and also practical, real-world behavioral issues.

 

2.      Voices from Fatherhood : Fathers, Sons and AD/HD
by Patrick J. Kilcarr, Patricia O. Quinn 1997. Deals with the vital role that fathers can play in the facilitating the AD/HD child’s development.

 

3.      Hyperactivity: Why Won’t My Child Pay Attention? 
By Goldstein and Goldstein (1992) This book is useful for parents and also for teachers. It discusses how the traits of a hyperactive child may get him into trouble at school and make him the family scapegoat at home. It discusses parenting techniques and advocates multi-modal treatment.  

 

4.      Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perceptive by Thom Hartmann (1993)
Mr. Hartmann has a unique view of AD/HD. He sees it as a valid cluster of personality traits that have only become problematic as our society has shifted to a more sedentary, detail-oriented lifestyle. He suggests that society should value people with AD/HD because their "action-oriented" style can be useful in the right situation or the right job. He advocates special learning environments for AD/HD children. This book raises the interesting question of how much an individual should conform to society and how much society should make efforts to accommodate individual differences

 

5.       The Hyperactive Child, Adolescent and Adult (Attention Deficit Disorder through the Life Span) by Paul Wender, MD (1987)
This was one of the earlier books to discuss criteria for diagnosing and treating AD/HD in older adolescents and adults. The publication of this book and related articles made it easier for child psychiatrists to continue to treat adolescents who had reached adulthood and to actually diagnose AD/HD in adults. Other physicians have since published broader criteria for the diagnosis of adult AD/HD. This can be heavy reading for the lay person.

 

6.      You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? By Kelly and Ramundo (1993)
This book is useful for older adolescents, their parents, and for adults with ADHD. It gives practical, concrete information on how to organize one’s workspace, and how to manage a schedule. It is easy to read selected parts individually. The humorous illustrations are a plus. This is a good book for an AD/HD adolescent to take to college.

 

7.      Driven to Distraction and Answers to Distractions by Drs. Hallowell and Ratey .
These books present basic information about AD/HD in a user-friendly format. Answers is particularly good reading for adults with short attention spans because it presents material in short chunks. The books discuss both child and adult AD/HD issues, but the book is aimed at adults. Some adolescents could benefit from these books too.
 

8. Understanding Girls with AD/HD, Nadeau, Littman and Quinn This book discusses how attention deficit disorder may manifest itself in girls from preschool to late adolescence. The authors identify types of ADHD girls. Active girls may act like tomboys. They may socialize with boys. They are active, and may engage in impulsive escapades. Another group of girls shows their ADHD by talkativeness and excessive socializing. They too may become involved in risky behavior. Some girls with ADHD seem to fade into the background. They are shy and inattentive. They may have few friends and are more likely to be depressed. The last group is often escapes diagnosis until adolescence or adulthood. These are the very smart girls who have the ability to put in an extraordinary effort to hyper-focus. Adults see them as achievers but are often unaware of the anxiety and extreme effort the such girls use in order to compensate for their inattentiveness. Such girls are often anxious and self-critical. This is an excellent resource for parents and adolescents. I have only one criticism. The screening checklists in each chapter are fairly non-specific. The lists highlight the fact that ADHD may manifest itself differently in girls. However, some of the items on the lists can be caused by other conditions.  

9.ADD/ADHD Behavior-Change Resource Kit 

by Grad L. Flick
This book should be extremely useful to parents and teachers who deal with children and teens with AD/HD. It gives firm but compassionate guidelines on how to help create positive behavioral change.

It gives specific, step-by-step instructions on how to facilitate behavioral change. Although the book contains a number of useful checklists and rating scales, the author does not fall into the trap of "checklist rigidity." He uses these checklists flexibly within the context of a rich understanding of the child and his environment.

I enjoyed his sections on how to phrase commands in an assertive, not aggressive manner. The parent or teacher is invited to rewrite some of his or her commands in a different style. The author enlisted the help of child psychiatrists in writing the section on medications. Thus, the medication chapter is more accurate and comprehensive one finds in many books.

He gives lists of age-appropriate, non-food (thank goodness!) reinforcers to help reward elementary, middle and high school-aged students. The Appendix on neuropsychological reports gives an overview that would help a parent understand how testing is done and how the results might look.

 

Books for AD/HD Children and Adolescents 

 

  1. Otto Learns About His Medicine by Matthew Galvin
    This illustrated book talks about a young car who visits a special engine mechanic and receives an engine treatment to help him run at the right speed. The author uses this metaphor to explain the nature of ADHD, the process of getting a psychiatric evaluation and good questions to ask about medication. The book is aimed at some elementary school children and some pre-schoolers
  2. Joey Pigza Swallowed a Key, and Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos 
    Joey Pigza is a kind but impulsive, inattentive boy, living with his divorced mother. In the first book, Joey is diagnosed with AD/HD. The author deals humorously and sympathetically with Joey’s impulsivity and how it gets him in trouble in school and at home.  Eventually Joey and his mother learn how to compensate through humor, educational strategies and medication.

     The second book still retains some of the humor of the first, but deals with more serious issues. Joey’s estranged father arranges to have Joey stay with him for the summer. The father clearly has ADHD symptoms similar to those of his son. Further, the father struggles with alcoholism and legal problems. During the summer, he makes Joey stop he medication. In his father Joey sees what he might have become. This second story deals with the very serious issues of custody disputes, parental disagreement about medication, alcoholism and its effect on a child with AD/HD. Some parents might want to read this book with their older elementary school and middle school children to explain some of these complex issues. 

  3. Distant Drums, Different Drummers by Barbara Ingersoll, 1995(Reviewed in the fall 97 issue of Hypertalk, the newsletter of Baltimore County CHADD)
    This book is aimed at middle and high school students but appropriate for some elementary school students. The author discusses the positive evolutionary aspects of ADHD. She also discusses coping techniques and treatment.    
  4. Review by Nicole, age 10
     
    Do you have ADHD and want to know more about it? The best book for you is Distant Drums, Different Drummers by Barbara Ingersoll Ph.D.. This book is about the problems ADHD kids might have and how to solve the problems. For instance, one of the solutions to the problems is taking a medicine like Dexedrine or Ritalin. Another solution is to keep your room really well organized, so that you can find everything easily. At the end of the book is a self-assessment checklist with things such as: "I get along with my mom", "I take turns and play fair", "I stick with my homework until it’s done", and "I take care of my room and my belongings". You would check off either ‘no problem’ or ‘needs work’. Dr. Ingersoll is a very good writer. This book tells almost every little detail that a child with ADHD might want to know about, except not enough what is good about having ADHD, which is too bad. The author is trying to write a book to teach children about their disorder. The moral is ‘no matter what color, race, or disorder, everyone can be friends if you try’. This book is wonderful, telling children scientific facts in an understandable way that makes the facts un-boring. This book makes children feel good about themselves, though they have the disorder. I try my hardest to have a few more criticisms for the book, but I fail to think of even one more bad thing about the book. It tells how maybe ADHD may be the living warrior of the past disorder. That could make almost any little boy I know with ADHD feel much better about himself. This book is a wonderful book for any child who battles ADHD. This book is a book that I recommend to especially little boys, this is because there are a few chapters which are about age-old warriors, cavemen, and the Middle Ages. The beginning of the book is for either girls or boys. Adolescents may like the book, but there is a pretty good chance that they will not want to read this book. That is because this book seems to be mostly aimed at younger-than-adolescents. The second bad thing about the book is that through the whole book the author writes ‘ADHD’, when some of the people who read the book might have only Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD. I think that the writer should have written "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder". That was only a small part of the book though. Still, my over all summary is: Outstanding!

  5.   Eagle Eyes (A child’s guide to paying attention) 1991 by Jeanne Gehret 
    This book, aimed at elementary and some middle school students, It tells the story of a boy who becomes discouraged by his difficulties with attention and organization. He benefits from evaluation and treatment. Eventually, he comes to see the advantages of some of his special characteristics. (See Ms. Gehret’s book about Ben’s sister under "Sibling Issues." 
  6. Putting on the Brakes by Quinn and Stern (1991)
    This book has become something of a classic during its short existence. It explains, for the older elementary school and middle school child, the definition of ADHD, and gives information about how to improve problem areas, such as disorganization. There is a useful appendix containing information for parents. Parents and children can use this book together. The authors also publish a newsletter for children with AD/HD
  7. My Brother’s a World Class Pain: A Sibling’s Guide to ADHD/Hyperactivity by Gordon (1992)
    This would be a much better book if the author would change the title. While the title may accurately reflect the feelings of some siblings, the book might get left around and generate some hurt feelings. Because of this, I do not keep it in my waiting room. Once past the title, the book has wonderful, amusing illustrations and the text keeps elementary school siblings interested. The sister eventually does come to appreciate her brother, but kids keep coming back to that title
       
  8. I’m Somebody Too by Gehret (1992)
    Those who have read Eagle Eyes by the same author will recognize Emily, Ben’s older sister. It is aimed at an older elementary school or middle school child. Emily feels that her parents are ignoring her and expecting her to maintain perfect behavior so that they can deal with Ben. Emily and the family work with Ben’s therapist to gain an understanding of Emily’s own needs. This book may also be useful for other girls who feel that their families expect them to be too perfect.
     
  9. Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention by Nadeau and Dixon
    This book is appropriate for younger elementary school aged children and some older children who have short attention spans. This book is fast paced and funny. It discusses the symptoms of ADHD and some possible solutions.  I liked it because it can be read on more than one level. A parent could first read it to a child, and the child could subsequently either read the entire text, or more likely, read the cartoons and their captions. This book received the enthusiastic approval of a seven year old. Although he certainly could have read the entire text, I think that when he was up in his bedroom, he read and reread the cartoon. 
  10. Review by Nicole, age 10. The book, Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention, by Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D. and Ellen B. Dixon, Ph.D., and illustrated by John R. Rose is a wonderful book for children with ADHD. This book is especially for children ages five to ten. This book gives children a checklist of their problems, and tells how to solve them. Also, since children with ADHD have a short attention span, there are fun games scattered through the book. These games help children with ADHD to stick to the book. There is no point in getting a book if people put it down after only a chapter. I think it might be good to photocopy the games in the book so that you can do all of the games and just photo copy it again when you want to do the games again. I really liked the wonderful cartoons that relate to the text. These will also help children keep reading the book. This is a great book, and I recommend it to all children who have ADD or ADHD, or are being diagnosed for it.

    11. The First Star I See  by Jaye Andras Cattrey
    Review by Nicole, age ten

    First Star I See by Jaye Andras Cattrey was a four star book. It was a charming novel for 2nd – 5th graders. It won an "American Bookseller Pick of the Lists" prize. The main character, Paige, has previously been diagnosed with ADD. She daydreams all the time during class, so much in fact, that her classmates call her "spacey." Her class is having a competition to see who can write the best paper on a space subject that they are assigned. She is absent-minded, so that she forgets about her paper until it becomes an urgent priority. Meanwhile, her dog is stealing toys from children. Usually innocent children too. While trying to steal the neighbor’s cat’s toy, the dog almost drowns. Paige’s dog provides distraction for her when she least wants it. This book is good for girls because they will see in it a character like themselves. They can realize that they aren’t the only person in the world with ADD. They will find that they can succeed with ADD, and that you don’t have to be the perfect student to get what you want. I would recommend this book for psychiatrists and social workers to have in their office. It provides something and someone for the children to relate to. Personally I thought that the book was wonderful and would be a good addition to an ADD-child’s library.

    12. That's What Kids Are For by Barbara Roberts (Advantage books, 1998)
    Phoebe is an enthusiastic, creative girl. Because of her high activity level, she has has to struggle to pay attention in class, and has only one good friend. Girls with hyperactive AD/HD as well as other active kids may see something of themselves in Phoebe. Phoebe's principal and her mother are sympathetic but also help Phoebe see that she has some responsibilities for her actions. In the end, Phoebe's energy and daring make her the class heroine. She takes quick action to rescue the class pet. 
    This book is uses superb, sensitive illustrations to follow the text. I especially liked how the pictures conveyed the strong bond of affection between Phoebe and her mother.  In the story, Phoebe is never formally identified as having AD/HD. I like having such a book because it can be used to explore behaviors without limiting ourselves to a specific diagnosis.



Books Dealing with Adult AD/HD



  1.    Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perceptive by Thom Hartmann (1993)
    Mr. Hartmann has a unique view of AD/HD. He sees it as a valid cluster of personality traits that have only become problematic as our society has shifted to a more sedentary, detail-oriented lifestyle. He suggests that society should value people with AD/HD because their "action-oriented" style can be useful in the right situation or the right job. He advocates special learning environments for AD/HD children. This book raises the interesting question of how much an individual should conform to society and how much society should make efforts to accommodate individual differences
     


  2. Unlocking Potential: College and other Choice for People with LD and AD/HD, second edition ed by Taymans, West and Sullivan, Woodbine House, 2000. This book is a useful resource for older high school students and young adults dealing with the transition between adolescence and adulthood. Each chapter is readable and dispenses with long details. At the end of each chapter is a list of resources relevant to the issues addressed in the chapter. The book addresses how individuals with learning disabilities and AD/HD can deal constructively with college and work. There are chapters on legal issues, psychological testing, educational strategies and job choices. I have only one criticism of this excellent book. There should have been some medical input on the section on AD/HD. The brief section on medication was clearly not written by a psychiatrist. 

  3.  Moms with ADD: A Self-Help Manual.  by Christine A. Adamec

    I had mixed feelings about this book. Many parts of this book would be quite useful for a mother with mild AD/HD. The author does a good job of dealing with the family interactions that can occur when more than one family member has AD/HD.  

    It can be difficult for any parent to attend to the needs of a child with AD/HD. The author makes suggestions for simplifying behavioral plans and household routines. She talks about how a mother with AD/HD responds differently to her children with and without AD/HD. She addresses relationship pitfalls between an AD/HD mother and her non-AD/HD child.  

     However, I had concerns about some of the material in Parts 3 and 4. She lists certain types of abusive behavior that make one a “bad mother.” I think that she was trying to make a point that most mothers with AD/HD are good mothers. She seems to cast aside any mother who has ever engaged in abusive behavior. “Bad mother” is the last type of label such mothers need! How many AD/HD women have come close to hitting a child but stopped just in time? Those women should be thankful that someone along the line gave them enough nurturance and support so that they could stop themselves. When we see abuse, we should say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” We should take whatever action is necessary, but we should do it out of love and concern.  

    In Part 4, Getting Outside Help, there were many good points. However as a psychiatrist, I feel that her depiction of our profession is not entirely accurate. She wrote, “Most doctors, including psychiatrists, don’t like treating severely mentally ill people and prefer to treat people with less severe mental disorders.” Yes, there are "boutique" clinicians who treat only the "worried well." However, many of us treat a wide range of people. AD/HD, like many conditions, can vary in its severity. The best psychiatrist is one who has is willing and able to treat AD/HD in all its forms and degrees of severity.  

    She says that she does not feel that AD/HD is a mental illness. What then is it—a chronic viral infection? I think that we are better off being accurate—calling it what it is—and holding our heads high. If society has prejudice about mental illness, we should combat the prejudice, not hide behind euphemisms. One can be accurate while still acknowledging the positive aspects of AD/HD. 

  4.   The Hyperactive Child, Adolescent and Adult (Attention Deficit Disorder through the Life Span) by Paul Wender, MD (1987)
    This was one of the earlier books to discuss criteria for diagnosing and treating AD/HD in older adolescents and adults. The publication of this book and related articles made it easier for child psychiatrists to continue to treat adolescents who had reached adulthood and to actually diagnose AD/HD in adults. Other physicians have since published broader criteria for the diagnosis of adult AD/HD. This can be heavy reading for the lay person.  

  5.  You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? By Kelly and Ramundo (1993)This book is useful for older adolescents, their parents, and for adults with ADHD. It gives practical, concrete information on how to organize one’s workspace, and how to manage a schedule. It is easy to read selected parts individually. The humorous illustrations are a plus. This is a good book for an AD/HD adolescent to take to college.  


  6. Driven to Distraction and Answers to Distractions by Drs. Hallowell and Ratey . (1995 and 1996)
    These books present basic information about AD/HD in a user-friendly format. Answers is particularly good reading for adults with short attention spans because it presents material in short chunks. The books discuss both child and adult AD/HD issues, but the book is aimed at adults. Some adolescents could benefit from these books too.

  7. Women with Attention Deficit Disorder by Sari Solden (1995)
    This excellent book deals with the ways that AD/HD can affect many facets of a woman's life. It addresses shame, coping skills and the value of self-knowledge.

  8. A Comprehensive Guide to Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults edited by Kathleen Nadeau (1995)
    This fairly complete text is aimed primarily at professionals, but may be of interest to the sophisticated layperson who wants a more detailed discussion of AD/HD in adults. The book addresses diagnostic issues including psychological testing and the diagnostic interview. The text also addresses treatment issues.

  9. ADD & Adults: Strategies for Success from CH.A.D.D.(1997)
    This book contains articles written by authors who are prominent researchers and clinicians in the field of attention deficit disorder. The brief, readable articles cover a broad range of topics including medication, job issues, career planning, and relationship issues.  This is a well-rounded book for an adult who is wants to gain an basic understanding of the issues he or she is likely to face.


Look for other books on this topic
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Explaining a Parent’s Mental Illness to a Child

1. Please Don’t Cry, Mom by DenBoer (1994)
This is an illustrated book, written for elementary school aged children. However, its description of recurrent major depression is so good that the book would be valuable for adolescents and some adults. It describes a boy’s feelings about his mother’s depression and her resistance to treatment. Her husband sets limits, and she does accept treatment and begin to improve. The book describes the importance of family participation in the mother’s treatment and the importance of taking one’s medication regularly. Ultimately, the boy is able to gain knowledge and a sense of mastery.

2. Tell Me a Story, Paint Me the Sun by Chaplan (1991)
This is an illustrated book, appropriate for elementary school children and younger adolescents. It describes a girl whose father looses his job and becomes depressed (or starts drinking heavily) Although he does not seek treatment or improve, she is able to talk to other adults and learn that she is worthwhile. This book is useful for the child who must learn to cope with on going parental denial of a mental illness or drug problem.

Tell Me A Story, Paint Me The Sun; When A Girl Feels Ignored By Her Father
Review by Nicole, age 10

     This book tells the story of a child whose father seems to ignore her. The child feels hurt and helpless. Though the book does not say, the illustrations hint that her father is suffering from depression or alcoholism. The girl thinks that if she were more talented or more beautiful that her father would start paying more attention to her. This is not so.
     When this girl talks to her teacher and they share stories; the girl makes an amazing discovery! She finds that her teacher went through the same thing! Without consciously knowing this, she paints a sun with tears around it. Even though the sun is mostly bright and beautiful, it can sometimes cry too. The girl learns that, though her father has a problem, she can still be happy.
     This is a good book for children, ages preschool to 10, who feel ignored by their parents. I really would highly recommend this book.

3. Daddy Doesn't Have to be a Giant Anymore by J R Thomas (1996) Clarion Books
This illustrated book is told from the elementary school aged daughter's point of view. It describes her reactions to her alcoholic father's mood swings and erratic behavior. She is present when family and friends arrange a supportive confrontation to break down the father's denial and get him into residential treatment. When he returns from the treatment, he is on the road to sobriety and is able to talk to his daughter about his past behavior. (Confrontations should only be done under the supervision of a licensed professional. Parents or professionals should read this book in advance to determine whether it is appropriate for a particular child)

 

4. Sad Days, Glad Days by DeWitt Hamilton (1995) Albert Whitman and Co.
This story tells about the feelings of Amanda, an elementary school-aged girl as she experiences her mother's unpredictable episodes of recurrent depression.  The mother also clearly experiences anguish when she sometimes cannot respond to her child's needs. Her mother and father both help Amanda understand that her mother loves her and that the mother's depressive episodes are not Amanda's fault. Amanda conceptualizes her mother's moods as colors. The illustrations sensitively follow this metaphor to catch the moods and experiences of the mother and the household. Amanda and her mother learn that despite recurrent depression, the mother can still find ways to give of herself to Amanda.

Bart Speaks Out: Breaking the Silence on Suicide
by Linda E. Goldman (published by Western Psychological Services)
A family dog talks about his confusion, hurt and grief when his owner commits suicide. After each of Bart's comments, the child is invited to write, draw or insert a photograph.

I liked the fact that the book slowly works up to a discussion of the suicide itself. It does not traumatize the child by hitting the intense topic too hard or too soon. The book starts with more concrete and immediate events and feelings related to a death. Later in the book, Bart explains about suicide. Through the dog, the child is invited to discuss family and individual reactions to the suicide. Family members express concerns that they might have contributed to the suicide but are then reassured that it was not their fault. The book does not blame the individual who killed himself. However it emphasizes that there are other ways to deal with depression and despair.

 

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Learning Disabilities

1. The Don’t-give up Kid by Gehret (1990)
This illustrated book is aimed at elementary school aged students. There is an appendix in the back which contains resources and suggestions for parents. The book tells the story of a boy who is persistent and creative, but has difficulty learning to read. Eventually, his self-esteem begins to suffer.

2. The Misunderstood Child (A Guide for Children with Learning Disabilities, 2nd Edition (1992)
Dr. Silver has updated his classic 1984 book. He has particularly updated the information on ADHD. This book is aimed at parents of children and adolescents with learning disabilities. Particularly good are his sections on the psychosocial difficulties of adolescents with learning disabilities and the parent’s role in treating the learning disability..

3. The Gifted Learning Disabled Student published by CTY Publications and Resources (Date not listed, but recently published)
This is a collection of articles describing the identification and the accommodation of the student who has both areas of great intellectual strength and areas of deficit. The some of the chapters describe the approach which the Johns Hopkins CTY (Center for Talented Youth, also called IAAY) has taken to identify these students. This program also offers weekend and summer programs for gifted students from a wide geographic area.

4. Many Ways to Learn: A Young People's Guide to Learning Disabilities by J. Stern and U. Ben-Ami (Magination Press 1996)
Written for ages 8-14. This book describes types of Learning Disabilities and specific coping strategies for school and home. These strategies include the use of computers, test taking strategies, and self-esteem builders. The book is aimed at the students themselves and encouraged them to develop their own coping strategies to achieve a sense of independence and mastery.

Many Ways to Learn, by Judith Stern, M.A.,and Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D
Review by Nicole, age 10
This is a very helpful and useful book for children of all ages with mild or very serious learning disabilities. This book tells many kinds of ways to treat these problems. For that matter, it tells how to cope with things around the house and in every day life. This book guides children and adolescents with LD in several areas. These include why you have a learning disability, and how to make life outside of school more fun. You start to realize that this is no ordinary book like the ones you grab at the supermarket checkout. This book is something special; something to remember in years to come. You can use this book to help overcome your disability and to bring out your really, true talents. This book would be great for families with children and teenagers with learning disabilities.

5. Succeeding with LD: 20 True Stories about Real People with LD by J. Laven
This book contains first person accounts of 20 children, adolescents, adults and families who have succeeded in school or in their profession. They describe happy and sad experiences as well as their unique coping strategies. This would be a good book for parents and adolescents to read. Parents might also choose to read parts of it to children.

 

6. Unlocking Potential: College and other Choices for People with LD and AD/HD, second edition ed by Taymans, West and Sullivan, Woodbine House, 2000
This book is a useful resource for older high school students and young adults dealing with the transition between adolescence and adulthood. Each chapter is readable and dispenses with long details. At the end of each chapter is a list of resources relevant to the issues addressed in the chapter. The book addresses how individuals with learning disabilities and AD/HD can deal constructively with college and work. There are chapters on legal issues, psychological testing, educational strategies and job choices. I have only one criticism of this excellent book. There should have been some medical input on the section on AD/HD.  

8. Learning a Living: A guide to Planning Your Career and Finding a Job for People with Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia, by Dale Brown, Woodbine House, 2000
This book provides high school students and adults with a variety of strategies to help them explore career options, find a job and keep it. It encourages flexible, positive thinking about job options.  The book is formatted in a way that makes it accessible to her intended audience. The print is large, the and the goals of each section are clearly stated. While she gives excellent information on asking for accommodations, she does not lose sight of the individuals need for self-knowledge and responsibility.
 

9. Extraordinary People with Disabilities by Kent and Quinlan (Grolier Publishing 1996)
This excellent book tells the stories of over 50 outstanding individuals who overcame their disabilities. It is written so that one can choose to read short segments. However, when I picked it up, I felt energized and needed to read it cover-to-cover.  The people profiled are from a variety of racial and economic backgrounds. Many of these individuals had physical disabilities but some of the stories profile people with learning or emotional disabilities. Through these stories, the book takes an activist stance. It tells of many who not only overcame their own disabilities, but went on to help other disabled people.  The stories make it easier to understand the points of view of disability rights activists. The final chapter gives an overview of  important new technological aids for the disabled. It explains why some of these aids are controversial among the disabled community. A glossary gives succinct definitions of many of the terms used in the book. An appendix at the back of the book list many of the major organizations that advocate for individuals with physical and mental disabilities. There is also a section listing related books and journals. I would recommend this book to high school students and adults. 

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Explaining Psychiatric Medication to Children

1. Otto Learns About His Medicine by Galvin (1988)
This illustrated book talks about a young car who visits a special engine mechanic and receives an engine treatment to help him run at the right speed. The author uses this metaphor to explain the nature of ADHD, the process of getting a psychiatric evaluation and good questions to ask about medication. The book is aimed at some elementary school children and some pre-schoolers.

2. Please Don’t Cry, Mom by DenBoer (1994)
This is an illustrated book, written for elementary school aged children. However, its description of recurrent major depression is so good that the book would be valuable for adolescents and some adults. It describes a boy’s feelings about his mother’s depression and her resistance to treatment. Her husband sets limits, and she does accept treatment and begin to improve. The book describes the importance of family participation in the mother’s treatment and the importance of taking one’s medication regularly. Ultimately, the boy is able to gain knowledge and a sense of mastery.

Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medication for Kids 
by Timothy E. Wilens, 1998.
When parents want to know more about medications for their child's disorder, I often refer them to this book.
The book is organized by type of disorder (such as AD/HD, depression or anxiety) and by type of medication. This is good because some people want to know about a specific class of medications, while others want an overview of medication strategies for a particular disorder.  particularly liked his suggestions on communication between parent and psychiatrist. This should help parents formulate their questions and feel comfortable asking them. This book is also an excellent overview for medical residents and non-medical mental health professionals.

 

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Adoption

Many good books have been written on this topic.

1. The Day We Met You by Koehler (1990)
A beautiful, illustrated book for parents to read to a very young child. It would also be a nice gift for new adoptive parents.

2. Adoption Stories for Young Children by R. Hicks (1995 WordSlinger Press)
This book describes several types of adoption, including an open adoption. The book is illustrated with photographs and is told from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who meets a number of people who were adopted.

3. We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo! by L W Girard (1989)
This illustrated story deals with international and inter-racial adoption. It is an affirming book aimed at elementary school children.

4. Adoption is for Always by Linda Girard (1986)
This illustrated book, published 12 years ago, is something of a classic. Celia talks to her parents and teacher about her feelings about being adopted. She first comes to understand that adoption is permanent and that her adoptive parents are her "real" parents and will never send her back. She then wonders about her birthparents and why they gave her up. Her teacher tells her how much she loves her own child and how hard it would be to give a child up for adoption. She tells Celia that her birthmother must have loved her very much in order to send her to parents who could make a home for her.

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Divorce

  1. The Boys and Girls Book about Divorce by Richard Gardner, MD (1970)
    This is a classic book written to be read by older elementary school aged children. There are some illustrations. Because of the time it was written, it is dated in some places. If a parent reads it with a child, he or she can discuss how situations may sometimes differ in the late 90s.

  2. How it Feels When Parents Divorce. by Jill Krementz (1996)
    Children and adolescents with different divorce experiences tell their stories.

  3. When We Married Gary
    Illustrated, aimed at elementary school aged children. This book focuses on the children's feelings about their mother's remarriage. Although they are initially apprehensive about the addition to their family, they come to love their new step-father as he becomes integrated into their family. (The biological father is not involved with the family)

  4. My Dad is Getting Married Again by Lisa Schab (1996)
    I like the interactive decision-making books. However, I felt that this book is considerable weaker than the "Decision is Yours" series. In this book, most of the decisions seem to end up with a similar happy ending. The daughter always seems to quickly come to accept her father's remarriage. I think that this sort of book works better if there are some options of unhappy endings. Children may benefit from trying out several different scenarios and different types of endings. This book does not give the child this option. I found myself getting frustrated when each time I chose a different path, I ended up in the same type of place.

  5. Parent vs. Parent: How You and Your Child Can Survive the Custody Battle by Stephen Herman, M.D. (1990)
    Dr. Herman discusses the process of a custody battle and gives advice on how to deal with this difficult situation while doing one’s best to look out for the best interests of one’s child. He covers many topics including dealing with expert witnesses, your day in court, joint custody, visitation, and handling one’s feelings after losing a custody battle. Dr. Herman clearly cares for the well-being of the family members and tries to be complete and even-handed. 

  6. Healing Hearts: Helping Children and Adults Recover After Divorce by E. Hickey, MSW. and E. Dalton, J.D. (1994)
    This book written by a lawyer and a social worker who have themselves experienced divorce, cover topics relevant to the healing processes of both the parent and the child. It discusses how a parent, despite her own pain and anger, can listen to her children. It is fairly easy for adults to read and can be read in selected chunks. 

  7. Growing Up With Divorce: Helping Your Child Avoid Immediate and Later Emotional Problems by Neil Kalter (1990)
    The author discusses how children at different developmental levels experience divorce. After discussing the child’s experience, he looks at ways to minimize emotional damage in children at that developmental level. The book is fairly long and dense for the casual reader, but one can selectively read chapters relevant to the ages of one’s children.

  8. The Spider and the Bee by Shen (2002) 
    A book to help the very young child understand divorce. On first glance, this looks like another cute picture book for preschoolers. If I had randomly run across it on some children’s bookshelf, I might not have even opened it. That would have been my loss. There is a simple, but compelling drawing with a sentence of text on the facing page. A spider and a bee fall in love and marry. For the first year, they get along well. As time goes on, their inborn differences become problematic. The bee tries to please the spider with things that might please another bee. They disagree about where they should live. Sadly, they realize that they must live apart. After their sad parting, each is able to live happily in his or her own natural setting. Many books about separation and divorce may be too complex or threatening for the preschool child. This book goes right to the heart of the matter in a way that a young child can understand. Sometimes it is no one’s fault. Two people may simply be incompatible and may need to build separate lives.

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Explaining Psychotherapy to a Child or Adolescent

1.The Secret Worry by Elise Benedict
This book is out of print but if you can find it, you will read one of the best illustrated books explaining play therapy so that a young child will understand.

2. Ignatius Finds Help (A Story about Psychotherapy for Children) by Galvin (1987)
This illustrated book is a good introduction for young children to help them understand why they are going to see a child psychiatrist and what they might expect. It describes a bear cub who has behavioral difficulties while his bear family is experiencing a period of stress. Dr. Pelican uses a combination of individual play therapy and some family therapy to help Ignatius and his parents resolve their difficulties.

Ignatius Finds Help by Matthew Galvin: 
Review by Nicole, age 10

The book Ignatius Finds Help by Matthew Galvin, MD, and illustrated by Sandra Ferraro is a great story for children ages three to seven. This book tells the story of a young bear who is too "hugnatious" (hugs other bears too much), and goes to see a psychiatrist named Dr. Pelican. Ignatius has some family problems too. This is also a good book for children who have had one or both parents leave, or have had a divorce. This may help many children come to terms with a divorce, or a problem like ADHD or depression. I would recommend psychiatrists to have this book handy in their office for children to read. Parents should have this book too, just in case something comes up. This is a really wonderful book.

3. Robbie Really Transforms by Galvin and Ferraro
This illustrated book tells about a child in foster care who is obsessed by images of violence. He receives help and guidance from his social services worker, his foster parents and other professionals. This book could be a useful tool to help children in foster care or other out-of-home placements to begin to discuss their feelings and to accept help.

4. My Doctor Does Hypnosis by Gary Elkins, PhD, illustrated by Jeffrey Trompeter (1997)
This illustrate book explains the process of hypnosis to elementary school-aged children. It explains the fear and misconceptions that a child might have about hypnosis. It discusses the ways that a child might use hypnosis to help himself with physical pain and emotional distress. The illustrations are by a 15-year-old who used hypnotherapy to deal with the effects of a chronic disease. The illustrator does a good job of showing hypnotic imagery from a child's perspective.

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Sibling Issues

1. My Brother’s a World Class Pain: A Sibling’s Guide to ADHD/Hyperactivity by Gordon (1992)
This would be a much better book if the author would change the title. While the title may accurately reflect the feelings of some siblings, the book might get left around and generate some hurt feelings. Because of this, I do not keep it in my waiting room. Once past the title, the book has wonderful, amusing illustrations and the text keeps elementary school siblings interested. The sister eventually does come to appreciate her brother, but kids keep coming back to that title…

2. I’m Somebody Too by Gehret (1992)
Those who have read Eagle Eyes by the same author will recognize Emily, Ben’s older sister. This book, aimed at an older elementary school or middle school child, deals with Emily’s feeling that her parents are ignoring her and expecting her to always be perfect so that they can deal with Ben. Emily and the family work with Ben’s therapist to help them see that Emily has her own needs. This book may also be useful for other girls who feel that their families expect them to be too perfect.

3. When Molly Was in the Hospital
This sensitive book describes the feelings of an older sibling and a family when a young child is hospitalized for a severe medical problem.  It helps normalize the feelings that a sibling might have, and indicates that adults are available for support. The black and white drawings do a good job of showing emotion yet conveying warmth.

When Molly was in the Hospital by Debbie Duncan (Review by Nicole, age 10)

The book "When Molly was in the Hospital" by Debbie Duncan, and illustrated by Nina Ollikainen, MD is a wonderful book for young children who are siblings of children in the hospital. This book is specifically aimed at children who are about four to eight years old. I have had a younger brother who was in the hospital recently, and this book is just the sort of book to help a sibling get through the pain. This book tells the story of a young girl, whose baby sister is admitted into a hospital. The baby sister needs surgery, and her sister is very unhappy and goes through a phase where she thinks that she did it to her little sister. This is a phase most young children go through when a sibling needs medical attention.
     This book portrays before and after Molly, the baby sister, gets sick. At both the beginning and the end, Molly is feeling well, and she is having a great time with her older sister. This was a great book.
     One interesting thing about the book is that the author says that she has gone through a similar situation with her one year old child Molly.
     The illustrator is a doctor like my mother. After Dr. Ollikainen had trained to be a doctor for a very long period of time,  she changed her mind and now spends most of her time taking care of her children and also writing and illustrating children’s books.
    

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Substance Abuse

1. Daddy Doesn't Have to be a Giant Anymore by J R Thomas (1996) Clarion Books
This illustrated book is told from the elementary school aged daughter's point of view. It describes her reactions to her alcoholic father's mood swings and erratic behavior. She is present when family and friends arrange a supportive confrontation to break down the father's denial and get him into residential treatment. When he returns from the treatment, he is on the road to sobriety and is able to talk to his daughter about his past behavior. (Confrontations should only be done under the supervision of a licensed professional. Parents or professionals should read this book in advance to determine whether it is appropriate for a particular child)

2. Under Whose Influence? by J Laik (1994, Parenting Press)
This book is part of a series "The Decision is Yours" It uses an interactive approach to help children and adolescents think about how to deal with drinking and peer pressure. There are several other interactive books from the same publisher.  The others in the series would appeal to a slightly younger audience.

Under Whose Influence"?
Review by Nicole, age 10
This book is very appropriate for pre-teens or adolescents. It can help a child understand how important choices can be. This book lets you choose the consequences of your own actions. When you and your friends, Nicole and Katherine, are at Nicole's house, Nicole suggests drinking some whiskey and vodka from her mother's cupboard. Katherine goes along with it, but you must make a lot of choices. You must choose whether or not to drink. If you do decide to drink, how much will you drink? It is your choice whether to call your mother, to drink lots and lots get drunk and break Nicole's mother's vase and statue, or to allow your friend to get so drunk that she nearly dies. Even some of the good choices have tricky outcomes, like in the real world. It is all up to you as the story unfurls, but you must make a choice: to drink or not to drink; that is the question.

3. Smoking Stinks by Kim Gosselin (1998) JayJo Books
This illustrated book should be interesting and accessible to elementary school and middle school-aged children and adolescents. It tells about smoking from the points of view of a girl and her grandfather. The information from the grandfather is particularly compelling. He explains to his granddaughter that he still smokes because he is addicted and has tried many times to stop. He expresses anger that he is addicted. and uses this to explain why his granddaughter should never start. The granddaughter observes people smoking and chewing tobacco. Her observations and the illustrations convey the "yuckiness" of tobacco.
Between the girl's observations and the grandfather's discussion, children are graphically shown both the short and long term effects of smoking. I highly recommend this book.

4. Getting Your Children Sober: A No Fault Guide For Parents and Professionals by Toby Rice Drews (1987)
The author discusses how parents, with the help of school personnel and clinical professionals, can intervene to help their children become motivated to free themselves from drugs and alcohol. She discusses personal responsibility as well as biological tendencies to drug abuse.

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Death and Bereavement

1. Dusty was My Friend by Clardy (1984)
This illustrated book aimed at elementary school children, tells the story of a boy whose friend is killed in an accident. The boy learns about the permanence of death and eventually comes to terms with the loss.

Dusty Was My Friend: Coming to Terms With Loss
Review by Nicole, age 10

     This book tells the heart-rending tale of eight-year-old Benjamin who is friends with 10-year-old Dusty. When Dusty dies in a car crash, Benjamin feels terrible. With moral support from his mother and classmates, Benjamin gets over it gradually. He still thinks about Dusty, and writes letters to him, but Benjamin doesn’t feel upset or sorrowful when he thinks about it.

     This was one of my favorite books when I was younger, and it would be appropriate for children nine and under who have lost friends or family members. The author, Andrea Fleck Clardy, is very descriptive, but not enough to make it boring. She tells a simple tale, with a sophisticated plot. This is a wonderful book, and it is still a favorite of mine.

2. When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers
Many children have experienced the death of a pet. This can be their first experience with grief and can help shape how they deal with later experiences with loss. This illustrated book deals with a child's feelings about the loss of a beloved pet. This book can also be used to initiate a conversation about the death of a relative in a less threatening way.

When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers (Review by Nicole, age 10)

The book When a Pet Dies by Fred (Mr.) Rogers is a good book for all young children who are going through the death of a pet that they have loved. This book has many colorful pictures that show how children cope with a pet’s death, and how to feel better. It helps explain what has happened in a gentle and easy to understand way. Fred Rogers explains what death is in a way that a very young child could understand. The parent may want to read the book as well to help explain it to the child. This is a wonderful book and I hope you enjoy it.

3. The Saddest Time by Norma Simon (1986)
This book, aimed at elementary school aged children tells three separate stories about children's feelings about a death. The first tells how a boy deals with the death of his uncle. The second, how students deal with the sudden death of a classmate. The third tells of a girl who is at the bedside with her family when her grandmother dies. Each one deals with the sad feelings surrounding death, but also celebrates the life of the deceased individual. Each story ends with how the children cope and come to terms with loss. Before and after each story are poems that connect death with the celebration of life. These explain that endings and beginnings are all connected. I was particularly impressed with the sensitive way that the author deals with a child's sadness and gently shows ways of coping. She notes that the sadness may never completely go away, but that eventually it is outweighed by understanding and new forms of mastery.

4. Grandad’s  Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood, 1999 Candlewick Press    A boy spends time with his grandfather walking in the out of doors. As he grows, he asks his grandfather about the nature of prayer. The grandfather explains prayer in terms of  the way nature reaches upward. Later he talks to his grandson about the prayer of humans, and how prayers are answered. When the boy becomes an adolescent, his grandfather dies and no amount of prayer will bring him back to life. For a time, the adolescent abandons prayer. Eventually he again experiences prayerfulness out in nature. Families of different religious and humanistic backgrounds can use this story to explain man’s experience of the infinite. The book and its illustrations deal sensitively with nature, love and death. This illustrated book is appropriate for children and adolescents.

 5. Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, 1984 Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books  This picture book helps young children deal with the death and memories of an aged friend or relative. Badger, a beloved elderly friend of the woodland creatures, is aware that he will soon die. He does not fear death, but has concerns for those he will leave behind. His friends gather and remember how he taught them valuable lessons. They celebrate his life by teaching these lessons to younger creatures.

 

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

1. Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior: A Four-Step Self-Treatment Method to Change Your Brain Chemistry
by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Beverly Beyette, 1997

This book, written by a psychiatrist experienced in treatment and research on OCD, presents a fairly simple but effective approach to dealing with troubling symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He demystifies the nature and symptoms of the disorder and explains the interaction of the biological and behavioral elements of OCD. His program focuses on empowering the individual with OCD so that he or she can take an active role in decreasing or eliminating obsessions and compulsions. I often recommend this book to adults and adolescents who have OCD. When a person with OCD is engaged in cognitive-behavioral therapy, treatment is more successful if the individual feels empowered and does "homework" outside of the therapy session. This book reinforces this process.

It is also available in abridged form as an audiocassette. I find that many individuals who do not have the time or inclination to read an entire book can benefit from the tape.


2. Blink, Blink, Clop, Clop: Why Do We Do Things We Can't Stop?
By Moritz and Jablonsky, (1998)
A picture book for young children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This book would be excellent for an adult to read to or with a child or younger adolescent.  It tells of farm animals tormented by "O.C. Flea" who urges them to think or do repetitive things. The animals (and in one case an animal's mother) learn to change their behavior so that they can banish "O.C. Flea." A pig makes up a sign to help himself and the other animals guard against the return of "O.C. Flea." Near the end of the story, the owl explains how O.C. D. works and how it is treated. Some of the vocabulary and concepts are fairly advanced, so an adult should read this with the child to make sure that he or she understands. Although the book is aimed at children, it might be useful for an OCD adult with a sense of humor.

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Depression

1. Kid Power Tactics for Dealing with Depression
By Nicholas & Susan Dubuqe (1996)
This is a unique and powerful book for adolescents and older elementary school aged students. It was written by an eleven year old boy who has suffered from major depression and ADHD. It is co-authored by his mother. (She has written a companion book for parents of depressed children)
The first part of the book explains, from a kid's point of view, how it feels to be depressed. He talks about "turtle" (lethargic) depression and "dragon" (irritable) depression. He briefly lists possible causes of depression, including both biological and interpersonal causes.
The bulk of the book discusses pragmatic tactics that a child or adolescent might take to help himself or herself feel better. He includes a discussion of his experiences with medication and therapy. The tactics pages contain blank lines so that the book can be used as a workbook.
Finally, he includes his address and encourages other depressed kids to write to him.
This book contains many of the practical things that I like to suggest to my depressed child and adolescent patients. However, it is often so much more effective when they hear it from another kid who has been there himself.

2. A Parent's Survival Guide to Childhood Depression
By Susan Dubuqe (1996)
This book is the companion volume to Kid Power: Tactics for Dealing with Depression. Ms. Dubuqe is the mother of a boy who has experienced major depression and ADHD. She discusses her long experience with different clinicians and different approaches. However, the bulk of the book deals with pragmatic information on many aspects of depression. Although she is not herself a mental health clinician, she has clearly done a lot of reading and has consulted a number of experts. Her discussion on the diagnosis and treatment of depression is straightforward and is not particularly dogmatic. While I did not completely agree with everything in the book, I found it an excellent accessible source of information for parents. It is easy and quick to read, but covers a lot of territory. I would recommend this book for parents struggling to deal with a depressed child or adolescent.


3. When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Bev Cobain (Free Spirit Press, 1998)
The author, a cousin of singer Curt Cobain, wrote this book to help make sense of her cousin's suicide. It is readable, knowledgeable and thorough. It helps adolescents understand what they might be feeling when they are depressed and discusses how to interrupt the downward spiral and find a way out. It covers both social and biological aspects of depression. It talks about ways to reach out and find resources for help.


4. The Power to Prevent Suicide: A Guide for Teens Helping Teens
By Nelson and Galas (Free Spirit Press 1994)
This book helps teens recognize the signs of depression and suicidal thoughts in their peers, and suggests ways to help. It also talks about taking care of oneself after a friend has committed suicide. It does discuss the importance of going to a responsible adult if a friend is really in trouble.

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Autism, PDD and Asperger's

1. Russell is Extra Special by C A Amenta, MD (1992, Magination Press)
This book is illustrated with black and white photos, showing a family with an autistic child. It describes a boy affected by autism and uses this as a jumping off point to describe some other aspects of autism. The family clearly cares for their autistic son and his siblings.

2. Andy and his Yellow Frisbee by Thompson (Woodbine Press, 1996)
This illustrated book is aimed at elementary school aged children. It describes a playground situation in which Andy, an autistic boy, his sister and a new student interact. The author draws some parallels between Andy's autistic self absorption and the new girl's anxiety about a new school. Andy's older sister observes the new girl trying to interact with Andy. (When a child reads this book, an adult should be available to discuss the points it illustrates.

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Alzheimer's Disease

1. The Green-Field Library of the Alzheimer's Association has a number of well-organized reading lists. Their list for children and adolescents includes sensitive picture books for elementary-school aged children and informative books and pamphlets for adolescents. There is also a list of videos appropriate for children and adolescents. The other Alzheimer's-related reading lists are also quite good.

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Interactive Decision-Making Books

     Parenting Press publishes "The Decision is Yours" series of books. Each book deals with common dilemmas faced by elementary or middle school students. At the end of each page, the reader is asked to make an ethical choice. Based on the choice, the story takes a different branching path. Positive, negative and intermediate outcomes are available. The potential outcomes are not sugar-coated. Sometimes even the "right" choice may not have an entirely happy result. 
     First Day Blues deals with different ways of making friends in a new school.  Bully on the Bus deals with different options of dealing with intimidation.  Making the Grade deals with setting priorities and dealing with the temptation to cheat in school. Finders, Keepers discusses how one deals with finding a wallet and with peer pressure to steal. Under Whose Influence?, a book for slightly older students deals with a variety of different choices related to teen drinking.
     The first four books would be appropriate for elementary school aged children and possibly some middle school students. A bright seven-year-old found them enjoyable, but benefited from some adult discussion.  Under Whose Influence? would be more appropriate for fifth grade (with supervision and discussion) and up.

1. Under Whose Influence"? (Decision is Yours Series)
Review by Nicole, age 10
This book is very appropriate for pre-teens or adolescents. It can help a child understand how important choices can be. This book lets you choose the consequences of your own actions. When you and your friends, Nicole and Katherine, are at Nicole's house, Nicole suggests drinking some whiskey and vodka from her mother's cupboard. Katherine goes along with it, but you must make a lot of choices. You must choose whether or not to drink. If you do decide to drink, how much will you drink? It is your choice whether to call your mother, to drink lots and lots get drunk and break Nicole's mother's vase and statue, or to allow your friend to get so drunk that she nearly dies. Even some of the good choices have tricky outcomes, like in the real world. It is all up to you as the story unfurls, but you must make a choice: to drink or not to drink; that is the question.

 

2. Bully on the Bus (Decision is Yours Series) By Carl W. Bosch
Review by Nicole, age 10

Bully on the Bus by Carl W. Bosch is about you, who are getting pestered by a bully named Nick Jones. He is about to pulverize you at the beginning of the story. You can choose to do many different things. Depending on what you choose, the story can end up with you never getting bothered by him again, or your mother getting a bit angry because you fought Nick.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"You wait at the bus stop and chew on he end of your glove. A few flakes of snow begin to fall lightly from the gray sky. You are hoping for a big snow storm and a day off from school, but you're out of luck.

Nick Jones is waiting for you on the bus. He is the biggest, meanest kid in the fifth grade. You had an argument with him last week. You like one pro football team and Nick likes another. You gave a lot of good reasons why you think your team is better, but Nick called you a jerk. Now he wants to settle the argument with a fight. He picks on you every he sees you. He said he was going to punch your face in today.

You don't like to fight, but you don't want the other kids to think you're a coward either. You're not sure what to do.

Just then, Bus # 42 comes around the corner. It stops and the door swings open. You wait for a minute and grab your book bag. Mrs. Geller, the bus driver, calls out to you.

"Well, Jack, are you going to school today or not?"

If you decide to get on the bus, turn to page 3.

If you decide not to get on the bus, turn to page 14."

     When a child has been bullied by someone, they keep going over the event and thinking about the different ways that they could have done it "better". This book lets the child relive it constructively. It can be somewhat "sugar-coated", because no matter what there is a fairly good ending. This may help a child some, but every situation doesn't turn out perfect like it may seem in this book. This may be a good book for some children as a novel, but not really as a helping-out device after an incident.

3. Finders, Keepers; (Decision is Yours Series)
By Elizabeth Crary
Report by Nicole age ten

     Finders, Keepers by Elizabeth Crary is a book about you and Jerry, your friend. You find a wallet with some money in it. Jerry wants to buy an ice cream cone, but you need to choose what to do. If you choose the right choices you will end up getting a dollar for you and a dollar for Jerry, so you end up being able to buy an ice cream cone after all. If you choose the wrong choices, you will end up having to pay Mr. French a dollar because you took one dollar from the wallet.

     This book shows that it doesn't pay off to steal money from someone else. When your child has found someone else's money or possession, this will be a helpful lesson to you and your child. You really should add this book to your collection soon.

4. My Dad is Getting Married Again by Lisa Schab (1966)
I like the interactive decision-making books. However, I felt that this book is considerable weaker than the "Decision is Yours" series. In this book, most of the decisions seem to end up with a similar happy ending. The daughter always seems to quickly come to accept her father's remarriage. I think that this sort of book works better if there are some options of unhappy endings. Children may benefit from trying out several different scenarios and different types of endings. This book does not give the child this option. I found myself getting frustrated when each time I chose a different path, I ended up in the same type of place.

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Social Skills

  1. How Rude! The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out by Alex Packer, PhD Free Spirit Publishing 1997
    This is actually an etiquette manual for adolescents. In a humorous tone, it justifies proper behavior. It interweaves problem solving and communication skills. It explains the "why" of certain social conventions. It encourages positive respectful assertiveness and shows how this approach can ultimately get the adolescent more of what he or she wants
  2. How Rude! By A. Packer, 1997 (Review by Nicole, age 10)

    I think that How Rude!, written by Parker, is a very good book. It tells adolescents how to act in many different situations. These include: Movies, Funerals, On the Internet, On the Telephone, What Should Be In Letters For All Occasions, and The 40 Most Annoying Things Grown-ups Say To Their Children And Vice-Versa. It has all sorts of neat pictures and true stories about things that are what the author is trying to teach kids not to do. This may help some children and adolescence to understand what the author is talking about. But for some children and adolescence this may distract them.

    I personally thought that this book was one of the best books I ever have read. It can teach kids how they can make their parents trust them enough to actually touch a car. This book is a useful guide for almost any day of the year. You also learn how to use the Internet safely and wisely.

    This book also has some "Chapter Quizzes" at the end of each chapter, which use all of the information learned during that chapter. The author also put in funny stories once in a while just to keep teenagers awake while reading the book. There are the "Ten Commandments of Phone Courtesy" in a chapter about talking on the phone (What Else?).

    I really liked how each chapter had a part where kids would present a problem to the author and he would go into a discussion of what to do in that situation, or similar ones. One adolescent said," I am adopted. I don’t look at all like my parents so people who see me ask me about where I come from. Sometimes even waiters ask questions like ‘Why didn’t your parents want you?’ or ‘Why were you adopted?’. It is really annoying, what can I do?". The author replied "You could say to the person ‘Isn’t it funny to question why some parents do what they do. Like for instance, were YOU on purpose, or were you an accident?’. Then the person will probably catch the hint not to ask you that in the future.". This is another instance of the author’s genius in witty, comical answers to problems that really do solve the problems.

    Another example is when an adolescent wrote "My parents make me give them ten cents every time I swear. Is this fair of them?". The author wrote back "Certainly not. Your parents deserve at least twenty five cents.".

    He makes a good answer to the problem, but he uses comical and witty answers. This makes the readers of the book appreciate the author as someone who actually understands them, unlike most adults. All in all I think that there is nothing that the author should change. I really liked this book, and I hope that you will enjoy it too.

  3. On My Own: Helping Kids Help Themselves by Navarra (1993)
    This book, aimed at older elementary and middle school aged children, is best read by parent and child together. It gives children advice about how to handle large and small emergencies when the child is alone. The advice is useful even for children who are not left at home alone.

  4. Choosing is Confusing by Wirths and Bowman-Kruhm (1994)
    This book is most appropriate for middle or high school students. It is more theoretical than On My Own. The book asks the questions, what is a choice? And what are the implications of my choices? This book could be read individually by a student, used as part of a small discussion group or read together by parent and adolescent.

  5. The Safe Zone by D. Chaiet and F. Russell (1998)
    This excellent book could either be used as a vehicle for parent-child discussion, or as a part of a school curriculum. It would be good for older elementary school and for middle school students. It covers a wide variety of safety and personal boundary issues. In this regard, it is superior to many books on personal safety. It presents stories of children and adolescents who are each faced with a dilemma which might put them in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation. It then discusses the options and the possible outcomes.

  6. Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In: Decipher the Hidden Dimensions of Social Rejection by Drs. Nowicki and Duke (1992)
    This book discusses the non-verbal messages unconsciously sent out by some children. Using pictures and concrete descriptions, it describes how one can communicate positive and negative messages with posture, distance and gaze. It provides parents with techniques to help their socially awkward children learn to send and receive improved non-verbal communication.

  7. Why is Everybody Always Picking on Me? A Guide to Handling Bullies by Dr. T. Webster-Doyle (1991)
    This book is aimed at children and younger adolescents who feel victimized by bullies. However, it is also aimed at individuals who themselves are bullies. The author provides stories and practical group exercises to help vulnerable children learn to avoid victimization, and to break the cycle by not victimizing others. This book could be used as a small group exercise for elementary school children or for a slightly older individual reader. A parent could also read this to a child. 

  8. Your Defiant Child: 8 Steps to Better Behavior by Russell Barkley and Christine Benton (1998)
    This book, co-authored by well-known child psychologist Russell Barkley, discusses pragmatic disciplinary techniques to help deal with oppositional, impulsive behavior. He also helps parents and teachers understand the reasons for such behavior.

  9. Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help Your Child Find, Make and Keep Friends by Fred Frankel (1996)
    This book gives specific step-by-step instructions on how parents can help their children approach social situations. Much of it is aimed at families with children who, because of impulsivity or shyness, have difficulty making and keeping friends. This book is aimed at parents of elementary school-aged children.

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Other Books for Children and Parents

1. Children’s Psychological Testing: A Guide for Non-Psychologists by Wodrich (1984)
Because of the publication date, some of the tests have been changed or updated. Still, this may be a good book for mental health professionals and parents to read to help them understand the range of tests available. It should help them formulate questions for the psychologist before and after the child is tested.

2. How to Mom by Boswell, Barrett and Burg (1995)
This book is an illustrated humorous attempt to teach mothers some basic concrete skills which are considered to be part of a mother’s role. These include short chapters on "How to plait a braid" "How to write a thank-you note" "How to pack a lunch box" The book is actually better than I’ve made it sound. Some of these tips can come in handy at the right time. There is a companion volume How to Dad

3. How Rude! The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out by Alex Packer, PhD Free Spirit Publishing 1997
This is actually an etiquette manual for adolescents. In a humorous tone, it justifies proper behavior. It interweaves problem solving and communication skills. It explains the "why" of certain social conventions. It encourages positive respectful assertiveness and shows how this approach can ultimately get the adolescent more of what he or she wants.

How Rude! By A. Packer, 1997 (Review by Nicole, age 10)

I think that How Rude!, written by Parker, is a very good book. It tells adolescents how to act in many different situations. These include: Movies, Funerals, On the Internet, On the Telephone, What Should Be In Letters For All Occasions, and The 40 Most Annoying Things Grown-ups Say To Their Children And Vice-Versa. It has all sorts of neat pictures and true stories about things that are what the author is trying to teach kids not to do. This may help some children and adolescence to understand what the author is talking about. But for some children and adolescence this may distract them.

I personally thought that this book was one of the best books I ever have read. It can teach kids how they can make their parents trust them enough to actually touch a car. This book is a useful guide for almost any day of the year. You also learn how to use the Internet safely and wisely.

This book also has some "Chapter Quizzes" at the end of each chapter, which use all of the information learned during that chapter. The author also put in funny stories once in a while just to keep teenagers awake while reading the book. There are the "Ten Commandments of Phone Courtesy" in a chapter about talking on the phone (What Else?).

I really liked how each chapter had a part where kids would present a problem to the author and he would go into a discussion of what to do in that situation, or similar ones. One adolescent said," I am adopted. I don’t look at all like my parents so people who see me ask me about where I come from. Sometimes even waiters ask questions like ‘Why didn’t your parents want you?’ or ‘Why were you adopted?’. It is really annoying, what can I do?". The author replied "You could say to the person ‘Isn’t it funny to question why some parents do what they do. Like for instance, were YOU on purpose, or were you an accident?’. Then the person will probably catch the hint not to ask you that in the future.". This is another instance of the author’s genius in witty, comical answers to problems that really do solve the problems.

Another example is when an adolescent wrote "My parents make me give them ten cents every time I swear. Is this fair of them?". The author wrote back "Certainly not. Your parents deserve at least twenty five cents.".

He makes a good answer to the problem, but he uses comical and witty answers. This makes the readers of the book appreciate the author as someone who actually understands them, unlike most adults. All in all I think that there is nothing that the author should change. I really liked this book, and I hope that you will enjoy it too.

4. On My Own: Helping Kids Help Themselves by Navarra (1993)
This book, aimed at older elementary and middle school aged children, is best read by parent and child together. It gives children advice about how to handle large and small emergencies when the child is alone. The advice is useful even for children who are not left at home alone.

5. Choosing is Confusing by Wirths and Bowman-Kruhm (1994)
This book is most appropriate for middle or high school students. It is more theoretical than On My Own. The book asks the questions, what is a choice? And what are the implications of my choices? This book could be read individually by a student, used as part of a small discussion group or read together by parent and adolescent.

6. No Time for Me by Barrett (1979)
Illustrated book aimed at elementary school children. A boy feels neglected and the family experiences stress when the mother returns to work. The boy is able to express his anger and hurt. The family acknowledges the stress and resolves to set aside time for family activities. The role of the grandparents is important.

No Time for Me by John Barrett  Review by Nicole, age 10.

This was a delightful children’s book, which I think should win some award. I would award it "The-Best-Book About-An-Unlisted-Disorder of the Year Award".
     No Time For Me by John M. Barrett, is a great book for a parent to read and discuss with his/her children. This book explains the common (yet mostly un-dealt with) "disease" of Neglect-itis. This is a common feeling for most children of busy professionals. Since all people may need to re-arrange dates sometime, the parents may have to go somewhere un-expectedly.
     This un-expected turn of events may mean canceling an event that they are going to with their children. Doing this frequently with the flow of business may cause children to feel neglected.
     If this is so, then this book is the exactly fitted key to that lock. The book, unfortunately, since it is a storybook, has only one solution to the problem. This does not really matter though, since it gives plenty other ideas on solving conflicts like these when they get out of hand.

7. Promise Not To Tell by Polese (1985)
Illustrated, aimed at upper elementary school age and beyond. This is the story of a girl who begins to receive special attention from a riding instructor. When he attempts sexual contact, she escapes but he pressures her not to tell. When she eventually does tell, she receives support from her family. This book is best read by both parent and child. Then it can be used as a springboard for discussion.

8. Into the Great Forest: A Story for Children Away from Parents for the First Time by Marcus and Marcus (1992)
This illustrated children’s book uses the metaphor of a prince on a quest to deal with separation anxiety. The prince achieves a sense of mastery and discovers that the forest is not as threatening as he had expected.

9. Robbie Really Transforms by Galvin and Ferraro
This illustrated book tells about a child in foster care who is obsessed by images of violence. He receives help and guidance from his social services worker, his foster parents and other professionals. This book could be a useful tool to help children in foster care or other out-of-home placements to begin to discuss their feelings and to accept help.

10. The Safe Zone by D. Chaiet and F. Russell (1998)
This excellent book could either be used as a vehicle for parent-child discussion, or as a part of a school curriculum. It would be good for older elementary school and for middle school students. It covers a wide variety of safety and personal boundary issues. In this regard, it is superior to many books on personal safety. It presents stories of children and adolescents who are each faced with a dilemma which might put them in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation. It then discusses the options and the possible outcomes.

11. The Pop-up Book of Phobias by Gary Greenberg
For adolescents and adults who find that humor helps them step back and laugh at their anxiety, phobia or obsessive ness. This book consists of paper pop-up depictions of phobias including fear of dentists, fear of heights and fear of snakes. Not for young children or those who are especially sensitive.

12. Extraordinary People with Disabilities by Kent and Quinlan (Grolier Publishing 1996)
This excellent book tells the stories of over 50 outstanding individuals who overcame their disabilities. It is written so that one can choose to read short segments. However, when I picked it up, I felt energized and needed to read it cover-to-cover.  The people profiled are from a variety of racial and economic backgrounds. Many of these individuals had physical disabilities but some of the stories profile people with learning or emotional disabilities. Through these stories, the book takes an activist stance. It tells of many who not only overcame their own disabilities, but went on to help other disabled people.  The stories make it easier to understand the points of view of disability rights activists. The final chapter gives an overview of  important new technological aids for the disabled. It explains why some of these aids are controversial among the disabled community. A glossary gives succinct definitions of many of the terms used in the book. An appendix at the back of the book list many of the major organizations that advocate for individuals with physical and mental disabilities. There is also a section listing related books and journals. I would recommend this book to high school students and adults. 


Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Offices in Lutherville and Monkton, Baltimore County, Maryland
Phone: 410-329-2028, 410-357-4448
Fax: 410-343-1272
Glenn Brynes, MD; Carol Watkins, MD and associates.

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