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Books Featuring Ballet Dancers With Health Challenges

A lot of people use performing arts, like ballet, as an outlet. It turns out, fictional characters do, too! Here is a list of books featuring ballet dancers with health challenges:

1. “Brave Enough” by Kati Gardner
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines. Davis Channing understands all too well what it's like to give up control of your life. He's survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he's been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he's got it together, Davis's ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life. Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?

2. “The Other Side of Perfect” by Mariko Turk
This YA follows Alina, an aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet—as well as the darker side of her former dream. Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg—and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it. After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and bingeing ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected—namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive cast-mate she just might be falling for. But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet—something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?

3. “Sparrow” by Mary Cecilia Jackson
*This may be triggering to readers who have experienced domestic violence, trauma, and abuse.

Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….

4. “How It Feels To Fly” by Kathryn Holmes
The movement is all that matters. For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

📚 Happy reading! 🩰

#themightyreaders #performingartistsonthemighty #Cancer #MentalHealth #Depression #Abuse #Trauma #EatingDisorders

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Young Adult Books That Have Characters With Eating Disorders

*This post may be triggering to anyone who has eating disorders, binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, etc. or who has attempted suicide.

When people have a health challenge that is highly stigmatized, it is very easy to feel alone. My intention in posting this list was to help people by letting them know others go through similar challenges with eating.

1. “Wintergirls” by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss—her life—and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory, and feeling guilty for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since “Speak”, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all—hope.

2. “Paperweight” by Meg Haston
Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

3. “Purge” by Sarah Darer Littman
Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

4. “What I Lost” by Alexandra Ballard
What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size 0 obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

Please do not read if this triggers you. As always, if you need/want to discuss anything, please reach out. 🤍

#themightyreaders #EatingDisorders #BingeEatingDisorder #BulimiaNervosa #AnorexiaNervosa #BodyDysmorphicDisorder

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Young Adult Books With Characters That Have #MentalHealth Challenges

#MentalHealth has such a stigma around it. So many people all over the world have struggles with their #MentalHealth . I aim to erase that stigma. For now, the only way I know how to do that is by spreading awareness through literature.

So here are some books that feature characters with mental illnesses:

1.”The Art of Insanity” by Christine Webb

*This book has mentions of attempted suicide that may be triggering for some readers.

High schooler Natalie Cordova has just been diagnosed with #BipolarDisorder . Her mom insists she keep it secret. Putting up a front and hiding her mental illness from her classmates is going to be the hardest thing high schooler Natalie Cordova has ever done. It’s her senior year, and she’s just been selected to present her artwork at a prestigious show. With the stress of performing on her shoulders, it doesn’t help when Natalie notices a boy who makes her heart leap. And then there’s fellow student Ella, who confronts Natalie about her summer car “accident” and pressures her into caring for the world’s ugliest dog. Now Natalie finds herself juggling all kinds of feels and responsibilities. Surely her newly prescribed medication is to blame for the funk she finds herself in. But as Natalie’s plan to self-treat unravels, so does the perfect façade she’s been painting for everyone else.

2.”Your Voice Is All I Hear” by Leah Scheier

April won’t let Jonah go without a fight. He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark #Depression trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?#Schizophrenia

3.”The Program” by Suzanne Young

*This book mentions suicide and self-harm, which might be triggering for some readers.

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. #Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

4.”How It Feels To Fly” by Kathryn Holmes

*This book may be triggering to those who have #EatingDisorders , #BingeEatingDisorder , #BulimiaNervosa , #Anorexia , #AnorexiaNervosa , and/or #BodyDysmorphicDisorder .

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: #Anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the #Anxiety that imprisons her?

5.”Four Weeks, Five People” by Jennifer Yu

They're more than their problems. Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay. Andrew wants to overcome his #EatingDisorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous. Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality. Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an “idiot”. And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy. As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

6.”Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of “misfits” who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

📚 Please don’t read anything that triggers you. My hope in sharing this post was that someone who has mental health challenges would find a character to relate to. As always, if you need/want to discuss anything, please reach out and ask. 🤍

#themightyreaders #MentalHealth

(edited)
2 reactions
Post

Young Adult Books With Characters That Have #MentalHealth Challenges

#MentalHealth has such a stigma around it. So many people all over the world have struggles with their #MentalHealth . I aim to erase that stigma. For now, the only way I know how to do that is by spreading awareness through literature.

So here are some books that feature characters with mental illnesses:

1.”The Art of Insanity” by Christine Webb

*This book has mentions of attempted suicide that may be triggering for some readers.

High schooler Natalie Cordova has just been diagnosed with #BipolarDisorder . Her mom insists she keep it secret. Putting up a front and hiding her mental illness from her classmates is going to be the hardest thing high schooler Natalie Cordova has ever done. It’s her senior year, and she’s just been selected to present her artwork at a prestigious show. With the stress of performing on her shoulders, it doesn’t help when Natalie notices a boy who makes her heart leap. And then there’s fellow student Ella, who confronts Natalie about her summer car “accident” and pressures her into caring for the world’s ugliest dog. Now Natalie finds herself juggling all kinds of feels and responsibilities. Surely her newly prescribed medication is to blame for the funk she finds herself in. But as Natalie’s plan to self-treat unravels, so does the perfect façade she’s been painting for everyone else.

2.”Your Voice Is All I Hear” by Leah Scheier

April won’t let Jonah go without a fight. He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark #Depression trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?#Schizophrenia

3.”The Program” by Suzanne Young

*This book mentions suicide and self-harm, which might be triggering for some readers.

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. #Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

4.”How It Feels To Fly” by Kathryn Holmes

*This book may be triggering to those who have #EatingDisorders , #BingeEatingDisorder , #BulimiaNervosa , #Anorexia , #AnorexiaNervosa , and/or #BodyDysmorphicDisorder .

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: #Anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the #Anxiety that imprisons her?

5.”Four Weeks, Five People” by Jennifer Yu

They're more than their problems. Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay. Andrew wants to overcome his #EatingDisorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous. Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality. Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an “idiot”. And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy. As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

6.”Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of “misfits” who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

📚 Please don’t read anything that triggers you. My hope in sharing this post was that someone who has mental health challenges would find a character to relate to. As always, if you need/want to discuss anything, please reach out and ask. 🤍

#themightyreaders #MentalHealth

(edited)
2 reactions