Mark SEL Day with a Good Book!

A Minuteman Reads Book List: Social Emotional Learning Day

On March 26th, Minuteman High School will observe International SEL Day. Books provide windows into many Social Emotional Learning (SEL) themes including resiliency, collaboration, choices, empathy, and reflection.


Like mindfulness and exercise, reading benefits your overall health. Reading books can help relax your body, calm your mind, lower your heart rate, and reduce stress up to 68% (World Literacy Foundation; HuffPost Wellness).


This list highlights some of the SEL themed books that are available at the Minuteman High School Library Media Center or on Sora. Find these books, and more, in the Library Media Center, on Sora, or request a book delivery.

Anthologies

The Hero Next Door: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology (also on Sora)

Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes teach martial arts. Others talk to ghosts. A few are inventors or soccer players. They're also sisters, neighbors, and friends. Because heroes come in many shapes and sizes. But they all have one thing in common: they make the world a better place.

Published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, this vibrant anthology features thirteen acclaimed authors whose powerful and diverse voices show how small acts of kindness can save the day. So pay attention, because a hero could be right beside you. Or maybe the hero is you.

Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration (also on Sora)

We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and--in some cases--even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it's difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.


Some of today's most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal collection of essays and original stories that offer moments of light in the darkness, and show that hope is a decision we all can make.

Fiction

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (Sora)


Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman & Brendan Schusterman (also on Sora)


A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman. Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. A brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior, he is designated the ship's artist in residence in order to document the journey with images. Caden pretends to join his school's track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head; he is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn.

Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin (Sora)


Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she's hilarious. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration. Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he's even ... flirting? Just when Winnie's ready to say yes to comedy again, her father reveals that he's been diagnosed with ALS. That is ... not funny. Her dad's still making jokes, though, which feels like a good thing. And Winnie's prepared to be his straight man if that's what he wants. But is it what he needs? Caught up in a spiral of epically bad dates, bad news, and bad performances, Winnie's struggling to see the humor in it all. But finding a way to laugh is exactly what will see her through.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (also on Sora)


Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.


Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable novel is for anyone who's ever felt not good enough - then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.

Felix Ever After by Casen Callender (also on Sora)


Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.


Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Good Enough by Jen Petro Roy (Sora)


In the hospital where she is receiving treatment for anorexia, twelve-year-old Riley records her days in her journal--going to therapy, rediscovering her love of art, dealing with her rule-breaking roommate, and worrying about relapse once she returns home.


Written by an eating-disorder survivor, this novel is a realistic depiction of inpatient treatment and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Sora)


It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (also on Sora)


No one takes the time to look past Libby Strout's weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom's death she picks up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now she's ready for high school, for new friends, for love-- for everything life has to offer. Jack Masselin's got swagger, he's mastered the impossible art of fitting in, and he has a newly acquired secret: he can't recognize faces. So he tries to never get too close to anyone. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game that which lands them in group counseling and community service, they make a connection. Will it be enough to change their worlds?

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (also on Sora)


This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Finding comfort. But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (also on Sora)


You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (also on Sora)


Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

Graphic Novels / Memoirs

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha (Sora)


For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother. Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (also on Sora)


Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book, following the tale of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love. The shared adventures and important conversations between the four friends are full of life lessons that have connected with readers of all ages.


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the mole.

“Kind,” said the boy.

Hey, Kiddo by Jared Krozoscka (also in Sora)


In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along. Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father. Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (also in Sora)


Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings.

White Bird by R.J. Palacio (also in Sora)


R.J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère's story as a young Jewish girl hidden away by a family in Nazi, occupied France during World War II. Her harrowing experience vividly demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives.

Nonfiction

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide by Sean Covey


Being a teenager is both wonderful and challenging. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, author Sean Covey applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to teens and the tough issues and life-changing decisions they face. In an entertaining style, Covey provides a step-by-step guide to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more. In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world.

Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman


Reveals the secrets to living a happier and less anxious, stressful, and exhausting life and offers simple and straightforward forms of mindfulness meditation that can be done by anyone--and it can take just ten to twenty minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed.

No Body's Perfect: Stories by Teens about Body Image, Self-Acceptance, and the Search for Identity by Kimberly Kirberger


Through powerful stories and poems from real teens, as well as personal tales and advice from the author, this book strives to help girls learn to accept, love, and appreciate their bodies--and, in turn, to love themselves.

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