Summer is coming and giving us some great new books, lots on mental health which I think anyone who has read the blog for more than a second knows I’m happy about. If this is your first post, I love the discussion of mental health in mental grade fiction. (Covered!)
How to Become a Planet
For Pluto, summer has always started with a trip to the planetarium. It’s the launch to her favorite season, which also includes visits to the boardwalk arcade, working in her mom’s pizzeria, and her best friend Meredith’s birthday party. But this summer, none of that feels possible.
A month before the end of the school year, Pluto’s frightened mom broke down Pluto’s bedroom door. What came next were doctor’s appointments, a diagnosis of depression, and a big black hole that still sits on Pluto’s chest, making it too hard to do anything.
Pluto can’t explain to her mom why she can’t do the things she used to love. And it isn’t until Pluto’s dad threatens to make her move with him to the city—where he believes his money, in particular, could help—that Pluto becomes desperate enough to do whatever it takes to be the old Pluto again.
She develops a plan and a checklist: If she takes her medication, if she goes to the planetarium with her mom for her birthday, if she successfully finishes her summer school work with her tutor, if she goes to Meredith’s birthday party . . . if she does all the things that “normal” Pluto would do, she can stay with her mom in Jersey. But it takes a new therapist, a new tutor, and a new (and cute) friend with a checklist and plan of her own for Pluto to learn that there is no old and new Pluto. There’s just her.
Amazon: How to Become a Planet
No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest
They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest―but that won’t discourage Pella. Earthquakes are destroying her village, and worst of all, they’ve caused the Midsummer Festival to be canceled. According to legend, the Earth Queen is to blame for these violent quakes―and the Earth Queen’s tower lies at the heart of the Enchanted Forest. Late one night, Pella sneaks away to find the Earth Queen and give her a piece of her mind. But she’s not afraid―she’s never afraid.
It’s Bix, Pella’s sister, who does the worrying for both of them. She’s the one, after all, who was tasked with keeping her sister safe after they lost their parents. But despite her fears and the very real dangers that lie ahead, Bix will do anything to protect her little sister―even walk into the Enchanted Forest with only a ball of yarn to guide them home.
They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest. Will Bix and Pella be the first?
Amazon: No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest
Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea
Hazel Bly used to live in the perfect house with the perfect family in sunny California. But when a kayaking trip goes horribly wrong, Mum is suddenly gone forever and Hazel is left with crippling anxiety and a jagged scar on her face. After Mum’s death, Hazel, her other mother, Mama, and her little sister, Peach, needed a fresh start. So for the last two years, the Bly girls have lived all over the country, never settling anywhere for more than a few months.
When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there’s a wildness to the small town that feels like magic. But when Mama runs into an old childhood friend—Claire—suddenly Hazel’s tight-knit world is infiltrated. To make it worse, she has a daughter Hazel’s age, Lemon, who can’t stop rambling on and on about the Rose Maid, a local 150-year-old mermaid myth.
Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose Maid as Lemon is—because what if magic were real? What if grief really could change you so much, you weren’t even yourself anymore? And what if instead you emerged from the darkness stronger than before?
Amazon: Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea