Initiative Overview

Reading stories is an important part of development – not just for literacy, but also because books become part of readers, quietly shaping views about themselves and the world.

Books are sometimes the only safe escape. Words and pictures can give comfort. Characters can provide friendship and family. They can provide understanding in self and in others. And most importantly, stories can provide hope.

Books Change Direction, educates about the importance of responsibly representing mental health and illness in stories, identifies and promotes books and authors that contribute to the culture of mental health, and helps people in need access these books.

As we work with authors, publishers, agents, librarians, teachers, and communities across the country, we look forward to sharing books with you that change how we think about, feel about, and care for our emotional wellbeing.

Books Change Direction Mission

  • To recognize books and authors that contribute to changing the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness, and do so in some or all of the following ways:
    • promote understanding and compassion for those suffering and their loved ones.
    • mirror the reality of mental health struggles and successes
    • provide a window into the lives and illnesses that are often misrepresented and misunderstood.
    • provide comfort and suggestions on how to best help ourselves or someone in need.
  • To educate creators, librarians and people in the publishing industry on the importance of responsibly representing mental health and mental illness in books.
  • To help people in need access these books.


Children And Books

Here are a few sites and resources that we have found helpful when it comes to mental health and books for our young populations.

Want to Get Involved? Let Us Know Your Story!

Do You Have A Book You Would Like To Share With Us?

Let’s Connect On goodreads!


Soon see our “Five” on goodreads and share your recommendations.