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Mrs. J. from Cottage Grove WI is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Books for Middle Schoolers Featuring Characters With Mental Health Issues

Help me give my students books that show if they or someone in their family struggles with mental health concerns, they are not alone.

  • $225 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Every day I am excited to discover what new ideas my students will come up with. I teach eighth grade English, and I am in love with how innovative, creative, and ingenious middle school students are. However, one of the biggest challenges I have in teaching middle school is keeping eighth graders excited about reading.

Students need high quality, yet age-appropriate​ books that span a variety of reading levels.

I would like to continue to build my classroom library.

My students have varied reading levels, from beginning readers to highly advanced readers. I have students with Special Education, at-risk labels, and English Language Learner labels. On the other hand, I also have students on my team who are in two year advanced math and consistently score several grades above their age in multiple subject areas. Additionally, my school district unifies two neighboring communities: one with newer families moving in with the other having low-income students. This can create a large divide in the opportunities, experiences, and ability levels of my students. Having enough books to meet the range of learners can be a huge challenge.

My Project

Each year, about 43.6 million American adults (or 18.1 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some type of mental health issue like depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), schizophrenia, or ADHD. Just over 20 percent (or 1 in 5) of children, either currently or at some point during their life, will struggle with a mental health issue. That means in a class of 30 thirty students, at least 6 have had or will have mental health concerns.

As much as adults might want to shield kids from confusion or concern, health professionals actually recommend educating children and teenagers about mental health concerns.

Sources state that "when they receive the correct information, it helps dispel common misconceptions and stigma, and provides them with the knowledge and resources they need to understand a particular illness and why they – or someone they know – might struggle" (Ponti).

I am asking for high-quality and age appropriate books that feature characters who struggle with mental health concerns. This literature can open up a dialogue between students and adults about the myths and facts surrounding mental health and help students see that they are not alone if they or someone they know is struggling with this.

Thank you for considering helping me add this important literature to my classroom library!

Mrs. J.
Grades 6-8

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5 donors5 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 280 students.

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Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Mrs. J. is requesting.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Turtles All the Way Down • AKJ Education $14.59 1 $14.59
When We Collided • AKJ Education $13.13 1 $13.13
Paperweight • AKJ Education $13.13 1 $13.13
Every Last Word • AKJ Education $13.13 1 $13.13
How to Speak Dolphin • AKJ Education $12.40 1 $12.40
Lily and Dunkin • AKJ Education $12.40 1 $12.40
The Science of Breakable Things • AKJ Education $12.40 1 $12.40
The Goldfish Boy • AKJ Education $12.40 1 $12.40
History Is All You Left Me • AKJ Education $8.02 1 $8.02
OCDaniel • AKJ Education $6.56 1 $6.56
A Mango-Shaped Space • AKJ Education $6.56 1 $6.56
Courage for Beginners • AKJ Education $5.83 1 $5.83
Small as an Elephant • AKJ Education $5.83 1 $5.83
Some Kind of Happiness • AKJ Education $5.83 1 $5.83
The Seventh Most Important Thing • AKJ Education $5.83 1 $5.83
This Song Will Save Your Life • AKJ Education $5.71 1 $5.71
Umbrella Summer • AKJ Education $5.10 1 $5.10

Materials cost


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Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


4 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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