Heart-Mind Reading List: 20 Books for Back-to-School for Teens & Tweens


Back-to-school doesn't have to mean back to stress! Reading books that nurture Heart-Mind well-being can help ease children and youth's transition back into the classroom by strengthening the 5 Heart-Mind qualities

Download the Heart-Mind Reading List: 20 Chapter Books for Back-to-School here. 

A-Okay, by Jarad Greene normalizes back-to-school worries while nurturing Secure & Calm. This Was Our Pact, by Ryan Andrews fosters Compassionate & Kind through describing the unexpected "magic" of getting to know a new classmate. Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt explores Gets Along With Others from the perspective of a neuro-atypical girl learning to trust others and herself. Me and Banksy, by Tanya Lloyd Kyi tackles issues of hacking and classroom privacy through a Solves Problems Peacefully mystery. 

Connect with these compelling reads and many others through the Heart-Mind Reading List: 20 Books for Back-to-School for Teens and Tweens. The books on this list, which are suitable for grades 4-8, can teach social and emotional skills while also providing readers with engaging stories to whisk them away to new worlds. Each list has a coloured heart to indicate the Heart-Mind quality promoted in the story.

The following extension activities can help children and youth "fall" back into Heart-Mind well-being beyond the book shelf:

  • Take Compassionate & Kind off the page and into your community by joining the Little Free Library Action Book Club, which pairs reading with community service projects that create positive change.
  • Build practical self-regulation skills for Secure & Calm and Alert & Engaged with middle-schoolers through this informative video series from the Child Mind Institute. Invite children and youth to imagine which skills would help a character from one of the books on the list, and prompt them to consider why.
  • Invite young people to create art, inspired by their favourite book, to nurture creative thinking and strenghten Solves Problems Peacefully. 

Download the Heart-Mind Reading List: 20 Chapter Books for Back-to-School here



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