Teens: Sensitive Subjects

  • Teens: Sensitive Subjects

These books may help young adults to learn more about sensitive issues that they or someone they know may be facing.


Teen Pregnancy

After, by Amy Efaw After by Amy Efaw.

Devon Davenport was a Straight-A student and star soccer player at her high school, but after leaving her newborn baby in the trash, she is now labeled an attempted murderer.  This book tells the story of a girl so in denial that she actually refused to believe she was pregnant and her unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.

Jumping Off Swings, by Jo Knowles Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change.

Unpregnant, by Jenni Hendricks Y Ted Caplan Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks & Ted Caplan

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke finds out that she is pregnant after her boyfriend pokes a hole in their condom to keep her from leaving for college.  She decides to have an abortion, but has no car to reach the closest legal abortion clinic over 900 miles away.  She turns to her ex-best friend for a ride and a crazy journey ensues where Veronica must risk everything to repair the hurt she’s caused.


A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Mady G., J.R. Zuckerberg A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G. and J.R. Zuckerberg

This guide to queer and trans identities, will guide you through the basics of the LGBTQ+ world.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens

Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.  But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Harry and Craig are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record.  They become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Self-Harm | Depression

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Madeleine Kuderick

In the next 72 hours, 15 year-old Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for 72 hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

Cut by Patricia McCormick Cut by Patricia McCormick

Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside.  Now she’s at Sea Pines, a “residential treatment facility” filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. She won’t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long.

Get Well Soon by Julie Palpern Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her. But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

Body Image

Looks by Madeleine George Looks by Madeleine George

Meghan Ball is both the most visible and the most invisible person in school. Her massive size is impossible to ignore, yet people freely spill their secrets in front of her, perhaps because they think she isn’t listening. But she is. Now her attention has turned to a new girl: Aimee Zorn, with her stick-figure body and defiant attitude. Meghan is determined to befriend Aimee, and when she ultimately succeeds, the two join forces to take down their shared enemy.

Substance Abuse

My Brother's Keeper by Patricia McCormick My Brother’s Keeper by Patricia McCormick

A young teen named Toby struggles to keep his family from falling apart when his father abandons them.  His little brother has reverted to hiding under his blanket and sucking his thumb and his older brother is delving into drugs and alcohol abuse. Toby fights desperately to cover up for his brother and spare his mother more heart break.

Kicks by Janet Fitch Kicks by Janet Fitch

Laurie thinks Carla is the luckiest kid in Los Angeles.  After all, Carla has parents who let her do anything she wants. Laurie’s mother keeps her on a short leash, demanding that she keep the house clean, cook for her sick father, and stay out of trouble.  Laurie wants nothing more than to be like her daring friend–until she comes to understand what lies behind that recklessness.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda is a friendless outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

The Nowhre Girls by Amy Reed The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.


When books alone are not enough to help, there are many other resources  available.  Please remember that you are not alone and you can always ask your librarian for help.

Teen Pregnancy

or 1-800-672-2296

Eating Disorders


Sexual Assault | Rape

or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Substance Abuse

or 1-800-327-5050

Depressioin | Suicide


or 1-888-767-8336

LGBTQ+ Support


If you or someone you know is struggling with one of the issues in this pamphlet, please reach out for help.

This list was created by Katie Langlais, candidate for Master in Library Science

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