Self-love reads

March 2024

Growing up and figuring out who you are and where you belong can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Teens have a lot to handle and it can make a big difference to have guidance from someone who gets it, to hear stories of other teens that have been where you are, and to have time and space to accept where you are and be excited about where you are going.

Below you will find a list of fiction and non-fiction titles to support self-love, self-discovery and self-acceptance, as well as some suggestions for mindfulness and wellbeing activities for teens. 

Self-love teen fiction

Cover image for My Eyes are up here by Laura Zimmermann  

My Eyes Are Up Here

Laura Zimmermann

If Greer Walsh could only live inside her head, life would be easier. She'd be able to focus on excelling at math or negotiating peace talks between her best friend and everyone else. She wouldn't spend any time worrying about being the only Kennedy High student whose breasts are bigger than her head. But you can't play volleyball inside your head. Or go to the pool. Or say yes to a date/not-date (maybe-date?) with the new guy. You need an actual body for all of those things. And Greer is entirely uncomfortable in hers. This is a story of awkwardness and ferocity, of imaginary butterflies and rock-solid friends. It's the story of a girl finding her way out of her oversized sweatshirt and back into the real world.


Cover image for Eight Times Up by John Corr  

Eight Times Up

John Corr

Through the teachings of their sensei, Riley and his classmates come to understand that aikido is not about winning or losing or about being perfect.

In the dojo, Riley meets boys who are much rougher than he is and a girl who is tougher than all the rest of them put together. For Wafaa, aikido is not her first choice. She was disqualified from competing in judo for wearing a hijab. From the first time she steps on the mat, it's clear she is far more skilled than anyone expected.

Sensei shows them all how to tap into their inner strength and find their place in the universe.

Recommended for approximately ages 10-15 years


   Book cover for The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere

Jandy Nelson

Beautiful, funny and heartfelt, The Sky Is Everywhere is about love and forgiveness.

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life - and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...





 Practice Girl

Estelle Laure

Jo Beckett is looking for love. She's fallen for a few boys, but for some reason, they've never fallen for her. One night, at a party she didn't even want to go to, she finds out the truth. Those boys, who are on the wrestling team she manages, consider her just a "practice girl" -- the popular term for girl who's good enough to hook up with but not to date. With this crushing revelation, Jo feels so many things -- heartsick, ashamed, betrayed, and angry. But she refuses to let that label define her. In piecing her life back together, Jo is forced to unpack more uncomfortable truths about all her relationships -- from her best friend to the boy she likes -- that help her understand her real worth.






Sh!t Bag

Xena Knox

When Freya collapses and wakes up with a temporary ileostomy bag on her stomach, her dreams of the perfect summer go down the toilet. Instead of partying in the Algarve, she's packed off to 'Poo Camp' a place for kids with bowel disease to 'bond'. And things can only get worse. Someone has started calling her 'Sh!t Bag' and it's catching on. Freya decides to live up to the nickname, raging at her friends, her ex and the world. Only her camp-mate Chris seems to see past her new attitude. Can Freya get her sh!t together or will she end up with just her bag by her side?







   More titles

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Fat Chance Charlie Vega by Crustal Maldonado

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Restart by Gordon Korman

Click here to see more self-love teen fiction titles available across the library network

Self-love non-fiction

   magazine cover of teen breathe

Teen Breathe Magazine  

Teen Breathe promotes mindfulness as the basis of a happier, healthier, more authentic life. While other teen titles are pushing the need to stay up to date with the latest fashion trends, the newest beauty fads, or which celebrities are dating, Teen Breathe inspires its readers to be mindful in everything they do - from mindful movement, friendship, healthy eating, crafting positive thinking, caring for the environment, and in between.

Teen Breathe is the go-to guide for teen and tween girls of ages 8 to 16+, encouraging health, creativity and mindfulness. Each issue includes fun crafts and activities sprinkled throughout, and plenty of ways for teens to uncover the artist within and celebrate their originality.

   book cover of no worries: how to deal with teenage anxiety by nicola morgan

No Worries: How to Deal With Teenage Anxiety

Nicola Morgan

The essential teenage guide to tackling anxiety, from award-winning well-being expert Nicola Morgan, author of the best-selling Blame My Brain. Anxiety is on many teenager's minds - it's the word they use most often when they talk about their mental health. Award-winning author and teenage brain expert Nicola Morgan is here to help, with this practical guide to help young people understand their anxiety and cope with the challenges of modern life. Based on the latest science, No Worries is packed with advice to help teenagers master the best tricks and hacks to stay firmly in control of worries and embrace calm. From understanding how anxiety works, to building strategies to calm the body and mind, this essential guide equips young people with the tools to tackle their worries and live brilliantly. 

   cover image of in this body by ruby jones

In This Body: a Book About Self-love and Acceptance  

Ruby Jones

Everyone is on their own journey, but the world can be hard to navigate - especially when we don't feel at home in our own skin. Ruby Jones offers little reminders to be kind to ourselves, to appreciate all kinds of beauty and to find the joy in simply being here.


   book cover of the self-care kit for stressed out teens by frankie young

The Self-Care Kit For Stressed-Out Teens

Frankie Young

Being a teenager means learning how to deal with exams, new experiences and body changes. Are you prepared? No? Teenage life stretches you in more ways than you could imagine, but it is also an exciting time in which you start to consider your future, new relationships and big questions about your identity and beliefs. Sometimes this heady mix might feel like a bit too much to handle, and that's where introducing self-care into your daily life can help. Far from being about drinking kale smoothies and taking bubble baths, self-care provides you with the tools to sustain your mental and physical health so you can be your best self. Find out how to: Stay positive and focused through exam season; Feel better equipped to cope with everyday stress; Love the skin you're in; Be an ally to yourself and those around you.
   book cover of perfectly weird you by camilla pang

Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You: a Scientific Guide to Growing up

Camilla Pang

Welcome to Dr Camilla Pang's scientific survival guide to growing up! As a child Camilla loved patterns and putting things in order. She was obsessed with Stephen Hawking. And the only language she really understood was science. Diagnosed with autism age 8, Camilla saw the world very differently. But with science as her sidekick, she was able to translate ideas she could understand (like gravity, photosynthesis and algorithms) onto things she couldn't (like peer pressure, emotions and finding your voice). Today, Camilla is a scientist and an award-winning author, and she is here to share her scientific survival guide with you - so you can grow up with the courage to be yourself, no matter how different you feel or how tricky you might find it to connect. Because the hard part of growing up isn't dealing with other people (their opinions, their popularity or their exam results). No, the hard part is you: learning who you are and what makes you tick. And the really hard part is accepting that it's completely normal to be perfectly weird. In fact, it's essential to growing up happy.


More titles


 52 teen boy problems & how to solve them by Alex Hooper-Hodson

52 teen girl problems & hot to solve them by Alex Hooper-Hodson

Be confident be you : the teenage guide by Becky Goddard-Hill

The awesome power of sleep : how sleep super-charges your teenage brain by Nicola Morgan

Click here to see more self-love non-fiction titles available across the library network


Self-love mindfulness activities 

 two collage vision boards  

Vision board

 A vision board is a collage of inspiration to help visualize and work towards becoming your best self. It can include photos, drawings, and quotes that best represent you, your goals and your dreams. Making a vision board is a great way to set goals, give yourself gentle reminders, make positive affirmations, and enjoy the mindful making process.

Pictured here are two examples;

- A quirky collage made up of old magazines, coloured paper, and stickers. The 'stay weird' message a fun reminder to value your individuality, and be happy in yourself.

- A pastel cottagecore collage with positive affirmations, a playlist of songs for all situations, and strategies for overcoming stress and anxiety. Made with coloured card, a printed template, washi tape, old book illustrations, and stickers.

watercolour experiment paintings

Watercolour painting

Painting with watercolours is a great way to practice mindfulness. It's an art medium in which you have a limited amount of control, making it a great way to practice letting go of perfection and enjoying the process. Art is an amazing tool to practice mindfulness and look after your mental health and wellbeing. The artwork on the top right is a mindful painting and doodling exploration of watercolours with felt tip pen.

The image on the bottom contains five basic watercolour techniques to practice and get you started with watercolours.

The top left artwork is an example of how you can layer watercolours to add texture, detail and depth to your artwork.


Two young people smiling with clay in their hands


Looking after your wellbeing can take many different forms, eating well, moving your body, spending time with friends, and doing activities you enjoy. These are some of the activities we enjoyed at our Self-Love Club Crafternoon session.

- Face scrubs

- Bath bombs

- Protein ball healthy snack

- Nature Mandalas

- Salt dough trinket trays

- Drawing 

- Board games

- Reading


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