Welcome to HealthyBooks

The books listed on this web site may be of interest to anyone working with children, particularly children with physical or emotional problems. During many years as librarian to a general hospital children's ward, it became clear to me that health and emotional problems are often linked. This is not an earth-shattering conclusion. Most parents and teachers will be well aware of it. A child with asthma may be made worse by parents separating; a move to a new town or new school may bring on nightmares or bed wetting; a new baby in a family can cause behavioural problems in older siblings. In such cases, a book can serve as a catalyst for discussion, a way of bringing into the open worries and concerns. A book can also provide information when a child has been diagnosed with a medical condition, thus lessening the worries that he or she may have. Older children, who may prefer not to talk about their problems, can still benefit by reading about and identifying with others who have suffered as they have.

Books can also serve to provide information to whole classes, a way of making groups more aware of issues that can be hurtful to others. Bullying and behavioural problems are a case in point, but children should also be aware of the complications that arise if a school mate is disabled or suffering from emotional problems. Sensitivity to the needs of others is part of what PSHE and citizenship lessons should be about.

The books are in alphabetical order by the surname of the author within each section (although this may be reordered by title, by age level, or by the order in which they were put on the system in each section). The site will be regularly updated, and each book is read and annotated by me. Please do keep in mind that while I have given an ISBN for each book, there may be different editions, in which case the ISBN and even the publisher may be different. It is always worth checking at your local library or book shop or on Amazon. The age levels I have given are the age at which I feel the book would be useful for therapeutic purposes - not necessarily a reading age. The books have been restricted to the under 12s, although many of the books for ages 9, 10, and 11 will be useful for older children as well. I hope that hospital play leaders, doctors, teachers, fellow librarians, parents, therapists, and perhaps the social services too will find the bibliography helpful in their work. Children and their reading is of primary importance, and many of us will know of the life-enhancing properties that books can have. This is a gift we must give our children as well.

Healthybooks is hosted on the CILIP website by the Health Libraries Group, and we are grateful for their support. I am also grateful to the Bath Public Library for their help in acquiring books. The site was last updated on the 18th of May 2017, and as of that date contained 2281 annotated books.

Elizabeth Schlenther MCLIP
United Kingdom