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Are You A True Literature Expert?
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29 Books with ‘Girl’ in the Title That Prove Who Runs the World
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15 Inspirational Books to Read When You Need Hope

15 Inspirational Books to Read When You Need Hope

You know those days where you’re feeling down, and you reach into your pocket and grab your bottle of happiness and shake it all around and it makes you feel happy? JK, that doesn’t exist (that we know of yet), but the next best thing is books. Books can bring comfort, happiness, and that most important of magic potions: hope.

Books offer us hope for many reasons, one of the core reasons being that they remind us we’re not alone. By shining a light on the issues we sometimes hide behind or don’t talk about, books (and the authors who created them) show us there is indeed a light in the darkness, that we are not the first ones to experience such feelings, and that there is a community we can join, whether in person or online, that knows exactly what we’re going through.

That’s because many authors have been there, too. But bad times are not eternal, and these stories help remind us of that. Scroll down for collections of anthologies and novels, both fiction and nonfiction, that will ignite your spark of hope!

1. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy edited by Kelly Jensen

Mental health can be a challenge any day of the week. If you want to find like-minded individuals who also experience mental health challenges, this anthology is for you.

Who’s Crazy?

What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?

In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

2. Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration edited by Rose Brock

Sometimes the world looks bleak and social media can make it seem all-consuming. This collection of stories will spark hope within you and show that there is still good in the world.

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”–Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and–in some cases–even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it’s difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.

Some of today’s most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of essays, poems, and letters, each a first-hand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

3. Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel

There are symbols of hope all around us, and the semicolon is no exception. Learn more about this incredible project at the link below.

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rape has always been a very serious and important topic, and in the era of #MeToo, this YA classic is a book to revisit. Melinda is someone who feels like she could walk by you in the hallways of your high school, and you’ll root for her the entire way.

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

“Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say.”

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is 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. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Even though THUG has been out for a few years, this book has already been deemed a classic—and it’s not hard to see why. With the news highlighting tensions between police and unarmed people of color, this book is needed more than ever to understand and relate to the anger, frustration and sadness that America currently faces.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

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