I love a good self-help book, and there have been some really great ones published for young people recently. I've listed some of my favourite titles below. Interestingly, most of them are Australian. Some of them state that they are for teens but are suitable for tweens as well. It’s always a good idea to pre-read any book you give your tweens, or you can read it together. My girls and I would often read a book together on our way to school (which was a half-hour drive). One of the girls would read while I drove—much safer that way. It provided a lot of teachable moments and some good conversations happened on those car rides. I also learned some great things by reading these books. Many tweens are graduating from primary school soon and Christmas is just around the corner — these books would make a great gift!
Here are my top seven self-help books for pre-teens
Good Selfie is possibly the best book for teens that I have ever read. Turia Pitt was severely burned by a grassfire while running a 100km ultra-marathon in outback Australia. Her story of recovery is inspirational. Turia describes herself as an athlete, author and mindset coach. As the subtitle suggests, Good Selfie is full of tools to help teenagers. There are chapters on gratitude, confidence, self-talk, goals, hard times, support team, perspective and more. The book is full of amazing stories from Turia’s life. It is also beautifully presented with eye-catching illustrations by Freda Chiu. I loved it!
Amanda Rootsey was modelling in Italy when she was diagnosed with cancer. After two years of treatment, her life changed direction. As well as an author, she is a teen mentor, life and business coach. Shine from Within has information on all aspects of teen life, from physical health, mental health, beauty, friendship, money, and much more.
You can find the Shine From Within website at https://shinefromwithin.com.au
Every teen should read this book. Every adult should probably read it too. It is one of the most accessible books I’ve ever read and one of the most useful. Author and international motivational speaker, Andrew Matthews, gives practical, easy to follow advice on being happy.
Ask Me Anything is a fantastic book by Rebecca Sparrow. Rebecca is an author and columnist on mamamia.com.au. She openly and honestly tackles all kinds of questions in this book like “how do you know if your friends really like you?” and “how can I feel closer to my mum who died?” If she doesn’t have an answer, she finds someone who does. I highly recommend it. She has also written Find Your Tribe and Find Your Feet.
You can find Rebecca’s website at http://rebeccasparrow.com
Matthew Syed was a champion British table tennis player and has competed at the Olympics. In the book, he explains how to move from average to awesome. If you want to be great at something, you need the right attitude and be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. The book is easy to read and has a bright and attractive layout. I absolutely loved it - it is a must-read for all kids and teenagers.
The Everyday Resilience Journal: A Pre-teen’s Guide to Friendships, Schoolwork and Growing Up! by Michelle Mitchell
Michelle is an educator, author, mentor and speaker. She is a tween and teen expert. Her book, The Everyday Resilience Journal, covers friendships, daily routines, stressful feelings, schoolwork and contributing to your community. The book is full of great advice and journal prompts to reflect on the content.
You can find out more at https://michellemitchell.org.
Technically this isn’t a book, but Teen Breathe is a fantastic Australian magazine for tween and teen girls. Their goal is to promote mindfulness with articles on mindful movement, friendship, healthy eating, crafting, positive thinking, caring for the environment, and everything in between. I love everything about this magazine—especially the design and layout. There are six issues each year plus special issues such as Earth-saving Acts and the Inspirational Planner.
You can find out more https://www.teenbreathe.com.au/