Books That Feature Seasonal Affective Disorder


Content Warning: This blog contains mentions of suicide and depression.
Winter is upon us now. When it becomes cold, our emotions can get a little wonky. We can feel lonely and in the dumps, but just know that you’re not alone. This blog features four books that deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression in general.

Scrawl by Mark Shulman

Normally the protagonist would be picked on by the school bullies, but this book has the bully as the protagonist. Tod steals people’s lunch money, makes fun of them, and threatens them. One day, he and his friends do something so horrible that it causes all of them to get detention. In detention—a stuffy, hot room with no one in it—he is watched by the strict guidance counselor, Mrs. Woodrow. Tod is given the unusual punishment to scrawl his life story in a notebook. He can be anything he wants in that notebook—honest, nice, or even downright mean. What will Tod write? Will Mrs. Woodrow help him change his ways?

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

Natalie enters an egg drop competition hoping it will be the solution to her life’s problems. If she wins the competition, she’ll win money that will allow her to fly her mom to the Cobalt Blue Orchids in New Mexico—flowers that have miraculously survived just about everything. Natalie is hoping that by taking her mom to this garden, her mom will learn to love again because recently Natalie’s mom has been battling depression. Follow Natalie on her adventure of realizing parents are breakable just like any other human. 

Thing You Can’t Say by Jenn Bishop

Drew unfortunately lost his dad to suicide three years ago, and, ever since then, Drew’s world has been turned upside down. Drew’s safe space, the library, has been taken over by the new girl, Audrey. His best friend, Filipe, has been distant. An old friend of his mom is now living in the house with them. Drew doesn’t know who the man is and is skeptical that he is truly his mom’s friend. With Audrey, someone he never thought he’d get along with, he attempts to discover who this man really is. As if that wasn’t enough, in the midst of all this, Drew begins to question whether the man who died three years ago was really his father.

Breathing Underwater by Sarah Allen

Olivia and her big sister Ruth are on a family road trip, a road trip Olivia has been excited about for ages. Olivia is originally from California, but three years ago her family had to move to Tennessee, so Olivia and Ruth buried a time capsule before they left. Olivia and Ruth embark on an adventure in an RV back to California to get that time capsule. Unfortunately, Ruth’s depression is deepening, and she doesn’t know why. Olivia has a plan, though: to make a scavenger hunt across the country to relive the memories she and Ruth made in happier times. Olivia just wants to make her sister smile, but it may be more challenging than she anticipated. 

Sadelle Gibson, Pine Reads Review Writer