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Authors and teenagers share the books that saved their life

Feb 2nd, 2015 by

From Judy Blume to My Mad Fat Diary to Catcher in the Rye, authors and teen site members share the books that saved their lives – on Blue Monday (whether or not it’s the most depressing day of the year!)

  • This list is a work in progress. Please add to it by emailing childrens.books@theguardian.com or tweet us, @GdnChildrensBks
  • Join us on twitter TODAY 7-8pm where authors and teenagers will be talking about teen books and mental health – make sure you use #Gdnbluemonday

After Jennifer Niven’s top 10 teen books to save your life and to mark Blue Monday (whether or not it exists, Spring still feels a while away) we thought it was high time we had a list of books to pick you up when you feel down. Here authors and Guardian children’s books site members reveal the books that saved their lives…

Patrick Ness, author of More Than This
I’d make an odd choice for the book that saved my life: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, not for a big emotional reason but because it was the first book I read that felt 100% mine, written for me, at that age, not anyone else. The idea of books as my own set of secret worlds has been life-saving more than once since

@GdnChildrensBks Robyn Schneider – Severed Heads, Broken Hearts #gdnTeenMembers

“You have to carry the fire.”
“I don’t know how to.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Is the fire real? The fire?”
“Yes it is.”
“Where is it? I don’t know where it is.”
“Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see.”

@GdnChildrensBks #GdnBlueMonday And ‘The Swimming Pool Library’ by Alan Hollinghurst for letting me know I wasn’t alone, aged 17.

@GdnChildrensBks #GdnBlueMonday Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce – gave me another world to escape into when I needed it most

@GdnChildrensBks Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit was the book that helped the teen me to see neglect did not mean I should neglect to live.

@FloBoniface @GdnChildrensBks as a troubled kid, Little Prince, Count of Monte Cristo, Treasure Island. helped a lot

@guardian @GdnChildrensBks a book that would save anyone’s life is "Loving Sabotage" by Amélie Nothomb. Perfect, funny, deep and beautiful.

@GdnChildrensBks ‘I was a teenage worrier’ and ‘Little Women’ both confirmed it was wonderful to be a woman who thinks! #bookstosavemylife

@GdnChildrensBks The book that saved me was Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – I immersed myself in it through a very difficult time.

.@GdnChildrensBks Mine would prob be ‘Catch 22’ because it started me reading again aged 20, after a reading gap of 5 or 6 years.

Great list for all sorts of reasons: @GdnChildrensBks http://t.co/26JbVBzaAd . Mine is The Chrysalids, John Wyndham

My #BlueMonday book is Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett. A book about finding a way to survive. @GdnChildrensBks

@GdnChildrensBks Catcher In The Rye helped me through my teenage years. Showed me that it was ok to be a loner.

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