Students and teachers across the country are navigating an uncharted path forward in the wake of interrupted learning and various forms of trauma caused by the pandemic. But books that introduce psychological insights and social-emotional coping skills can help pave the way.

“The stresses of 2020 are still impacting children and young adults hard,” says Kristine Enderle, editorial director of Magination Press. “We are seeing many books published covering social-emotional learning topics and everyday psychology like shyness, self-esteem, isolation, and loss. And we see a great number of fiction books on serious topics like depression, suicide, trauma, gun violence, death.” She notes that though many protagonists provide sensitive portrayals of a young person’s experience with mental health struggles, it is still more uncommon to see the science woven into the story or see accurate depictions of a psychologist, therapy, or therapeutic standards of care included in books that address mental health concerns.

“Many people don’t think of psychology as a core STEM discipline. But it is,” she says. Psychologists use the scientific method in their research experiments and help people apply those findings to address everyday problems by enhancing an individual’s analytical skills and problem-solving strategies. We are committed to reinventing ‘self-help’ and transforming the way people think about these types of books.” To that end, she notes that Magination Press books “do not instruct readers how to solve personal problems or offer ways for self-improvement. Instead, we empower kids by starting a conversation, giving readers trusted psychological knowledge, and offer tested strategies that are reliable and helpful.” Enderle suggests that All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change “is a perfect example of this—it is designed this way to provide readers a way work through their feelings of anxiety about climate crisis and offers tools they need to manage their anxiety.”

For other recent developments in the STEM/STEAM space, see our feature here.