The best social anxiety books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about social anxiety and why they recommend each book.

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Rain Reign

By Ann M. Martin,

Book cover of Rain Reign

This is the story of a girl named Rose, who is autistic and obsessed with homonyms. She lives with her father who’s often impatient with her needs and abandons her to drink at the local bar. Her mother has vanished, and Rose turns to her sympathetic uncle and her beloved new dog for comfort.  When her dad lets the dog out during a storm, Rose and her uncle find the dog and realize it already has an owner. She learns the truth of her mother’s disappearance and moves in with her uncle. 

Once again, here’s a story about the healing relationship that can exist between a kid and an animal. And as the sibling of a person with Down syndrome and a former special education teacher, I’m impressed with the author’s respectful portrayal of a girl on the autism spectrum.


Who am I?

As a kid, I read constantly. After my beloved mother left my abusive father and came out as a lesbian, a homophobic judge took me and my siblings--one of whom has Down syndrome--away from her. Reading was an escape. I loved weekends when I could leave my father’s house near Los Angeles and visit my mother who had a backyard full of trees and gardens. My parents argued constantly but as long as I could grow plants and observe birds, I was okay. Eventually, I moved to Oregon and volunteered to care for owls. I wrote Avenging the Owl to show that in the middle of family meltdowns, kids can turn to the natural world for comfort and inspiration.


I wrote...

Avenging the Owl

By Melissa Hart,

Book cover of Avenging the Owl

What is my book about?

How would you feel if your depressed father made you move away from your perfect life in a Southern California surfing town to a trailer in Oregon, an hour away from an ocean so cold the fish freeze? What would you do if your mother turned into a hippie and traded the family Corvette for a purple Volkswagen bus? 

This is what happens to 14-year-old Solo Hahn. When a Great-horned owl steals the only friend Solo has left, he commits a crime that earns him community service at a raptor rehabilitation center where he's forced to clean up bird poop and feed dead rats to his sworn enemies . . . owls. Will Solo survive his family’s total meltdown? And why is there bird poop on his best surfing shirt?

Bookshelves related to social anxiety