A Mind Like Mine - Story Snug

A Mind Like Mine by Rachael Davis & Islenia Mill

A MIND LIKE MINE takes a look at twenty one famous people, past and present, who have lived with or are living with various mental health conditions. They come from a range of diverse backgrounds and have achieved success in sport, science, politics and the arts.

Historical characters include Alfred Nobel, Michelangelo, Hans Christian Andersen and Sir Isaac Newton who experienced bouts of depression. Also Ada Lovelace, Florence Nightingale and Vincent Van Gogh who may have lived with bipolar disorder. More recently Serena Williams has talked about how her mental health was impacted by the pressure of playing professional tennis, cricketer Andrew Flintoff is using his experience with bulimia to highlight the fact that men also live with eating disorders and former first lady, Michelle Obama, has taken steps to find self care tools to safeguard her mental health.

Through sensitively written mini biographies, A Mind Like Mine introduces each person’s mental health condition in an easy to understand way. It discusses symptoms and treatments and shows that mental health disorders don’t have to stop us from achieving our dreams. The biographies are backed up with descriptions about mental health disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

Author Rachael Davis has written a letter at the beginning of the book in which she explains how her own mental health history inspired her to write it. She was surprised to discover that many historical figures had lived with mental health disorders and her hope is that the book will educate people about mental health as well as promote empathy. Randi Silverman, Founder of the Youth Mental Health Project, has also written a heartfelt foreword. After her family tried to cope with her son’s bipolar diagnosis there was a distinct lack of family support which led to the foundation of the project in the US.  

Islenia Mil’s colourful and eye-catching illustrations cover the full double spreads which tell us each character’s story, many of them include direct quotes which give us an insight into emotions experienced in connection with mental health conditions.

At the back of the book there is a glossary explaining words that are used in the text. There is also information about treatments as well as useful web links. ‘Spotlight on: Talking about Mental Health’ is particularly helpful in highlighting phrases to avoid and phrases to use when discussing a person’s mental health condition.

A Mind Like Mine is a fascinating read, both in terms of learning about famous figures and the mental health conditions that have impacted their lives and careers. It’s a great resource to generate discussion and to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health whilst highlighting that we all need to take care of our own mental health, no matter who we are and what we do.

Age Range: 7+

Author: Rachael Davis / Illustrator: Islenia Mill

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10 responses to “A Mind Like Mine by Rachael Davis & Islenia Mill”

  1. Natasha Mairs - Serenity You avatar
    Natasha Mairs - Serenity You

    I really like the sound of this book and I would love to read it myself as well as read it with my teens #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a really interesting and educational book, for adults as well as younger readers.

  2. stickymudandbellylaughs avatar

    It is so important that we open up about mental health and talk to our children. This book is a lovely way to bring up this topic and give the opportunity to discuss how different emotions can affect our day to day lives. x

    1. Catherine avatar

      This is a really important book to help remove the stigma about talking about mental health issues. I found it really interesting to read the biographies and learnt a lot myself.

  3. Kim Carberry avatar

    This sounds like a wonderful book, especially for children to show that mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of and to learn more about them. x

    1. Catherine avatar

      There can be a lot of stigma around mental health conditions and this book does a great job of dispelling that stigma whilst encouraging us all to look after our mental health.

  4. Carol avatar

    This is a great way to explain about individual differences which includes mental health. It sounds like an amazing little book.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s really fascinating and also encouraging to hear how much the people featured have achieved despite mental health conditions.

  5. Joanne avatar

    This sounds like an amazing book! I will be looking to see if our library has this one since my son is so interested in psychology.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope you find a copy. It’s been really interesting for us to gain more understanding of different mental health conditions and how they can impact peoples’ lives.