Since Matt Haig published his bestselling book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ documenting his journey with his mental health, he’s been asked several times whether he would write a book about mental health for kids.
“I struggle with it,” Haig tells HuffPost UK. “I don’t know how to write ‘self help’ for kids, so instead I came up with a story about accepting yourself and understanding that the bad stuff doesn’t define us forever.”
The book Haig is talking about is his latest fiction story ‘The Truth Pixie’ - published on 18th October - which he hopes will speak to kids who may be struggling.
”It isn’t a self-help book, but a small rhyming story, but it also kind of is a self-help book,” he says. “It is about being comfortable with who you are.”
The book follows the main character, called Truth Pixie, who gets herself into a lot of trouble just for being herself. She can’t help but tell the truth - that is her nature. And yet people - trolls, rabbits, elves, everyone - hate hearing the truth.
Despite not wanting to give too much of the story away, Haig explains that the story ends with the Truth Pixie accepting herself for who she is, and she also ends up helping a young girl be optimistic about life.
The book is a rhyming story hoping to appeal to younger readers. “Fun is always important,” says Haig. “But there is also a serious message, beneath the silly jokes, and it is aimed at giving them confidence and comfort.
“We live at a time when mental health problems are rising at younger and younger ages. Kids need as many positive message as they can get.”
Haig believes it’s important for kids to be aware of mental health from a young age, but it doesn’t have to be in a “cold, clinical way”. What’s more important, he says, is that kids can learn self-acceptance and feel comfortable about their own experiences.
The author says he thinks the book would be perfect for kids age six and up.