Deep Dive Book Club and Parent University

The Deep Dive Book Group examines a variety of topics that impact teens. Each month, through the books we are reading, we will explore topics related to mental health and substance abuse and look at positive coping strategies and resources.

For teens in grades 6-12.

The Deep Dive Book Group is a partnership with Be Healthy Beverly and the Beverly Public Library.

Book Discussion Dates

January: Marijuana and Alcohol

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Monday, January 24 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee.”

Find the book.

February: Tobacco and Positive Coping Strategies

The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmel
Monday, February 28 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“Paralyzed by grief, Moira feels punished when her parents send her to a therapeutic boarding school in Maine where she meets eleven other troubled girls and gradually begins to understand her parents’ true intentions behind sending her there.”

Find the book.

March: Opioids

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
Monday, March 28 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good. With a new circle of friends–fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill–Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue. But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.”

Find the book.

April: LGBTQ+ Community

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali
Monday, April 25 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity–and that of his pen pal–will be revealed”

Find the book.

May: BIPOC Community

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds
Monday, May 23 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning.”

Find the book.

June: Mindfulness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Monday, June 27 at 4 PM
Sohier Room, Main Library

“What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions”

Find the book.


Katie N., Head of Teen Services, has created book lists on past and current Deep Dive and Parent University topics. The books on this list are geared towards teens, but there are many titles included that parents and guardians will find helpful.

Alcohol and marijuana
Coping with COVID using humor
Mental health

Looking for books on topics that you don’t see here? Email Katie and she can help!

Discussion Questions

Missed a meeting? Want to hold your own book discussion? Past book discussions will be posted after the discussion date!

Be Healthy Beverly’s Parent University is an initiative to offer resources, education, and programs focused on giving parents access to tips and tools on how to discuss difficult topics with their kids, such as substance use and mental health. Parent University also provides youth and teens facts on mental health, substance use risks, and positive coping strategies so that parents can feel supported by their community as they discuss these topics with their kids.