My Anxiety is Messing Things Up

A story to normalize anxiety in middle school students - includes practical and realistic examples and strategies!

Author: Jennifer Licate
Illustrator: Suzanne Beaky
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Oscar is a perfectionist with an anxiety problem.

He puts pressure on himself to excel in everything he does. That’s why he earns good grades, wins awards, plays sports, performs in the band and makes friends easily. But all his accomplishments come at a price. 

Oscar is wracked with anxiety. 

He’s so afraid of falling short of expectations or disappointing his parents, his teachers and his pals, he can’t sleep. He tosses and turns every night. The more sleep he loses, the moodier and more irritable he becomes. Exhausted and stressed, Oscar lashes out at his best buddies. Now his anxiety is topped with feelings of guilt and shame. 

When a caring teacher notices Oscar’s distress, she invites him to join a secretive school group for students who struggle with anxiety. What will he do? Is Oscar too embarrassed to seek help, or is he so tired of being tired, he’ll try anything for some sleep and relief? 

My Anxiety is Messing Things Up is a fast-paced chapter book that examines the emotional and physical toll anxiety has on kids, as well as the empowering strategies they can use to calm their worries. 63 pgs.

Extend the learning with the Teacher and Counselor Activity Guide designed to accompany the chapter book! Includes engaging discussion questions and creative activities to help readers understand the content more deeply and can guide classroom conversations about anxiety, stress and trying your best.

This quick-read chapter book is part of the Navigating Friendships chapter book series, which is great for students in grades 4 through 7 who are struggling with changing friendships, anxiety, or teasing, and learning about self-advocacy and how to get along with others. 40 pgs.

The series includes:


Published by Boys Town Press


About the Author

JENNIFER LICATE is an award-winning children’s author who has worked as a school counselor for more than a decade. She currently splits her time between two schools, enjoying the dynamic of working with children from kindergarten through grade 12. Counseling children of all ages (as well as raising two kids of her own) has taught Jennifer a universal truth: all children want to be loved, valued, and respected for the unique individuals they are. She channels this truth and her love of counseling and creativity into captivating stories that help children navigate the challenges of growing up. She is the author of several popular titles and activity guides, including He’s Not Just Teasing!, I Lost My BFF, and Am I Weird? These storybooks comprise her award-winning Navigating Friendships series which feature compelling young characters who are learning how to fit in, overcome fears, and find inner strength.   

Get a sneak peek at the story!

Published by Boys Town Press

ISBN: 978-1-944882-89-1

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