Fall 2023

Smashing Stigma

Dismantling Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Stigma is everywhere around us.

People may mistrust the unhoused or discriminate against those suffering from an addiction. They may change the way they interact with someone after witnessing a panic attack from anxiety or PTSD. Or they may judge others for their appearance and their weight.

Stigma leads to harmful stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. It can keep people from seeking the help and support they need. They may internalize others’ stigma and start to blame themselves for their condition or experiences. In some cases, the effects of stigma can even be life threatening.

Even with so many examples, it can be difficult to identify stigma in real time and even harder to work against it. But learning about common types of stigma can help to reduce them. Author and registered nurse Connie Goldsmith covers six stigmatized conditions—poor mental health, addiction, homelessness, relationship abuse, PTSD, and above average weight—to help you understand what stigma looks like and how it affects real people. Discover how you can dismantle stigma and work to reduce stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.

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Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Celebrating Differences , Diverse Books: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, Diverse Books: #MeToo, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 144
Publication Date 2023-09-05
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN051060, YAN051070, YAN051120
Dewey 305
Dimensions 6 x 9
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, and Table of contents

Author: Connie Goldsmith

Connie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in health care. She has written numerous books for YA readers and nearly two hundred magazine articles. Her recent books include Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service (2020), a Junior Library Guild selection; Running on Empty: Sleeplessness in American Teens (2021); Understanding Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021); and Bombs Over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster (2014), a Junior Library Guild selection, a Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, an Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California Distinguished Book, and an SCBWI Crystal Kite Winner. She lives in Sacramento, California. Visit her website at http://www.conniegoldsmith.com/.


  • Dogwood Readers Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2024
  • SCBWI Russell Freedman Award for Nonfiction for a Better World Finalist, Short-listed, 2023


School Library Journal

“[A] clarion call for teens to address individuals as individuals and to confront their own stereotypes and prejudices.”—School Library Journal


“Personal stories about discrimination and interviews with health professionals are joined by facts, statistics, charts, and graphs to add real-world relevancy.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“This accessible overview will provide much-needed validation for some and contribute to awareness for others. Helpfully catalogs serious problems and provides guidance on coping strategies.” —Kirkus Reviews