A New Norm – Plus a new story, Becoming Clare

Written by Tom Roberts
Illustrated by Jim Brummond

Soft Cover, 41 pages
includes tax, shipping, and handling

A New Norm is a book and presentation created by Avera Behavioral Health and Children’s Home Society of South Dakota (CHS) to help youth and their families begin a discussion about mental wellness. To date, CHS has shared more than 15,000 books and 115 presentations (in-person and virtual) of A New Norm with schools, churches, libraries, businesses, service clubs and community organizations around the region, reaching nearly 10,000 youth and 4,000 adults. The project has also been adapted as a children’s musical social awareness program presented by a local youth theater group.

Please contact us at 605-965-3183 if you wish to order 10 or more copies. 

The book: A New Norm identifies and honors feelings, such as anxiety, depression, grief, anger, doubt, shame, fear and more—while providing encouragement that such feelings can be overcome. Readers learn how negative thoughts can cloud our reality, making it difficult to enjoy life, develop one’s potential and create positive relationships. A New Norm reminds us that perception is reality and, that if one is willing to try, one can find both a light within and illumination beyond.

The presentation: Author Tom Roberts engages audiences through storytelling, humor and interactive activities. Intended for ages eight through adult, the presentation includes a reading of A New Norm followed by a discussion on the mental health themes discussed in the book. The audience is then invited to share thoughts, insights and reflections. As the conversation continues, Tom recruits volunteers to demonstrate key elements of his message (empathy, awareness, hope, positive thinking, etc.).

The purpose: This book is intended to help kids, parents, teachers, counselors, church youth leaders and others to broach the subject of mental health in a way that is non-threatening, nonjudgmental and easy to relate to. Our hope is that this illustrated story and discussion guide will become a springboard for ongoing conversations about mental health between youth, their families and their communities.

The need: With the ongoing mental health struggles that young people experience and the increasing concern our communities have about the risks involved, CHS is increasing efforts to raise awareness through A New Norm. A new tour of A New Norm program will be launched in autumn, 2023. An updated version of the book will be available that includes Becoming Clare, a story that addresses the struggles of adolescent girls. This edition also features an updated resources and discussion guide. Proceeds from book purchases benefit the mission of CHS to help youth and families across South Dakota.

Be the Spark!

Schedule an event for A New Norm in your school or community.

605-965-3183 Email