The Invisible Riptide


Carron Montgomery

Our Invisible Riptide book series was created to help children, teens, families, and communities understand the complexities of mental health and how we can better connect with ourselves and the ones around us to overcome challenges, raise awareness, and develop mental strength.

The Invisible Riptide is a story of hope, healing, and connection. The book beautifully illustrates life lessons meant for all and shows us a way to achieve real health and balance through deep connection and feeling. It’s a conversation starter that helps us all understand the emotional riptide we often experience.

The book follows the story of Stella, who experiences whirling and swirling in her belly and is on a quest to figure out what it is. She learns about emotional safety (naming and expressing feelings), how her body can be an emotional thermometer, the importance of connection, and that it’s OK not to be OK.

Our Discussion Guides and Activities were developed to accompany The Invisible Riptide book to give you the language and guidance to spark conversations and further help your child to identify and explore emotions. In addition to our General Discussion and Activity Guide, we also have guides specially adapted for talking about difficult topics such as Cancer, Grief, Trauma, and Suicide.
The Make Your Own Riptide Activity is a great, hands-on activity using art. Art, and especially coloring or painting, is another way that helps you and your child express what you’re feeling, without even talking, although such activities usually spark conversations! Art not only allows for a different way to express oneself but also often soothes our nervous systems to make it easier to talk about what can be difficult topics.

Get ready to dance and sing as you listen Best Day Yet and Better Together – songs inspired by The Invisible Riptide book. Thanks to musician Chris Doolittle for the original music, lyrics, and performance.

“Our adolescent son recently needed help describing some anxious feelings. Thankfully, we had just bought The Invisible Riptide and asked him to read it. The book was a superb help in our discussion, and helped him realize how normal his feelings are, especially now.”

– Mother of Four

“The book has given us words to talk about how we’re feeling and emphasized the importance of asking for help when we need it.”

– Mother of Five

“I read The Invisible Riptide, and it spoke to my heart and to my passion for meeting the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students who have experienced trauma, neglect, abuse, insecure attachment with a caring adult, transience, unstable home environments, and any other experience that causes a change in the brain’s ability to process big feelings.”

– Special Education Teacher

“When we read this book, we knew it was something we wanted to read and facilitate a lesson. We had discussion questions for every grade level (K-5). The feedback has been amazing. We have had some many rich discussion about mental health, therapy, anxiety, sadness, etc. as well as feeling more than one emotion at a time. We discussed outlets and activities that we can do to help slow down our emotional riptides."

– Literacy Coach, K-5 Elementary School

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