I've mentioned it before: while I may not subscribe to the notion that reading is good for you on some moral/ethical plane, or that it will make you a better person, I certainly believe that sometimes books will cure what ails you, particularly in matters of the heart, mind and spirit (those are three different things, right?). I have asked before for people's ideas on what books fixes what ailment, and you can find many brilliant ideas here, but for what it's worth, I am starting a whole freaking pharmacopeia, if only so I have somewhere to turn when things aren't quite right.
Some of these are for kids, some not. And yes, I implore you all to add your ideas in the comments. We're saving the world here, people. Healing the sick and all.
It probably doesn't need to be detailed here, but the instructions are: to be read at bedtime, or in severe cases, to stay home and take as needed.
For despair: Moby-Dick. Really.
For stress, particularly induced by bed bugs: Patrick O'Brian, Desolation Island
For anxiety: Jane Austen, Emma and/or Persuasion
For fever: A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, Rich Men, Single Women Pamela Beck, Heather Thomas (you know it's going to be shameless when there are two authors)
For anomie: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
For Fears at Bedtime: Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lundgren
For loneliness: My Best Friend Mary Ann Rodman (4 to 8); Harriet the Spy (8 to 14 or whenever); The Catcher in the Rye (14 and up) (yes, I'm old-fashioned)
For loneliness (adult type): Lunch Poems and/or Meditations in an Emergency Frank O'Hara
For homesickness: Adopted Jane (kids), A House for Mr. Biswas (adults)
For dread: The Stand Stephen King (just go with it, is what I'm saying, it works!)
For Postpartum Depression: any Spenser novel by Robert B. Parker written before 2000, or try The Godwulf Manuscript, his first)
For boredom (kids version): Little House in the Big Woods; Becoming Naomi Leon Pam Munoz Ryan
For boredom (adult division): any and all the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian
For alienation (kids division): Emily the Strange Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner; for really little kids, The Snowy Day Ezra Jack Keats
For alienation (adult division): Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro
To stop smoking: Deborah Eisenberg "Days" in Under the 82nd Airborne
For bullying (kids division): Blubber Judy Blume
For abiding sorrow: The Old Curiosity Shop Charles Dickens
All right, that's as far as I can get. But I know you have more! Especially for kids, right? Come on, give up your cherished secret succor in the comments. It's for the greater good.