Suggested Reading for Children
Bahr, Mary. If Nathan Were Here. Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2002. A story of children mourning the loss of a friend. Ages 5-10.
Blackburn, Lynn. I Know I Made It Happen. Centering Corporation, Omaha, NE, c 1991. A young girl thinks it is her fault when her brother gets sick, her sister falls out of a tree, her Grandmother dies, and her parents get a divorce. She learns that no one is to blame. Ages 5-9.
Boelts, Maribeth. Sarah’s Grandma Goes to Heaven: A Book About Grief. ZonderKitz, 2004. Sarah learns how to cope with her Grandmother’s death, learns about heaven and God’s wonderful plan. Ages 4 – 8.
Brown, Laurie Krasny. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death.Little Brown & Co., c 1998. This books answers basic questions; "Why does someone die?" "What does dead mean?" etc. Very well done. Ages 5-8.
Fontaine, Anne. Ocho Loved Flowers. Stoneleigh Press, 2007. A little girl learns how to care for her cat who is dying from a tumor. Beautifully written. Ages 4 – 9.
Greene, Alesia. Sunflowers and Rainbows for Tia: Saying Goodbye to Daddy. Centering Corp., 1999. Tells how a young girl feels when her father dies and how she and her family express their sadness and their love for him. Ages 5 - 9.
Greenlee, Sharon. When Someone Dies. Peachtree Pub., Ltd., Atlanta, GA, 1992. A gentle book that explains that when someone dies many things stop, but the memories go on. Ages 4 - 9.
Hanson, Warren. The Next Place. Waldman House Press, Inc. c 1997. Beautifully illustrated pages and simple text take one on a journey to a place where earthly hurts are left behind. Ages 6 up.
Harris, Robie H. Goodbye Mousie. Margaret McElderry, 2001. A gentle story about the death of a pet. Ages 3 - 8.
Heegard, Marge. When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness. Woodland Press, Mpls, MN, c 1992. A practical workbook to help children deal with emotions associated with illness and death. Ages 5-12.
Heegard, Marge. When Something Terrible Happens: Children Can Learn To Cope With Grief. Woodland Press, Mpls., MN, 1992. A practical workbook to help guide children through grief. Ages 5-12.
Hemery, Kathleen Maresh. The Brightest Star. Entering Corp., c 1998. Molly's mother dies and Molly struggles with a school assignment of drawing a picture of her family. Ages 4 - 9.
Hesse, Karen. Poppy's Chair. Scholastic Trade, c 2000. Leah visits her grandmother who helps her deal with the sadness of her grandfather's death and to remember him with joy. Ages 5-10.
Johnston, Tony. That Summer. Harcourt, 2002. A family, including a child who is dying, sews together a quilt of memories and love. A moving story told by the surviving brother. Ages 4 – 8.
London, Jonathan. Liplap's Wish. Bt Bound, reprint 2001. As he builds a snow bunny, Liplap feels something is missing and wishes his grandmother, who recently died, was with him. Ages 4 - 9.
Miles, Miska. Annie and the Old One. Bt Bound, 1999. The Navajo view of death is presented as the Old One, Annie's grandmother, teaches the child to understand that time cannot be stopped and the old woman must "return to mother earth". A very sensitive portrayal. Ages 6-10.
Mills, Joyce C. Ph.D. Gentle Willow. Magination Press, NY, 1993. Amanda is upset that she is going to lose her friend, Gentle Willow, but the Tree Wizards help her understand that her memories are gifts from her friend and that there are special ways of saying goodbye. Ages 6 - 10.
Mills, Lauren. The Rag Coat. Little, Brown and Co., NY, c 1991. Minna proudly wears her new coat of clothing scraps (scraps that remind her of her father who died) to school, where the other children laugh at her until she tells them the stories behind the scraps. Especially good to use in talking about memories of a loved one. Ages 6 - 10.
Mundy, Michaelene. Sad Isn't Bad: A good-grief guidebook for kids dealing with loss. Abbey Press, 1998. Life affirming advice for coping with loss as a child. Ages 4-8.
Nystrom, Carolyn. What Happens When We Die? Moody Press, Chicago, c 1992. A little girl talks with her mother about death and heaven. Well written with a Christian emphasis and references to Biblical scripture. Ages 5 - 10.
Nystrom, Carolyn. Will I Live Forever? Candle Books, 2006. When a bird falls to the ground, a little girl begins asking questions about death and heaven. Ages 5 – 8.
Old, Wendie C. Stacy Had A Little Sister. A. Shitman, Morton Grove, IL, c 1995. A young girl looses her baby sister to Sudden Death Syndrome. Ages 6 - 10.
Portnoy, Mindy Avra. Where Do People Go When They Die? Kar-Ben Pub., 2004. Children ask different adults and themselves about death and receive a variety of answers. Includes an afterward and suggestions for parents. Ages 3 – 8.
Prestine, Joan Singleton. Someone Special Died. Fearon Teacher Aids, 2001. A young girl describes the anger and sadness she feels after someone she loves dies, and makes a scrapbook to remember the things that they did together. Ages 3 – 7.
Raschka, Chris. The Purple Balloon. Schwartz & Wade Books, NY, c 2007. Simple, gentle text shares that dying is hard work, and how good it is to have help from family, medical staff, friends, and others. All ages.
Rock, Lois. When Good-bye Is Forever. Good Books, 2004. This book helps young readers to understand different sorts of goodbyes and to find the strength and hope, from a Christian perspective, when they face the hardest goodbye of all. Ages 4 – 6.
Rothman, Juliet. A Birthday Present for Daniel. Prometheus Books, 2001. A young girl whose brother has died describes how she feels and tell of some of the things her family does to help them accept his death. Ages 7 - 12.
Rudner, Barry. Will I Still Have to Make My Bed In The Morning? Tiny Thought Press, Louisville, Kentucky, c 1993. A small boy who is dying wonders, with his friend, just what will happen. The one thing the friend answers him is that they will still be friends. Ages 6 -10.
Schlitt, Ra Ra Sartwell. Robert Nathaniel's Tree. Light Bearer Pub. C 1993. A young boy plants a tree in memory of his baby brother and watches it grow. Ages 5 - 10.
Simon, Jack. This Book Is For All Kids, But Especially My Sister Libby: Libby Died. Andrews McMeel Pub., 2002. Questions and comments Jack, age 5, makes to his mother, mostly at bedtime. Ages 4 – 10.
Simon, Norma. The Saddest Time. Albert Whitman & Co., 1992. Three separate situations in which children experience the death of an uncle, friend, and a grandparent. Ages 5-10.
Tangvald, Christine Harder. Someone I loved Died (Please Help Me, God). Chariot Victor Pub., 1988. Discusses death from a Christian perspective. Ages 4 – 8.
Temes, Roberta Ph.D. The Empty Place. New Horizon Press, 1992. A young boy goes through many emotions as he tries to deal with his sister's death. Finally he is able to open up to his babysitter who lost a brother. Ages 5 - 10.
Thomas, Jane Resch. Saying Goodbye to Grandma. EconoClad Books, 1999. Seven year old Suzie is curious and fearful about what Grandma's funeral will be like. Suzie tells each thing that happens. Loving ending. Ages 6-9.
Thomas, Pat. I Miss You: A first look at Death. Barrons Juveniles, 2001. This book helps children understand death and the normal feelings of grief. Ages 4 - 8.
Varley, Susan Badger's Parting Gifts. Lothrop, Mulberry Books, reprint edition, 1992. A story treasuring the memories of someone who dies. Ages 6-10.
Vigna, Judith. Saying Goodbye to Daddy. Mulberry Books, reprinted 1992. Frightened, lonely, and angry after her father is killed in a car accident, Clare is helped through the grieving process by her mother and grandfather. Ages 6 - 10.
Weigelt, Udo. Bear’s Last Journey. North-South Books, NY, 2003. Bear is very old and dying. All his friends come to say goodbye. After his death they each receive something to remember him by. Ages 5 – 9.
Wesson, Vann. Painting Sunsets With The Angels. Orion Media, CA, c 1997. With the help of an angel, David finds a way to bring comfort to his sister, Julia, so she can be happy again after his death. Ages 5 - 9.
Wild, Margaret. Old Pig. Puffin, Reprint Ed. 1999. Old pig knows that her time to die is near and she puts her affairs in order and takes a slow walk with her granddaughter to savor the beauty for one last time. Ages 5 - 10.
Wilhelm, Hans. I'll Always Love You. Crown Publishers, NY, 1989. A child's sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the remembrance of saying every night, "I'll always love you." Ages 3-7.
Yeomans, Ellen. Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister. Centering Corporation, 2000. A preschool girl recounts her confusing thoughts and feelings after the death of her sister. Ages 3-10.
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