Helpful books for grieving kids, teens and families

 

For children

After the loss of a parent or close loved one many young children feel as though they won't be taken care of anymore, and these books will reassure children that they are loved and that no matter what they will be taken care of.

Just Like You

As the sun begins to set one night, Little Mouse and his mama make their way home, past rabbits and frogs and foxes, all settling down for the night. Each parent has a promise for his or her baby.  By the time he and his mama reach home, he has a big question for her. "Mama, what can you do for me?  You're only a little mouse. You can't fly, or jump high, or dig or dive.... Am I not as special as those other babies, then?" His mother's answer is as reassuring and unique as any mother's would be, to the immense satisfaction of every young reader.

Fearmley, J. (2003). Just Like You. Cambridge: Candlewick.

 

Guess How Much I Love You

Big Hare tries to look for ways to tell Little Hare just how special he is and how much he is loved.

Mcbratney, S. (2008). Guess How Much I Love You. Cambridge: Candlewick.

 

The Dead Bird

The bird was dead when the children found it. It was still warm and its eyes were closed. They wrapped the bird in grapevine leaves, dug a little grave and buried the bird. On top of his grave they placed ferns and little white violets and yellow flowers. And every day, until they forgot, they went and sang there.

Rauch, M. (1965). The Dead Bird. New York, NY: Young Scott Books.

 

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families)

It addresses children's fears and curiosity head-on, and in a largely secular fashion, by answering some very basic questions: "Why does someone die?" "What does dead mean?" "What comes after death?"

Brown, L. (1998). When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families).  New York: Little, Brown Young Readers.

 

For teens

These books are designed especially for teens to help after a loved one is loss.

Grief Skills for Life - A personal journal for teens about loss.

A book where teens have the option to journal their own thoughts and ideas guided by questions or quotes.

Davidson, J. (2002). Grief Skills for Life - A personal journal for teens about loss. Kentucky: Renew Center.

 

Helpful books

Emphasizing the importance of discussion and activities, t hese books will help with the difficult task of talking to children about grief.

The Healing Book: Facing the death and Celebrating the Life of Someone You Love

This is an activity workbook for children to express their feelings and make their very own special book of memories.

Sabin, E. (2006). The Healing Book: Facing the Death, and Celebrating the Life, of Someone You Love. China: Watering Can.

 

Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies

Art book where children can express their feelings in words or pictures.

Silverman, J. (1999). Help Me Say Goodbye- Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies. Minneapolis: Fairview Press.

 

35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child

Ideas of how to help a child through grief along with pictures and quotes from children.

The Dougy Center. (1999). 35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child. The Dougy Center - The National Center for Grieving Children & Families.

 

Talking About Death: A Dialogue between Parent and Child.

Advice on how to discuss death appropriately with a child.

Grollman, E. (1990). Talking about Death: A Dialogue between Parent and Child. Boston: Beacon Press.

 

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