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Booklist: Death & Dying

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Parents & Teachers


Death & Dying: Death of a Friend

General | Death of a Grandparent | Death of a Parent | Death of a Child (Sibling) | Death of Other Relatives | Death of a Pet |

The books on this bibliography are designed to help parents and children cope with the death of a loved one.  Not every book is appropriate for every child.  We strongly urge caregivers to pre-read a book before sharing it with a young person.

155.937 COO      When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens about Grieving.   Marilyn E. Gootman.  Ages 11&up.  A brief book filled with practical and perceptive advice to help teens cope with their questions and feelings after a friend’s death.

Picture Books

I Had a Friend Named Peter.  Janice Cohn. Age 5-8. 
When Betsy learns about the death of a friend, her parents and kindergarten teacher answer questions about dying, funerals, and the burial process.   Includes a section on talking to children about the death of a friend.

Goodbye Rune.  Marit Kaldhol.  Ages 7-11. 
When her best friend accidentally drowns, a little girl, with the help of her parents, tries to come to terms with his death and her feelings of loss and sadness.

If Nathan Was Here.   Mary Bahr Fritts.  Ages 4-8. 
A young boy grieves the loss of his best friend and thinks about how things would be if he were still alive in this simple, moving story.

Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lilly.   Nancy White Carlstom.  Ages 4-8.
After her best friend, an old lady named Miss Lilly, passes away, Sara learns that the memory of a loved one never dies. 

Chapter Books:

Dusty Was My Friend.  Andrea Fleck Clardy.  Age 7-11. 
Eight-year-old Benjamin remembers his friend Dusty, who was killed in a car accident, and tries to understand his own feelings about losing a friend in this way.

The Empty Window.  Eve Bunting.  Ages 9-12.
With his younger brother's help, C.G. captures a wild parrot for his friend who is dying and comes to terms with his own fear of seeing his dying friend.

A Taste of Blackberries.  Doris Buchanan Smith.  Ages 8 & up. 
A young boy recounts his grief and feelings of guilt after his best friend dies from a bee sting.

We Remember Philip.  Norma Simon.  Ages 6-11. 
After the accidental death of their teacher’s son, Sam and his classmates seek a way to express their feelings, preserve his memory, and help their teacher cope.


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