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Booklist: Death & Dying

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Parents & Teachers

Death & Dying

Death of a Grandparent | Death of a Parent | Death of a Child (Sibling) | Death of Other Relatives | Death of a Friend | 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.

General Non-Fiction

155.937 BRO          When Dinosaurs Die: a Guide to Understanding Death. Laurene Krasny Brown. Ages

 4-8. Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.

155.937 KRO         Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: a Guide for Grownups.  William Kroen. 

Age-specific advice detailing what children can understand.  Includes a bibliography and resource list.

155.937 SCH          How Do We Tell the Children? A Step by Step Guide for Helping Children Two to Ten Cope When Someone Dies.  Dan Schaeffer and Christine Lyons.
A practical guide for anyone who works with children includes a “Crisis Checklist” with scripted answers to children’s frequently-asked questions.

155.93 JAM           When Children Grieve For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving and Other Losses.  John W. James and Russell Friedman.
Concrete suggestions of things to say and do with a child to help acknowledge the loss and grieve in healthy ways.

155.937 EMS         Guiding your Child through Grief.   Mary Ann Emswiler.
The New England Center for Loss and Transition offers expert advice to help a child grieve the death of a parent or sibling.

155.93 TRO            Talking with Children about Loss -- Words, Strategies, and Wisdom to Help Children Cope with Death, Divorce, and other Difficult Times.   Maria Trozzi. 

155.937 THI           35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child.  The Dougy Center. 
The Dougy Center for the Grieving Child provides 35 practical suggestions for helping children, teens, and their families cope with the loss of a loved one in this short but valuable book.

 155.937 FRY    Part of Me Died, Too – Stories of Creative Survival Among Bereaved Children and Teenagers.     Virginia Fry.  Ages 8 and up.
True stories of young people reflecting on their experiences with the deaths of pets, family members, or friends.  

155.937 SPR           Death. (Preteen Pressures Series)  Barbara Sprung. Ages 8-12. 
Discusses what it feels like to experience the death of a loved one, outlines the stages of grief and mourning, and describes ways to honor or remember someone who has died.

155.937 GID           Coping with Grieving and Loss.  Sandra and Owen Giddens.  Ages 11 and up. 
Offers teens and pre-teens strategies for coping -- explaining the stages of grieving, how to deal with friends and family, the funeral, anger, guilt and depression, changing emotions, and where to go for help.

155.937 GRO          Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers:  How to Cope With Losing Someone You Love.  Earl Grollman. Ages 11 and up.
A poetic and thought-provoking book for teens who have experienced the death of a friend or relative.

155.937 MEL         Lifetimes: a Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. Bryan Mellonie.   Ages 3-8.
This book explains to children that death is a part of life and that, eventually, all living things reach the end of their own special lifetimes.

155.937 MEL         The Saddest Time.  Norma Simon.  Ages 5-8.
In these three stories, children come to terms with the death of an uncle, a classmate, and a grandmother.
A workbook title which is not available in libraries but may be a worthwhile purchase for families looking for a book where children can process their grieving through art:
Help Me Say Goodbye : Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies.
  Janis Silverman.

Picture Books

Badger’s Parting Gifts.  Susan Varley.   Ages 3-8.
After Badger dies, his friends take comfort in the special memories they have of the things they did together.

A Story for Hippo: A Book About Loss.   Simon Puttock.  Ages 3-7.
Hippo and Monkey are best, best friends and when the wise old Hippo dies, Monkey is very sad until Chameleon helps him remember the stories he and Hippo shared.

What's heaven?  Maria Shriver.  Ages 4-9. 
After her great-grandmother's death, a young girl learns about heaven by asking her mother all kinds of questions.

The Blue Pearls.  Elizabeth Stuart Warfel.  Ages 5-9. 
Elise cannot leave her life on earth and join the angels until they have completed her sapphire-blue dress.  The story of the passage through death from the perspective of a small angel.

Chapter Books

Charlotte’s Web.  E.B. White.  Ages 5-10.
Charlotte the spider teaches Wilbur the pig many truths about life and death.

Juvenile Biography:

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  Eleanor Coerr.  Ages 8-12. 
Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.

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