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Booklist: Death & Dying

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Parents & Teachers


Death & Dying: Death of a Grandparent

General | 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.

155.937 HOL  Gran-Gran’s Best Trick.  L. Dwight Holden.  Ages 6-9.
As her grandfather weakens from terminal cancer and dies, his granddaughter reflects on their special relationship and the memories of him that she will share with her little sister.

Picture Books:

The Christmas Thingamajig.  Lynn Manuel.  Ages 5-9. 
On the first Christmas after her grandmother’s death, a young girl comes to terms with her own anger and guilt, and learns that memories and rituals can help heal hearts.

Come Back, Grandma.  Sue Limb.  Ages 3-7.
Bessie misses her grandmother when she dies, but when Bessie grows up, she has a little girl of her own who looks and behaves just like Grandma.

Eleanor, Arthur, and Claire.  Diane Engel.  Ages 3-7. 
Claire, a young mouse, loves spending her summers with her grandparents, and although she finds things changed after her grandfather's death, she and her grandmother find the strength to go on without him.

Good-Bye, Vivi!   Antonie Schneider.  Ages 5-8.
When Granny's beloved canary Vivi dies, the family comes to accept it, as well as the idea that some day they will lose Granny as well.

Grandad Bill’s Song.   Jane Yolen.   Ages 5-8. 
As his relatives relate how they felt when his grandfather died, a boy is surprised at the memories they share with him, and then is able to share his own feelings.

The Grandad Tree.  Trish Cooke.  Ages 3-7.
The changing nature of their apple tree reminds Leigh and Vin of their grandfather, who is gone but lives on in their memories.

Grandpa’s Slide Show.  Deborah Gould.  Ages 4-8.
Whenever they visit Grandpa, Sam and Douglas always watch a slide show. After Grandpa dies, the slide show becomes a way to remember him.

The Happy Funeral.  Eve Bunting.  Ages 5-9.
A Chinese-American girl pays tribute to her grandfather as she assists in the preparations for his funeral.

Liplap’s Wish.  Jonathon London.  Ages 3-6. 
As he builds a snowbunny, Liplap misses his grandmother who recently died.  His mother comforts him by helping him to imagine that his grandmother is now a star in the sky.

Marianne’s Grandmother.  Bettina Egger.  Ages 3-7. 
After her grandmother dies, a little girl remembers all the good times they had together.

My Grandfather’s House.  Bruce Coville.  Ages 4-7.
When the child feels the cool, smooth fingers of his dead grandfather, he finally understands that Grandpa no longer lives in the house that was his body.

My Grandma Leonie.  Bijou Le Tord. Ages 2-5. 
In this simple book, a child remembers the quiet things they did together.

My Grandson Lew.  Charlotte Zolotow.  Ages 2-6.
 Together Lewis and his mother remember Grandpa, who used to come in the night when Lewis called.

Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs.  Tomie de Paola.  Ages  3-7. 
Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable deaths.

Old Pig.  Margaret Wild.  Ages 2-6. 
Because Old Pig knows that her time to die is near, she puts her affairs in order and takes a slow walk with Granddaughter to savor the beauty for one last time in this comforting book.

One More Wednesday.   Malika Doray. Ages 3-7.
When a little animal's grandmother dies, he remembers good times with her and asks his mother about death.

Poppy’s Chair.  Karen Hesse.  Ages 4-8.
On her first summer visit to her grandmother since her grandfather's death, Leah is saddened by his absence, but Gramm helps her learn how to remember Poppy with joy.

Remember the ButterfliesAnna Grossnickle Hines. Ages 3-7.  
When a boy and girl find a dead butterfly in the garden, their grandfather explains that life will go on in the eggs it had left behind.  After their grandfather dies, their mother comforts them with the thought that they are his legacy as are the beautiful things he has left behind.

Sophie.  Mem Fox.  Ages 3-6. 
As Sophie grows bigger and her grandfather gets smaller, they continue to love each other very much.

Sweet, Sweet Memory.  Jacqueline Woodson.   Ages 3-8. 
A child and her grandmother feel sad when Grandpa dies but as time passes, funny memories of him make them laugh and feel better.

Thank You, Grandpa.  Lynn Plourde.  Ages 4-9.
Over the years a grandfather and granddaughter enjoy many walks together appreciating nature’s life cycles. One day the granddaughter walks alone, but her grandfather’s lessons remain.

A Time for Remembering.   Chuck Thurman.  Ages 5-8.
After his grandfather's death, a boy remembers the intimate experiences they shared and follows his grandfather's last request.

The Two of Them.  Aliki.  Ages 4-8.
In gentle prose, describes the relationship of a grandfather and his granddaughter from her birth to his death.

Waiting for the Whales.   SherylMcFarlane.  Ages 4-8.
A little girl and her grandfather spend summer evenings waiting on the shore for the whales to come, and after his death, she waits for the orcas to return, thinking about the special bond they shared.

Where is Grandpa?  T.A. Barron. Ages 5-9.
After his beloved grandfather's death, a boy realizes that his grandfather is still with him through the stories each family member shares.

Chapter Books:

Blackberries in the Dark.  Mavis Jukes.  Ages 7-11. 
Nine-year-old Austin visits his grandmother the summer after his grandfather dies and together they try to come to terms with their loss.

Saying Good-bye to Grandma.  Jane Resh Thomas. Ages 5-9.
Seven-year-old Suzie is curious and fearful about what Grandma's funeral will be like.


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