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Booklist: Death & Dying

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Parents & Teachers

Death & Dying: Death of a Parent

General | Death of a Grandparent | 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 KRE          How it Feels When a Parent Dies.  Jill Krementz.  Ages 7& up.
Eighteen young people –ages 7 to 16 – speak openly about their experiences and feelings when a parent died.

155.412 LES           When a Parent is Very Sick.  Eda LeShan.   Ages 8-14.
A self-help guide that highlights feelings and situations when a parent is temporarily, chronically, or terminally ill.

155.9 LES               Learning to Say Goodbye: When a Parent Dies.   Eda LeShan.  Ages 8-14.
Talks directly to children about what they may be feeling, what they can expect, and how they might cope. 

155.037 WEI          Let’s Talk About When a Parent Dies.  Elizabeth Weitzman.  Ages 4-9. 
Provides advice on surviving the death of a parent and suggests what feelings and behavior to expect from others.

155.937 POW        Geranium Morning.  E. Sandy Powell.  Ages 6-10.
A boy who loses his father in an accident finds comfort when he meets a girl whose mother is dying as they both begin to deal with their grief.

155.937 DOK  Remembering Mama. Dara Dokas.  Ages 4-9.
Comforted by her father, a young girl remembers her mother and is comforted by the thought that she is now in heaven.  Suggestions for discussion and a variety of activities are suggested to help deal with grief.

Picture Books

After Charlotte’s Mom Died. Cornelia Spelman. Ages 4-8.  
After her mom’s death in a car accident, six-year-old Charlotte feels sad, mad, and scared, until she and her dad visit a therapist who helps them acknowledge and express their feelings.

Daddy’s Chair.  Sandy Lanton.  Ages 4-8.
When Michael's father dies, his family sits shiva, observing the Jewish week of mourning, and remembers the good things about him.

Daddy’s Promise.  Cindy Klein Cohen.  Ages 4-8. 
After the death of his father, Jesse is angry and filled with questions. Why did his daddy have to die? What happens when someone dies?  Where do they go? Jesse's questions are answered both by his mother, and in a series of dreams where Jesse visits his father and learns about life, death, and life after death.

Flamingo Dream.  Donna Jo Napoli.  Ages 4-9.
Grieving over her father's death from cancer, a young girl celebrates their last year together by making a book that includes mementos and a story.

Mama.  Eleanor Schick  Ages 5-8.
This is a gentle exploration of a child's grief over the death of her mother.  The girl remembers her mother’s announcement of the illness, the introduction of a loving caretaker, her mother's death and its aftermath, and the girl's own eventual acceptance--not of the death, but of her mother's continuing presence through memories.         

A Quilt for Elizabeth.   Benette W. Tiffault.  Ages 5-10. 
When Elizabeth's father dies, her grandmother helps her make a quilt that is full of memories for them both.

Some of the Pieces.  Melissa Madenski.   Ages 5-9. 
On the first anniversary of his dad's death, a boy talks about his memories and his feelings as his family scatter the last of Dad's ashes in the river.  He remembers his anger and his sorrow and also how he began to feel better.

Saying Goodbye to Daddy.  Judith Vigna.    Ages 4-8.
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.

Chapter Books

Daddy’s Climbing Tree.  C.S. Adler.  Ages 9-12. 
Eleven-year-old Jessica refuses to believe the reality of her father's death when he is killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Sky Memories.   Pat Brission.  Ages 8 and up.
When ten-year-old Emily learns that her mother has cancer, the two of them begin a ritual that will help
Emily remember her mother after she is dead.

Upside-Down Cake.  Carol Carrick.  Ages 7-11. 
A nine-year-old boy tries to come to terms with his grief, anger, and feelings of guilt and isolation when his father develops cancer, becomes weaker, and dies.

Winter Holding Spring.   Crescent Dragonwagon.  Ages 6-11. 
In discussing her mother's death with her father, eleven-year-old Sarah comes to see that in endings there are new beginnings, that grief is part of love, that loneliness is part of communication, and that change is part of continuity.

Missing May.  Cynthia Rylant.  Ages 8-12.
After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

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