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Booklist: Death & Dying

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Parents & Teachers


Death & Dying: Death of a Pet

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

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 Nonfiction

155.9 NIE  Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults & Children. Herbert A. Nieburg.
Pet Loss tells parents how they can help their children through this difficult experience and also offers expert advice on euthanasia, expectations from a veterinarian, cremation, pet cemeteries, and when to introduce a new pet.

155.937 ROG          When a Pet Dies. Fred Rogers. Ages 3 – 6.
With simplicity, honesty and gentleness, Rogers writes about some of the questions and emotions children may have when a pet dies.

DOGS


Picture Books

The Accident.  Carol Carrick. Ages 5-9. 
After his dog, Bodger, is hit by a truck and killed, Christopher must deal with his own feelings of depression and guilt.

Jim’s Dog Muffins.   Miriam Cohen.  Ages 3-7.
When Jim's dog is killed, the other first graders comfort and experience with him his natural reactions to death.

A Dog Like Jack.  Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan. Ages 4-8.
After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.

I’ll Always Love You.  Hans Wilhelm.  Ages 3-8. 
A child's sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the memory of saying to it every night, "I'll always love you” in this gentle, moving story.

Murphy and Kate.   Ellen Howard.  Ages 5-10.
Kate and her dog Murphy have grown up together and are best friends, but when Murphy dies of old age Kate does not think she can ever be happy again.

Better with Two.  Barbara M. Joosee.  Ages 3-7. 
Laura tries to make Mrs. Brady feel better when her dog Max dies.

Goodbye, Max.  Holly Keller.  Ages 3-8. 
Ben is angry when his dog dies of old age and will not accept the new puppy until he learns to deal with his grief. 

Ada’s Pal.  George Ella Lyon.  Ages 3-8.
A small dog suffers from a broken heart when her dog companion dies until a veterinarian advises the family that there is only one thing to do – get another dog.

Dog Heaven.  Cynthia Rylant.  Ages 3-8. 
God created Dog Heaven, a place where dogs can eat ice cream biscuits, sleep on fluffy clouds, and run through unending fields.

Toby.   Margaret Wild.  Ages 4-10.
Toby is an old and sick dog.  His family does their best to care for him and they also learn that change is not as easy for some people to accept. 

Chapter Books

The Sounds of Summer.  David Updike. Ages 7-10.  
During the long days of summer vacation, Homer realizes that his beloved Sophocles is no longer a young dog and that he may lose his companion soon.

Sounder.  William Armstrong.  Ages 8-13.
A beautiful story about a young African-American boy and his dog who dies.

CATS


Picture Books

The Tenth Good Thing about Barney.  Judith Viorst.  Ages 4-8. 
In an attempt to overcome his grief, a boy tries to think of the ten best things about his dead cat.

Goodbye, Mitch.  Ruth Wallace-Brodeur.  Ages 5-9.
A young boy comforts and cares for his terminally ill cat.

The Bug Cemetery.  Frances Hill.  Ages 4-8.
Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet cat.

Cat Heaven.  Cynthia Rylant.  Ages 3-7.
God created Cat Heaven, with fields of sweet grass where cats can play, kitty-toys for them to enjoy, and angels to rub their noses and ears.

Chapter Books


Mustard.  Charlotte Graeber.  Ages 8-10.
Eight-year-old Alex and his family try to come to terms with the old age and death of their beloved cat, Mustard.

Whiskers Once and Always.  Doris Orgel. Ages 8-10.
When her beloved cat Whiskers dies, Rebecca finds it difficult at first to vent her anger and accept her mother's comfort.

OTHER PETS


Picture Books

Tough Boris.  Mem Fox.  Ages 2-6.
Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris cries when his parrot dies.

Goodbye Mousie.  Robie H. Harris.  Ages 3-8.
A boy grieves for his dead pet Mousie, helps to bury him, and begins to come to terms with his loss.

Helen the Fish.  Virginia L. Kroll.  Ages 4-8.
When six-year-old Hannah's beloved goldfish dies after a relatively long life, she seeks comfort from her older brother Seth.

Chapter Book

King Emmett the Second.  Mary Stolz. Ages 7-10.
Emmett endures the death of his pet pig and his family's move from New York City to Ohio and finally comes to accept the thought of getting another pet.


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