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Books about Loss of a Loved One
Books on this page are about coping with the passing of a loved one. There are non-fiction informational books, as well as fiction books and parenting books.
Parenting Non-Fiction Books
Children Also Grieve by
Call Number: J 155.937 GOL
Publication Date: 2006-01-16
Children Also Grieve is an imaginative resource, fully illustrated with color photographs, that offers support and reassurance to children coming to terms with the loss of a close friend or relative and to adults who are supporting them through their bereavement. The first part of the book is designed to be read and worked through by children. The story tells of the experiences of Henry, the dog of a family whose grandfather has died. During Henry's progress through the different stages of bereavement, he learns strategies for coping with his grief. At various stages of the story, Goldman provides readers with the opportunity to share their own reactions to loss through words and pictures, using specific prompt questions that encourage the exploration of different facets of grief. The second part includes a list of useful vocabulary to help children express their feelings about bereavement, a bibliography of other useful resources for both children and adults, and a section that will help adults to understand and aid children throughout the grief process. This last section also explains the approach taken in the story, details typical responses to bereavement, and discusses useful ways in which adults can discuss and share grief with children. This book is an invaluable tool for bereaved children and those who care for them.
Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One by
Call Number: J 155.937 KRO
Publication Date: 1996-01-15
clear, concise language, Dr. William Kroen offers comfort, compassion, and sound advice to any adult who is helping a child cope with death. Incorporating insights and information from the respected Good Grief Program at the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and weaving in anecdotes about real children and their families, he explains how children from infancy through age 18 perceive and react to death. He offers suggestions on how we can respond to children at different ages and stages, and describes specific strategies we can use to guide and support them through the grieving process - from the first devastating days through commemorating the loved one and eventually moving on with life. Includes a list of recommended organizations and additional readings.
Where Do People Go When They Die? by
Call Number: J 155.937 POR
Publication Date: 2004-03-01
In this touching narrative, young children ask, ""where do people go when they die?"" Each child asks an adult that they are trust - a father, a mother, a grandfather, an aunt, a teacher - and, although the answers they receive are all different, each reassuring answer leads back to the same simple truth.
Parenting Fiction Books
And What Comes after a Thousand? by
Call Number: JP BLEY
Publication Date: 2007-03-01
This quiet, gentle, heart-warming book is meant to be shared with a child a book first about love and friendship, and then about loss.
I Remember Miss Perry by
Call Number: JP BRISSON
Publication Date: 2006-04-20
It's his first day at a new school, and Stevie is scared.Who will he talk to at lunchtime? But his teacher says, "It is my fondest wish that you join me for lunch today, Stevie."And with that, a bad day becomes a good one. Miss Perry always has a new fondest wish--something new to read, sing, celebrate. But then an awful thing happens: Miss Perry dies in a car accident, and everything is suddenly sad and complicated.Yet Stevie and his classmates must find their way to happiness again. It would surely be Miss Perry's fondest wish. Pat Brisson and Stéphane Jorisch have created a poignant story, appropriate for children coping with a teacher's death or in need of comfort after any loss. Readers of all ages will be affected by its depth and honesty, and buoyed by its capacity for joy.
You Hold Me and I'll Hold You by
Call Number: JP CARSON
Publication Date: 1992-03-01
When a small girl hears her father's aunt has died and they must drive to Tennessee for the funeral, she worries about how different it will be from her backyard service for their hamster. It's so different in a church when relatives cry and a preacher is saying all the stuff he's thought of. Death is enormous then, and that's when comfort (You hold me, says Daddy, and I'll hold you) is most precious. Full-color illustrations.
Molly's Rosebush by
Call Number: JP COHN
Publication Date: 1994-10-01
When the new baby they've been expecting isn't strong enough to be born, Molly and her family find different ways to express their feelings and comfort one another.
Grandad Tree by
Call Number: JP COOKE
Publication Date: 2000-03-01
Leigh and her brother, Vin, remember playing with Grandad under their apple tree -- a tree that started out as a seed and then grew and grew. Just as the seasons go through their changes, so does the tree. "That's life", as Grandad used to say. But while the world around Leigh and Vin changes, they realize that some things -- like the love they have for Grandad -- never do. With a simple, gentle text and sensitive illustrations, this warm intergenerational story is firmly rooted in the soil of family life.
Anna's Heaven by
Call Number: JP HOLE
Publication Date: 2014-09-08
An imaginative and haunting story about dealing with grief It is a day when everything aches and nails are raining from the sky. Anna's mother has died. Anna and her father are making their way to the funeral. But along the way they talk -- capturing memories, asking hard questions, picturing what heaven might be like. Anna's imagination leads both of them on a journey that, by the end, might just offer a certain sort of peace. With captivating artwork and text that is at times whimsical, at times haunting, this profound book will make a perfect companion for readers who are wrestling with their own questions about life's mysteries.
Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus' Name Amen by
Call Number: JP HOWE
Publication Date: 2004-05-04
Five-year-old Emily tries to understand her grandfather's death by exploring the Christian and Jewish rituals that her family practices during and after his funeral.
The Invisible String by
Call Number: JP KARST
Publication Date: 2003-01-01
In this heartwarming story, Karst delivers a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation from parents, written with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else.
Remembering Grandpa by
Call Number: JP KRISHNASWAMI
Publication Date: 2007-03-01
Daysha's grandma has come down with a bad case of sadness over the loss of Grandpa, but said isn't how Daysha remembers him. Grandpa has been gone for more than a year. Daysha sets out to cheer up Grandma by collecting things that can bring happy memories: a button that fell off Grandpa's coat, flowers from the field where she and Grandpa chased butterflies, Grandpa's old guitar. She places all of the objects near the back porch of Grandma's house. As Daysha had hoped, they bring back happymemories. Grandma agrees that this is the best way to remember Grandpa. Uma Krishnaswami's simple and heartfelt story is illustrated with loving care by Layne Johnson.
The Scar by
Call Number: JP MOUNDLIC
Publication Date: 2011-11-08
A little boy responds to his mother's death in a genuine, deeply moving story leavened by glimmers of humor and captivating illustrations. When the boy in this story wakes to find that his mother has died, he is overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and fear that he will forget her. He shuts all the windows to keep in his mother's familiar smell and scratches open the cut on his knee to remember her comforting voice. He doesn't know how to speak to his dad anymore, and when Grandma visits and throws open the windows, it's more than the boy can take--until his grandmother shows him another way to feel that his mom's love is near. With tenderness, touches of humor, and unflinching emotional truth, Charlotte Moundlic captures the loneliness of grief through the eyes of a child, rendered with sympathy and charm in Olivier Tallec's expressive illustrations.
Someone Special Died, Picturebook by
Call Number: JP Prestine
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
This sensitive series deals with important emotional issues. Five beautifully illustrated full-color picture books are available with practical resource guides for teachers, counselors, and parents.A poignant picture book about a little girl who loses someone very special to her.
When Dinosaurs Die by
Call Number: J 155.9 BRO
Publication Date: 1996-04-01
The authors explain 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.
Call Number: J 155.9 MUR
Publication Date: 2007-09-28
Read 'Death' to learn about the feelings many people experience when they are grieving for a loved one. This sensitive book explores the ways people remember their loved ones and provides reassurance to any reader who has lost someone close to them.
What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? by
Call Number: J 155.9 ROM
Publication Date: 1999-02-15
When someone dies, adults are often involved with their own loss and grief and not as available to children as they might otherwise be. This little book, full of concrete advice and expressive illustrations, offers the comfort and reassurance that children need during these difficult times. Written to and for kids, it?s also recommended for parents and other relatives, educators, counselors, and youth workers.
While several Fiction books in our collection are about death, including fantasy and ghost stories, the books listed below primarily center on characters learning to cope with the death of a loved one.
Henrietta Hornbuckle's Circus of Life by
Call Number: J DEGUZMAN
Publication Date: 2010-05-11
A HEART-BREAKING COMEDY ABOUT CIRCUS LIFE AND LIFE ITSELF Henrietta cherishes her family's kooky existence working as clowns for a small, shabby traveling circus. As far as she is concerned, she has it better than any twelve-year-old on the planet. But one shocking day, life throws a pie right in her kisser--in the form of a hitand-run accident that takes away a loved one. Henrietta must use all her clowning skills and a whole lot more to pick herself up and face a future full of change.
Call Number: J ERSKINE
Publication Date: 2010-04-15
In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful. Kathryn Erskine has written a must-read gem, one of the most moving novels of the year. Praise for MOCKINGBIRD * "Erskine works in powerful imagery throughout." --Publishers Weekly, starred review * "[A] fine addition to the recent group of books with autistic narrators." --Booklist, starred review "A strong and complex character study." --Horn Book "This heartbreaking story is delivered in the straightforward, often funny voice of a fifth-grade girl with Asperger's Syndrome." --Kirkus, starred review "This is...a valuable book." --School Library Journal "Fascinating characters." --Los Angeles Times
Julia's Kitchen by
Call Number: J FERBER
Publication Date: 2006-03-21
Cara Segal is a born worrier. She figures her worrying works like a whisper in God's ear – if Cara's concerned about car crashes, kidnappings, or murders, she lets God know, and he always spares her. But Cara never thought to worry about a fire. And one night while she's sleeping at a friend's house, her house catches fire, and her mother and younger sister are both killed. Throughout shiva, the initial Jewish mourning period, Cara can't help wondering about God's role in the tragedy. And what is her father's role in her life now? He walks around like a ghost and refuses to talk about the fire. Cara longs for her family and her home, where sweet smells filled the house as Cara's mom filled orders for her catering business, Julia's Kitchen. Then one day a call comes in for a cookie order, and Cara gets a wild idea. Maybe by bringing back Julia's Kitchen, she can find a way to reconnect with everything she's lost. Complete with a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms and a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, this debut novel is a joyous tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit. Julia's Kitchen is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Remembering Mrs. Rossi by
Call Number: J HEST
Publication Date: 2007-01-09
Mementos from her mother's students help a young girl to grieve in a middle-grade novel by award-winning author Amy Hest. Eight-year-old Annie lives in a sunny apartment in Manhattan with her father, Professor Rossi. Life would be pretty good if only Annie didn't so achingly miss her mother. When Mrs. Rossi died suddenly, she left not only Annie but also a classfull of students — who pour out their hearts in a scrapbook Annie will treasure forever. With tenderness and humor, Amy Hest reveals the struggles of a father and daughter as they forge a new life together.
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by
Call Number: J HOLCZER
Publication Date: 2014-05-01
Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones. After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home. Lyrical, poignant and fresh, The Secret Hum of a Daisy is a beautifully told middle grade tale with a great deal of heart.
Alvin Ho by
Call Number: J LOOK
Publication Date: 2011-09-13
Here's the fourth book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for beginning and reluctant readers. Alvin, an Asian American second grader who's afraid of "everything," is facing something truly scary: the idea that someone he loves might die. When Alvin's GungGung loses his best friend, Alvin (gulp) volunteers to go with him to the funeral. From Lenore Look and "New York Times" bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham comes a drop-dead-funny and touching series with a truly unforgettable character. "Shares with Diary of a Wimpy Kid the humor that stems from trying to manipulate the world." --"Newsday" "Alvin's a winner." --"New York Post"
Last Man Out by
Call Number: J LUPICA
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Fantasy League comes a story of heroes, family, the thrills of skateboarding, and football. When the Brighton Bears suit up on game day, 12-year-old Tommy Gallagher is the toughest kid on the football field. And the bravest. After all, his father Patrick is a Boston firefighter--one of Boston's bravest. Tommy's dad taught him everything he knows about football--and life. Yet even Tommy isn't strong enough for what happens when the sirens ring and, for the first time, they're racing away from the fire. "First man in; last man out" had always been his dad's motto . . . yet he never said anything about leaving in an ambulance. What kind of risk had his dad taken? Now Tommy's biggest battle has nothing to do with football. And the kid who always had such respect for risk on the gridiron finds himself drawn to it off the field. Set in New England, home of the Patriots' football dynasty, Mike Lupica shows off his trademark knack for spinning a tale that's equal parts sports action and heart. Last Man Out is a thoughtful tribute to the bravery of firefighters and the need we all have to live up to the level of our heroes. Praise for Last Man Out "[S]hort, action-packed chapters . . . will keep even the most reluctant readers motivated to keep reading. As is characteristic of Lupica's books, the sports segments, most particularly the football portions, are exceptionally well written."--VOYA "Lupica stirs equal quantities of grief and gridiron action into his latest outing. Lupica effectively puts readers into the center of the action . . . [I]n the best traditionsof sports writing, this will leave readers both breathless and thoughtful."--Booklist
Edward's Eyes by
Call Number: J MACLACHLAN
Publication Date: 2007-08-28
Jake is a part of an extraordinary family. He has a life filled with art, music, and long summer nights on the Cape. He has hours and days and months of baseball. But, more than anything in this world, Jake knows he has Edward. From the moment he was born, Jake knew Edward was destined for something. Edward could make anyone laugh and everyone think. During one special year, he became the only one in the neighborhood who could throw a perfect knuckleball. It was a pitch you could not hit. That same year, Jake learned there are also some things you cannot hold. Patricia MacLachlan, one of the most beloved children's book authors writing today, has painted a deeply stirring, delicately lyrical portrait of a child, a son, a family, and a brother. Through Edward's eyes, we see what gifts all of these things truly are to those around them, and how those gifts live on and grow.
The Naming of Tishkin Silk by
Call Number: J MILLARD
Publication Date: 2009-10-13
Griffin Silk is an uncommon boy, from an uncommon sort of family - but lately Griffin isn't so sure that's a good thing. If he were an ordinary boy, he wouldn't have to worry about the secret in his heart and maybe he would understand why his mother and baby sister have gone away. When Griffin starts school and meets the spirited Princess Layla, a once-in-lifetime friend who can heal souls, the answers to his questions gently start to unfold. And just like the mythicalbeast whose name he bears, Griffin discovers that he has uncommon courage and the heart of a lion.Sweet black-and-white illustrations enrich this heartwarming story about love, loss, friendship, and the importance of family.
Another Kind of Hurricane by
Call Number: J SMITH
Publication Date: 2015-07-14
In this stunning debut novel, two very different characters--a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident--come together to find healing. A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts--and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross. Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways. "In Smith's poetic hands, this poignant story barrels across the pages and into the reader's heart, reminding us that magic can arise from the deepest tragedy." --Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor Award winner and two-time National Book Award Finalist