A Terrible Thing Happened

By Margaret M. Holmes

Ages 4-6

Sherman Smith saw something “terrible”. He tried to forget about it, but it didn’t work. By keeping it in he began he feel a lot of emotions from worry, to sadness to anger. He began to act out in school and so he had to see someone for help to talk to and process what he saw.

This book is good for any child that have witnessed some kind of trauma

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

Where Do They Go?

By Julia Alvarez

Ages 5-11

More of a poem rather than a book with a story line.

The book asks questions that a child might want to know but are a bit abstract in a way.

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

When Dinosaurs Die

by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Ages 5-11

This book is a good resource for introducing the topic of death to a child and thoughts and feelings that might come up for them

This book takes the child though different reasons for someone’s death and feelings. It categorizes other topics such as what being dead/alive is, as well as customs surrounding death.

Good outside of group resource.

Ida, Always

By Caron Levis

Ages 5-11

Tells the story of two bears Gus and Ida who live in a Zoo. They do everything together, eat play and swim. One day Gus mentions that he wishes he could see the city from the outside of the Zoo and Ida tells him he doesn’t have to “see the city to feel the city” and that he should listen to the sounds around him and told him that was the city’s heart beat”. Ida assures Gus that the city is with them “always”. When Ida becomes ill their time together is different yet they still share good and bad days together. Eventually Ida dies and though Gus has some rough days he remembers that Ida is with him always when he goes to her favorite spot and thinks about all their memories.

This book is great to talk about memories and how to stay connected with someone who has died

Good outside of group resource.

Edna

By Susan Paradis

Ages 4-11

This book is about an elephant named Edna who is struggling with some bad memories that she is having. She tries to cover them up but feels like she is too tangled in them. Eventually someone comes along to help but Edna isn’t ready. The person had no problem waiting and eventually Edna lets her in to help.

This book is for children who have been affected by trauma and those who want to understand others’ experience of trauma.

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

The Scar

by Charlotte Moundlic

Ages 5-11

This book is about a child who is grieving his mother who died. He is overcome by these world wind of emotions and doesn’t know what to do with them. He tries to do a lot of things to keep the memory of his mother alive, including keeping all the windows closed so that he can keep the smell of his mother from fading. One day the boy’s mother comes I and opens the window and he is extremely upset. The grandmother shows him how his mother is closer than he thinks even though she is not alive.

This is perfect for normalizing the emotion what come with grief in children who are struggling with the how to handle a death

Good outside of group resource.

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

By Pat Schwiebert

Ages 11-18

Tear Soup is a book about Grandy who, experiences the death of her husband and makes tear soup as a coping mechanism.

This book is to help older children understand the grief process and normalizes whatever they’re feeling.

Good outside of group resource.

Death is Stupid

By Anastasia Higginbotham

Ages 7-13

This is a book about a boy who lost his ‘Gramma’ it takes the reader through some unhelpful things that someone might say to a child. It also validates fears, concerns, and emotions surrounding the death of a loved one.

This book is for children freshly experiencing death of a loved one

Good outside of group resource.

Always and Forever

by Alan Durant

Ages 5-8

This is a story about animal friends who are dealing with the death of their friend Mr. Fox. They struggle with thinking about how they will be able to deal with life without him. Their friend squirrel comes along and helps them connect with their memories of Mr. fox and remind them that he is always with them through those memories.

This book is great to talk about memories and how they connect with someone who has died

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

Bird

By Zetta Elliott

Ages 11-18

Mehkai who was called Bird by his grandfather is learning how to cope with it and soon after loses his older brother who dies from a drug overdose. It allows children who might be dealing with tough home lives to connect with and relate to this character.

This book is best for children who have lost a loved one to addiction.

Good outside of group resource.

Life Is Like the Wind

By Shona Ines

Ages 5-8

This story is a good introduction to death and great for explaining death to young children. This story also introduces theories that people have that people believe about what happens to a loved one after they die.

This book is great for a child who has had a love one die or just an introductory book about death in general.

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

Goodbye Little Dude

by Rebecca Trotsky

Ages 5-11

This book is about a young boy named Jonathan, who is dealing with cancer. On his way home from treatment he comes across a little turtle who is lost and decided he wants to keep him and name him little dude. He decides to make little dude a class pet so that his friend could keep take care of him when he had to go to treatment. As little dude gets stronger, Jonathan gets weaker. Eventually, Jonathan dies but his classmates have little dude to remember him by.

This book is for children who have lost a classmate through a terminal illness

Good outside of group resource.

My Many Colored Days

By Dr. Seuss

Ages 5-18

This book takes the reader through different moods emotions on different days and associates a color with that emotion.

This book is great to validate different feelings a child might feel when someone dies even if they don’t quite understand why they might be feeling that way on any given day.

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.

Moody Cow Mediates

By Kerry Lee MacLean

Ages 5-11

Peter aka “moody cow” has a rough day from start to finish. He started the morning waking up from a bad dream and with frustrating things happening in-between he got so mad that he throws a ball through his window at the end of the day. His mother sent him to his grandfather who validates moody cow anger, and teaches him how to meditate so that he can settle his mind.

This book is great for children to learn how to meditate and settle their mind when they are frustrated

Good outside of group resource.

The Invisible String

by Patrice Karst

Ages 5-13

The twins Liza and Jeremy were awakened by a storm one night and ran out of their room to find their mother. They asked if they could stay close to her. She assured them that she would always be close to them even when they weren’t together. She introduced them to the invisible string and told them that the invisible string is what connected them. They ask her a series of questions of different locations they could be and she assured them that anywhere they are, they are still connected to those that they love though the invisible string. Even family members who have died.

This book is good for children to learn that they will always be connected to their family and friends even the ones who have died.

Good outside of group resource.

You’ve Got Dragons

By Kathryn Cave

Ages 11-18

This story uses dragons and a metaphor for worries and fears. It allows children to know that everyone at different points in their life have dragons that seem impossible to get rid of. The more one tries to ignore their dragons the harder it is to get rid of them but if the dragons are acknowledged then they eventually go away on their own.

This book is great for helping children address their worries and fears and helps with coping skills.

Good outside of group resource.

Liplap’s Wish

By Jonathan London

Ages 7-13

Liplap is coping with the fact that his grandmother dies. He beings to fashion and snow bunny that reminds him of this grandmother. Liplap’s get sad though out the day thinking about the fact that his grandma is not around anymore. Liplap’s mother tells him an “old rabbits tale” his grandmother told of when people died that they would become stars. Liplap wished that his grandma was one of the stars that looked as white as her fur was. Once he wished he believed that they star was his grandma and felt connected to her.

This book is great for children who are struggling to feel connected to a loved one who has died.

Good outside of group resource.

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories

by Audrey Penn

Ages 7-13

Chester Raccoon’s friend Skiddel Squirrel died from an accident. Chester and his friend are trying to make sense of it and cope with what that means for them. They find comfort in different memories of Skiddel.

This book is great to help children in memory making of a loved one who has died, so that they can still feel connected to that person.

Good to incorporate in group/outside of group resource.