64 Children’s Books About Death and Grief

When grief hits a family, children often become the focus – how to talk to them about death, how to recognize if they are grieving ‘normally’, how to create open communication and dialogue. etc.  When we ask adults what they need in their grief often their first response is what they need for their children.  We have number of articles on WYG offering this type of support.  We have posts on the impact of age on understanding, on grief journals and workbooks for kids, on the risks of using euphemisms, on art activities for grieving kids, on art activities for grieving kids and adults, on talking to kids about suicide, an activity book for kids after a suicide, on holiday activities for kids, and more holiday activities for kids.  We also have an article reminding you why it is important to take care of yourself in order to better care for the children in your life.   But one thing that we don’t have is a list of kids books about death and grief, despite the fact that we get asked about this fairly often.

We have talked about journal, activity and workbooks for kids, but sometimes a story is the best way to open a dialogue.  Often reading a story can help kids know they are not alone and normalize what they are experiencing.  It can offer a safe way to open a dialogue with children about death and grief, in groups, as a family, or one-on-one.  So today, here it is!  We have a list of 64 children’s books about grief.  As with all of our ’64 things’ lists, we know this is not an exhaustive list.  Please add your favorites in the comments.  The books are primarily for the 10 and under crowd but, rest assured, a list of 64 Young Adult novels about grief is on the horizon.

1. Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children (kids 5+)

2.The Invisible String (kids 3+)

3. Everett Anderson’s Goodbye (Reading Rainbow)  (kids 5-8)

4. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (kids 6-9)

5. I’ll Always Love You (kids 3-7)

6. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families) (kids 4-8)

7. I Miss You: A First Look at Death (First Look at Books) (kids 4+)

8. The Saddest Time (kids 6-9)

9. Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss  (kids 8+)tear soup

10. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages (kids 4+)

11. Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying (kids 4+)

12. Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss (kids 4-8)

13. Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping With the Loss of a Parent (kids 5+)

14. The Scar (kids5-9)

15. A Terrible Thing Happened (kids 4+)

16. The Elephant in the Room: A Childrens Book for Grief and Loss (kids 4+)

17. The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be Sad (kids 4+)  elephant in the room

18. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

19. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children (kids 4+)

20. When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 5+)

21. Someone I Love Died (kids 4-8)

22. What Happened When Grandma Died? (kids 4+)

23. Always and Forever (kids 4+)

24. Badger’s Parting Gifts (kids 4-8)

25. Ghost Wings (kids 5+)

26. Finding Grandpa Everywhere: A Young Child Discovers Memories of a Grandparent (kids 7+)

27. The Grandpa Tree (kids 3+)nana upstairs

28. Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 6+)

29. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs (Picture Puffins) (kids 4-8)

30. Daddy, Up and Down: Sisters Grieve the Loss of Their Daddy (kids 4-8)

31. Saying Goodbye to Daddy (kids 4+)

32. The Angel with the Golden Glow: A Family’s Journey Through Loss and Healing (kids 4+)

33. Where’s Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die (kids 3-6)

34. A Taste of Blackberries (kids 8-12)

35. Bridge to Terabithia (kids 8-12)

36. My Grandson Lew (kids 4-6)

37. Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope: A Read Aloud Story for People of All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope (as the title says, people of all ages!)

38. The Empty Place: A Child’s Guide Through Grief (Let’s Talk) (kids 5-10)

39. Dancing on the Moon (kids 3+)  sammy in the sky

40. Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister (kids 6+)

41. Stacy Had a Little Sister (A Concept Book) (kids 4+)

42. Ragtail Remembers: A Story That Helps Children Understand Feelings of Grief (kids 4+)

43. Goodbye Mousie (kids 4-8)

44. Remembering Crystal (kids 3+)

45. Rudi’s Pond (kids 5-8)

46. The Memory String (kids 4-8)

47. Sammy in the Sky (kids 4-8)

48. Where Do People Go When They Die? (kids 3-8)

49. Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories (kids 3-8)

50. Her Mother’s Face (kids 4-8)

51. Remembering Mama (kids 4+) her mother

52. Old Pig (Picture Puffin) (kids 3-8)

53. Pearl’s Marigolds for Grandpa (kids 3-7)

54. Saying Goodbye to Lulu (kids 3-6)

55. The Mountains of Tibet (kids 7+)

56. Rabbityness (kids 3-7)

57. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

58. Can You Hear Me Smiling?: A Child Grieves a Sister (kids 8+)

59. The Copper Tree (kids 5-8)

60. Everybody Feels Sad (kids 4+)

61. Grief is Like a Snowflake (kids 4+)

62. My Baby Big Sister: A Book for Children Born Subsequent to a Pregnancy Loss (kids 4-8)

63. Ladder to the Moon (kids 4-8)

64. Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement (kids 3-8).

Subscribe to get all our helpful grief posts sent right to your inbox!  

March 28, 2017

15 responses on "64 Children's Books About Death and Grief"

  1. I would like to suggest ANNE AT NINE, a fictionalized story about the death of my father from cancer at age 37. Recommended for children age seven through nine, the paperback is $3.99 and the Kindle e-book is $.99: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-at-Nine-Leslie-Perry/dp/1539002659/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

  2. There’s a beautifully illustrated book out called “Ida Always” by Carol Levis. It’s a real life story about Ida and Gus, two polar bears in Central Park. Ida got sick and died and we see how Gus dealt with her illness and death. It’s sensitively written and the illustrations are gorgeous. I bought a copy for each of my grandchildren towards the end of my husband’s (their “Opa”) life recently. After he died, my granddaughter (7) called me one night on Face Time and said, “Oma, I’m going to read you a story” and proceeded to read “Ida Always” to me. “We have good memories of Opa, just like Gus did with Ida,” she said! I’m going to get my own copy of the book too!

    • Sounds like a very good book, Sonja!! I will look for it. If the children themselves like it so much, it must be worth having! Thanks! — And very best to you as you make your way thru grieving, back to a new and higher level of life balance.

  3. WHY are there so few books for teens?? We are opening a Grief Center in our community and resources for this age (12 and up) is hard to find. I’m referring for reading material for them NOT about them. There are an abundance of books to choose from for young children.

    • Hey Christy,

      You’re right, there are far fewer books written for teenagers about grief than there are children’s books. The younger teen years are really the gap in my mind, as older teenagers grieve in many of the same ways that adults do. We do have a post that discusses a few books for teens that you can read here. There are far fewer on this list (six). My go-to recommendation is always the Chill and Spill journal from Art with Heart for any teen who might be open to journaling/art-journaling. I’ll also point out that there are quite a few young adult novels that tackle topics like the death of a family member or friend.

      Beyond that I would recommend opening your resource list up to include online resources. Websites and blogs may appeal to teens for obvious reasons and there are a few sites geared specifically towards teenagers. You should check out these sites in particular Hello Grief; Slap’d; Too Damn Young; The Dougy Center

      Good luck!
      Eleanor

  4. I haven’t had a chance to read a lot of these books only a few but I absolutely loved The Invisible String, it really did help my best friend to explain to her daughter about the lost of her friend and how they are always connected and loved. Please keep your list of books going dealing with this issue. Here is a list of some really good ones on death as well http://www.bestchildrensbooksreviews.com/5-best-childrens-books-about-death-that-kids-will-understand/

  5. Her Mother’s Face ~ Roddy Doyle
    I purchased this last week for my 9 year old niece who lost her mammy (my sister) four weeks ago.
    It was only £2.99 and the best money I have ever spent. It’s age appropriate, beautifully written with Roddy Doyle’s wit shining through too and the illustrations are fab.

  6. Oh man, Bridge to Terabithia! I first read that book in elementary school for a class (before my friend died) and it had no effect on me. I reread it in high school, after the death of my friend and I was an emotional wreck. I started crying even before the “big bad” happens (don’t want to spoil in case anyone hasn’t read it yet). Now I cry every time I read it. It’s amazing what a new context can do to a person.

  7. Thanks so much for the post. There’s also a brand new Christian grief series for kids … the first book is called Emily Lost Someone She Loved. http://www.kathleenfucciministries.org/emily.

  8. Good Grief, a Child’s Grieving Process by Chad Bonadonna (my son) is targeted to elementary children. All proceeds go to KidzNGrief, a bereavement program in Virginia. Where he particpated after the death of his father and now is a facilitator.

  9. Thanks for putting this list on the web. I am sure it will be very helpful to many. I would like my wife’s book considered as well. It is called “Remembering Grandma’s Hugs.”
    It can be found at http://www.embers4growth.com

  10. Thanks for providing this list of grief-related books for children. Kids’ grief is sometimes overlooked. I remember how much it meant to my daughters when my mother’s hospice nurse gave them a book of their own after their grandma died. Reading it (over and over) wasn’t easy for me, but it was healing for them.

    (I’ve added a link to this post on my resources page: http://tealashes.com/other-helpful-resources/)

  11. Marty Tousley (@GriefHealing)March 6, 2015 at 11:01 pmReply

    I’ve added a link to your list at the base of my own post on a similar topic, Litsa: “Using Children’s Books to Help With Grief,” http://bit.ly/w4PFMh

  12. The Little Prince (kids ~8+)

Leave a Message

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer

WYG provides general educational information from mental health professionals, but you should not substitute information on the What’s Your Grief website for professional advice. Please check out terms and conditions here

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255

PhotoGrief

Share Your Snapshot

Grief In 6 Words

Submit a Story to Us

What's Your Grief Podcast

Listen to our podcast

top
X