Bereavement Resources

Books compiled by Sr. Pat Carter csj of the Huron Superior CDSB . to support us in our work in bereavement and loss. See other CARFLEO Bereavement Resources

Books on the themes of Loss, Death, Dying and Grieving

Picture Books

Bahr Mary.  If Nathan Were Here.  Eerdman’s Books, 2000.  ISBN 0-8028-5187-8  A boy’s best friend, Nathan, has just died.  Talks with a favourite teacher, a concerned neighbour and a loving parent.

Bosak, Susan V. Something to remember me by.  TCP Press, 2003.  ISBN 978-1-896232-02-7  This story is about a small keepsake that a grandmother gives her granddaughter.

Bryan, Mellonie.  Lifetimes.  A sensitive and useful tool in explaining death to children. ISBN-10 0553-3440201 or ISBN-13 978-0-55334-402-8.

Chottin, Ariane.  Beaver Gets Lost. Reader’s Digest Kids, 1992.  ISBN 0-89577-419-4 Lost in the woods, a little beaver comes upon a family of squirrels who take him in as one of their own. 

Cobb, Rebecca.  Missing Mummy – A book about bereavement. MacMillan, 2011.  ISBN 978-0-230-74951-1.  Beautifully illustrated and with moments of wonderful warmth, this is a touching, honest and helpful book about losing a parent.

Coffelt, Nancy.  Fred Stays with Me!  Little, Brown and Company, 2007.  ISBN 978-0-316-07791-0  A fresh and reassuring look at growing up in a split family. 

Doyle, Roddy.  Her Mother’s Face.  Arthur A Levine Books, 2008.  ISBN 978-0-439-81501-7 This is a story about a girl and how is longs to remember her mother.

Farago, Gina.  The Yearning Tree – A Children’s Bereavement Resource. KG Haven Press, 2011.  ISBN 978-0-615-41485-0  Includes 10 developmentally appropriate discussion questions that explore the different stages of grief. 

Grippo, Daniel.  When Mom or Dad Dies – A Book of Comfort for Kids. Abbey Press, 2008.  ISBN 978-0-87029-415-0

Grollman, Earl and Joy Johnson.  A Complete Book About Death for Kids.  Centring Corporation, 2006.  ISBN 1-56123-191-6  This book is written in three sections 1. Death and Feelings; 2. Funerals and Cemeteries; 3. Cremation.

Hanson, Warren.  The Next Place. Waldman House, 1997.  ISBN 978-0-931674-32-7  This book is an inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind.

Jeffs, Stephanie and Jacqui Thomas.  JOSH – Coming to terms with the death of a friend. AD Publishing, 2005.  ISBN 1-84101-423-0  This sensitive story, from a child’s perspective, moves through the pain and emptiness of grief and loss, to the sadness and acceptance of death and burial.  It explains not only what happens to the body of the dead person, but also about the Christian belief that we will be safe in heaven after we have died.

Jeffs, Stephanie and Jacqui Thomas.  ROSIE – Coming to terms with the death of a sibling. AD Publishing, 2005.  ISBN 1-84101-422-2  This story shows a warm and caring family, learning to deal with long-term illness.  It’s a story about suffering and death, but also about the special place in heaven where there is no more tears, or pain or suffering.

Kadono, Eiko.  Grandpa’s Soup.  Eerdmans.  ISBN 978-0-8028-5347-9 Unhappy after Grandma’s death, Grandpa finally decides to recreate the soup she used to cook.  With each try, he remembers another ingredient, and every day he shares his soup with an increasing number of guests.

Krasny Brown, Laurie and Marc Brown.  Dinosaurs Divorce – A guide for changing families.  Little, Brown and Company, 1988.  ISBN 978-0-316-10996-3  A comprehensive and sensitive guide for changing families, DINOSAURS DIVORCE helps readers understand what divorce means, why it happens, and how to best cope with everyone’s feelings. 

Loth, Sebastian.  Remembering Crystal.  NorthSouth, 2010.  ISBN  978-0-7358-2300-6  In this gentle story, children learn, with Zelda, that true friendship is a gift that doesn’t die.

Martin Copeland, Kathe.  Mama’s Going to Heaven Soon. Augsburg Fortress, 2005.ISBN 0-8066-5122-9.  When a parent is terminally ill, it is important to explain the situation to young children in a clear and sensitive manner.

Menendez-Aponte, Emily.  When Mom and Dad Divorce – A Kid’s Resource. Abbey Press, 1999.  ISBN 0-87029-333-8

Moore-Mallinos, Jennifer.  I Remember.  Barron’s, 2005.  ISBN 0-7641-3274-1 This book encourages grieving children to take the first step toward healing by giving them an opportunity to explore their feelings of loss and sadness.

Moore-Mallinos, Jennifer.  Lost and Found.  Barron’s, 2006.  ISBN 978-0-7641-3510-1This book tells the story of a child who gets lost in a crowd of strangers.  Her eyes fill with tears and she starts to get scared.  But she is lucky, for she is approached by a Police Officer.  He helps her to find her Mom and Dad.

Moore-Mallinos, Jennifer.  When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends.  Barron’s 2005.  ISBN 978-0-7641-3172-1    

Mundy, Michaelene.  Saying Good-bye, saying hello – When Your Family Is Moving.  Abbey Press, 2005.  ISBN 0-87029-393-1  This guide will help children recognize the fun and excitement of a move, while recognizing the fears of new places and people, and the sadness of goodbyes.

Murphy, Patricia J.  Divorce and Separation – Tough Topics.  Heinemann Library, 2008.  ISBN 978-1-4034-9780-2   

Nobisso, Josephine.  Grandma’s Scrapbook. Gingerbread House, 1990.  ISBN 0-940112-05-1  A scrapbook chronicles the tender summers a girl and her grandmother spent together.

Penn, Audrey.  Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories. Tanglewood Books, 2009.  ISBN 978-1-933718-29-3  ( 3 copies) Many young children must face the loss of loved ones or the need to attend a funeral.  This sweet story will help children to understand the positive purpose behind memorial services and how “making memories” can provide cheer and comfort when missing an absent loved one.

Pollack, Pam and Meg Belviso.  Grandpa was changed. Barron’s.  ISBN 978-0-7641-4282-6  When a loved one has Alzheimer’s, we have to learn to deal with our feelings and the situation.

Richmond, Marianne.  The Gift of a Memory – A Keepsake to Commemorate the Loss of a Loved One. Sourcebooks, 2000.  ISBN 978-0-974146-51-5. 

Rivett, Rachel.  Are You Sad, Little Bear?  A book about learning to say goodbye.

Lion Children’s, 2009.  ISBN 978-0-7459-6137-8  Grandmother Bear has gone for ever, so it’s no wonder that Little Bear is feeling sad.  His mother wisely suggests that perhaps the Wildwood can help him understand his loss.  Little Bear’s day of exploring and asking questions beings him comfort and hope.

Roberts, Dr. Jillian.  What Happens When A Loved One Dies?  Our First Talk About Death.  Orca Book 2016.  ISBN 978-1-4598-0945-1  A gentle introduction to the concept of death.

Rosen, Michael.  Michael Rosen’s SAD BOOK.  Candlewick Press, 2004.  ISBN 978-0-7636-4104-7 This story is practical and universal and will be a comfort to those who are working through their bereavement.  (Secondary level and adult.)

Ryan, Victoria.  When Your Pet Dies – A Healing Handbook for Kids.  Abbey Press, 2003.  ISBN 0-87029-376-1  A touching tribute to the love between a child and pet, and a compassionate guide to handling this loss with gentleness and sensitivity.  

St. John Taylor, Jeannie.  Together Forever.  Abingdon Press, 2007.  ISBN 978-0-687-33582-4  This is a touching story of a young girl’s sadness over the death of her brother.

Sanford, Doris.  Please COME HOME – A child’s book about divorce.  Multnomah Press, 1985.  ISBN 0-88070-138-2   

Schwiebert, Pat and Chuck DeKlyen.  Tear Soup – A Recipe for Healing After Loss. Grief Watch. ISBN 978-0-9615197-6-6  Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life, and so she is cooking up her own unique batch of “tear soup.”  Tear Soup gives you a glimpse into Grandy’s life as she blends different ingredients into her own grief process.

Shima, Yoko.  Sniff. Walker Books, 2010.  ISBN 978-1-4063-2326-9.  Fennel, the dog, sets off one morning with Granny’s slipper on his nose.  Where is he going?  Why is he so sad?  This tender story shows gently and sensitively how love and affection can help overcome the pain of loss. 

Shriver, Maria.  What’s Heaven?  Golden Books, 1999.  ISBN 0-307-44043-5 This book is a tender thoughtful treatment of a very emotional and difficult subject. 

Steinkühler, Martina.  The First Good Shepherd – Psalm 23 for Children.  Paulist, 2015.  ISBN 978-0-8091-6774-6

Stinson, Kathy.  Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore. Annick Press, 2007.  ISBN 978-1-55451-093-1.

Thomas, Pat.  My Family’s Changing – A First Look at Family Break-Up.  Barron’s, 1998.  ISBN 078-0-7641-0995-9  This book explores the issue of divorce in reassuringly simple terms.

Urdahl, Catherine.  Emma’s Question. Charlesbridge, 2009.  ISBN 978-1-58089-146-2Emma’s grandma is sick and needs to stay in the hospital.

Varley, Susan.  Badger’s Parting Gifts.  Andersen Press, 2013.  ISBN 978-1-84939-514-4  Badger’s friends learn to come to terms with his death in one of the most enduring picture books of all time.

Violst, Judith.  The Tenth Good Things About Barney.  New York:  Aladdin Books, 1988.  ISBN 0-689-71203-0.  A young boy’s reflection on ten good things about his cat Barney who has just passed away.  Beautiful story to read to children – death/missing a loved one theme.

Walsh, Melanie.  Living with mom and living with dad.  Candlewick Press, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-7636-5869-4  My mom and dad don’t live together anymore, so now I have two homes.  They are different, but I love them both!


Austen, Catherine.  Walking backward. Orca, 2009.  ISBN 978-1-55469-147-0After his mother dies in a car crash, twelve-year-old Josh is left with his father who is building a time machine in the basement and a little brother who talks to a toy Power Ranger as if it is his dead mother. 

Fleischman, Paul.  Whirligig.  Laurel-Leaf,1998.  ISBN 978-0-440-22835-6New to town, Brent Bishop longs to stroll around school with the popular Brianna on his arm.  But Brianna begs him at a party full of schoolmates to stop hounding her, Brent’s hopes are shattered.  Trying to escape his humiliation, he attempts to destroy himself in a car crash – and ends up killing Lea, an innocent teen unfortunate enough to cross his path.

Green, Julia.  Breathing Underwater.  Bloomsbury, 2009.  ISBN 978-0-7475-9546-5 Freya has come back to the remote island where her grandparents live, and where last summer her brother Joe died in a boating accident.  But what really happened that night?  Freya is not convinced that it was an accident and feels as if Joe’s presence is still haunting her.

Henkes, Kevin.  Olive’s Ocean. HarperTrophy, 2003, ISBN 978-0-06-053545-2 Sometimes life can change in an instant.  Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends, but they weren’t.  Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it.  Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can’t stop thinking about Olive.  

Henkes, Kevin.  Words of Stone.  HarperTrophy,1992.  ISBN 978-0-06-078230-6 Blaze Werla is having a routine summer.  He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill next door, and his nights awake, avoiding the dreams that haunt him.  Then a message appears on the side of the hill and Blaze’s predictable summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious.

Langston, Laura.  Hannah’s Touch.  Orca, 2009.  ISBN 978-1-55469-149-4When 16-year-old Hannah gets stung by a bee, she has a near-death experience and, while out of her body, meets her dead boyfriend, Logan.  Strange, yes, but even stranger is the fact that she now has the power to heal.

McKay, Sharon E.  War Brothers – An African tale of loyalty and courage.  Penguin, 2008.  ISBN 978-0-14-316768-6  Jacob is the son of a wealthy landowner.  Oteka has lost his parents to AIDS and is alone in the world.  And Hannah, beaten and not defeated, hold the secrets of all the vanished children.  Jacob and Oteka’s destinies become entwined as they find themselves in the clutches of the Lord’s Resistance Army, forced to march endlessly through rough terrain with little food or water.  The boys plan a group escape, but will hope, friendship, courage and resilience be enough to save them? 

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