Skip to main content

Books for grieving children - ages 8 to 12

  • Friend loss
    Parent loss  Sibling loss 
    Grandparent loss 
    Pet loss

    Most of the links from the book titles below will lead you to, where you can learn more about the book, read reviews about it, and order it if you'd like. Most of these books can be purchased through other book sellers, as well, or found at your local library.


    About Dying (non-fiction)
    by Sara Bennett Stein
    Walker and Co., 1974

    Charlotte's Web
    by E.B. White
    Harper & Row, 1952
    (Classic story of animal's attachment, loss and grief)

    Children Also Grieve
    by Linda Goldman, 2005.
    The combination of narrative and interactive memory book is designed to be read and worked through by children.

    A Complete Book About Death for Kids
    by Earl Grollman and Joy Johnson
    This book includes information about death, dying and the feelings you have when someone you love dies. Also talks about burial, cremation, funerals and the cemetery.

    Coping with Death & Grief (non-fiction)
    by Marge Heegaard
    Woodland Press, 1990

    The Fall of Freddie the Leaf  (metaphor)
    by Leo Buscaglia
    Holt Rinehart, 1982

    Great Answers to Difficult Questions about Death What Children Need to Know
    by Linda Goldman, 2009.
    This book explores children's thoughts and feelings on the subject and provides parents and other caring adults with guidance on how to respond to difficult questions.

    I Know I Made it Happen
    by Lynn Blackburn, 1990.
    Gives kids support and understanding during crises. It's nice to know, though, that my wishes, and my thoughts, and my words, don't make bad things happen.

    Ragtail Remembers
    by Liz Duckworthy.
    Ragtail, a young mouse, has just lost his best friend, Tom the cat. As he tries to understand what has happened, Ragtail experiences many feelings. With the help of his new friend, he learns to deal with his feelings.

    The Saddest Time
    by Norma Simon
    Whitman and Co., 1986
    (Three scenarios: uncle, friend, grandparent deaths)

    Sunflower Promise
    by Kathleen Maresh Hemery, Illustrated by Agusto Bordelois.
    A new chapter book for children who are experienceing the death of someone close to them.

    Time for Uncle Joe
    by Nancy Jewell
    Harper 1981
    (Memories through the seasons and belongings)

    What is Death?
    by Etan Broitzer, 2000.
    Introduces children to the concept of death with examples of customs and beliefs from different religions and cultures.

    What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies?
    by Trevor Romain, 1999.
    The author talks directly to kids about what death means and how to cope. He describes and discusses the overwhelming emotions involved in grieving-sadness, fear, anger, guilt- and offers practical strategies for dealing with them.

    Why Did You Die?
    by Erica Leeuwenburgh and Ellen Goldring.
    When a loved one dies, children are faced with a kaleidoscope of feelings, thoughts, myths, and questions. This book will help children, parents and other adults communicate about death and the grieving process.

    Return to top.


    Dusty Was My Friend 
    by Andrea Clardy 
    Human Science Press, 1984 
    (Car accident)

    The Empty Window 
    by Eve Bunting, 1980 
    (Impending death of friend)

    A Taste of Blackberries 
    by Doris Smith, 1973 
    (Accidental death of friend, guilt, regret, funeral)

    We Remember Philip 
    by Norma Simon 
    Whitman, 1979 
    (Teacher's son's death, support, commemoration)

    Return to top.


    Annie and the Old One 
    by Miska Miles 
    Little Brown, 1971 
    (Navaho view of death from grandmother to granddaughter)

    Blackberries in the Dark (also a video) 
    by Mavis Jukes, 1985 
    (Widow and grandson coping after grandfather's death)

    Finding Grandpa Everywhere: A Young Child Discovers Memories of a Grandparent 
    John Hodge, Susan Aitken 
    (Beautifully illustrated story of finding Grandpa in memories, things left behind, a life lesson, and debunking the euphemism of "lost" for died.)

    A Gift for Tia Rosa 
    by Karen Taha 
    Dillon, 1985 
    (Before and after elderly neighbor's death, explores regret)

    Missing May 
    Cynthia Rylant 
    (A summer to observe grandparents deep love for each other and then grandma dies)

    My Grandmother Died But I Won't Forget Her 
    by Bernice Hogan 
    Abingdon, 1983 
    (Visitors, funeral, loneliness, memories)

    My Grandson Lew  (also video) 
    by Charlotte Zoltow 
    Harper and Row, 1974 
    (Mom and child recall grandfather)

    A Sunburned Prayer 
    by Marc Talbert, 1995 
    (Hispanic 11-year-old hopes for a miracle for grandmother's cancer)

    What Happened When Grandma Died? 
    by Peggy Barker 
    Concordia, 1984 
    (Christian explanation of death)

    When Grandfather Journeys Into Winter 
    by Craig Strete and Hal Frenck 
    Greenwillow, 1979 
    (Native American grandson)

    Return to top.


    Daddy's Climbing Tree 
    by C.S. Adler 
    Clarion Books, 1993 
    (Jessica, 11, takes her little brother Tycho to her grandparents' house to look for Daddy, who was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. But the grandparents don't live there anymore and Daddy isn't there either. She learns to look for his memory in her heart.)

    Devil's Bridge 
    Cynthia C. De felice 
    Avon Books, 1994 
    (12 year old Ben copes with father's death and mother's overprotectiveness during a fishing contest.)

    Good-Bye Momma 
    Tom Moore, 1993 
    Boyhood in a Newfoundland outpost, mom dies, father remarries

    How It Feels When A Parent Dies 
    by Jill Krementz 
    (Photo essays by children ages 7 -1 6)

    Mama's Going To Heaven Soon 
    by Kathe Martin Copeland (Author), Elissa Hudson (Illustrator) (Illustrator), 2005. 
    A compassionate story to assist young children and their caregivers deal with the impending death of a parent.

    The Rag Coat (fiction) 
    by Lauren Mills 
    (Love felt from dad even after death)

    A Star for the Latecomer 
    by Paul Zindel and Bonnie Zindel, 1980 
    (Young teen, mother and daughter deal with mom's cancer)

    Winter Holding Spring 
    by Crescent Dragonwagon 
    MacMillan Publishing, 1990 
    (Dad and daughter move through a year of seasons after mom's death)

    Return to top.


    A Dog like Jack 
    DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan 
    The Horn Book, Inc. 1999 
    (Jack's family adopts a dog, they have a life together, the dog grows old and dies. Warm watercolor, warm narrative, concludes with note to parents and teachers.)

    Return to top.


    Am I Still A Sister?
    by Alicia Sims
    (11-year-old author, baby brother's death)

    Children Facing Grief
    by Janis Loomis Romond
    (Letters from siblings ages 6 - 15)

    Ghost Brother
    C. S. Adler
    Wally's daring, carefree older brother is killed in an accident; Wally attempts to be less timid, enters skateboard competition and gains perspective on the loss.

    Nadia, The Willful
    by Sue Alexander and illustrated by Lloyd Bloom
    Pantheon Books, 1983
    (Healing power of talking about brother's death)

    Return to top.