Many children need to face the terminal illness and death of domestic pets, grandparents, other family and friends members, and more. Even kids who aren’t directly coping with loss or grieving frequently still have queries about the concepts.
Grief is the natural, regular and necessary results to loss. IT is made up of many different feelings – ranging from sadness to anger to guilt and everything in between. Adjusting to loss in a long process and is unique to each and every person. Children and individuals face the same jumble of confusing emotions. Books can be an essential tool for understanding emotions and sparking conversation. Listen with your center and validate their feelings. The following books have been chosen as the top 5 for children aged 7-12. We have provided links to purchase the books on Amazon.com* but please check your local bookstore for his or her availability if that works for you.
Our children’s book professionals come up with a listing of picture books on this issue. It’s always an excellent idea-especially for sensitive emotional problems such as these-to go through a reserve yourself before you examine it to a child to ensure you’re comfy, but we believe these delicate and straightforward portrayals might help kids of many ages.
Best Books About Dealing With Grief, According to Psychologists
The Invisible String
In this heartwarming story, Karst (“God Made Easy”) 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. For Adults Too!
The Invisible String is a comforting story about two siblings who learn that everyone has an invisible string that connects them to everyone they love, anywhere, anytime. You are never alone. The people who love you here and those who have passed away are never far because if you tug on this invisible string they can feel it in their hearts.
This is a remarkable message for children who feel lonely, scared, anxious, worried, etc. and this reassuring feeling could help a child cope with a variety of issues from everyday things (like a storm) to serious issues (like death of a friend or parent).
The illustrations are done in soothing watercolours and the simple lines highlight the facial expressions and feelings of the characters
The Rabbit Listened
A universal, deeply moving exploration of grief and empathy
With its spare, poignant text and irresistibly sweet illustrations, The Rabbit Listened is a tender meditation on loss.
When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs.
Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes.
This was so darn cute! The illustrations are wonderful and there is just enough text on each page to explain (without over-explaining) the story. There are lots of adorable animals making funny little faces and I was all smiles and giggles. Exactly the perfect length for most tiny human’s bedtime story. Not as dark or heavy as I expected and a wonderful way to help explain how all feelings are valid.
In Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant’s classic bestseller, the author comforts readers young and old who have lost a dog. Recommended highly by pet lovers around the world, Dog Heaven not only comforts but also brings a tear to anyone who is devoted to a pet. From expansive fields where dogs can run and run to delicious biscuits no dog can resist, Rylant paints a warm and affectionate picture of the ideal place God would, of course, create for man’s best friend. The first picture book illustrated by the author, Dog Heaven is enhanced by Rylant’s bright, bold paintings that perfectly capture an afterlife sure to bring solace to anyone who is grieving.
When our beloved mess of a dog died, this is what our vet sent us. 5 stars for the vet, 5 stars for that limpy dog of ours, and 5 stars for this book. Gave us a really great cry, fond thoughts and loud laughs of the big ol’ lug of a one legged dog that was part of our family, and peace knowing that he’s a pimp now, struttin’ his stuff with a lotta bitches and fat healthy legs (the pimp cane is fo’ show.) You go Turk!
The Stars Beneath Our Feet
A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in this outstanding debut novel that celebrates community and creativity.
It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.
A beautiful glimpse into the life of a grieving young boy on the cusp of a number of decisions that will determine the direction of his life, my favorite thing about this amazing book was the way it perfectly highlighted the contradictory nature of black-male adolescence: Lolly is very much a kid who dreams of greatness and loves creating things with Legos, but because of his circumstances, he’s forced to think about very adult things. Highly recommend!
God Gave Us Heaven
As the sun rises on her snow-covered world, Little Cub wonders aloud…
“What is heaven like?”
With tender words, her Papa describes a wonderful place, free of sadness and tears, where God warmly welcomes his loved ones after their life on earth is over. Little Cub and Papa spend the day wandering their beautiful, invigorating arctic world while she asks all about God’s home: How do we get to heaven? Will we eat there? Will I get to see you in heaven? Papa patiently answers each question, assuring her that…
I enjoyed this Christian Children’s story. I received this as a gift and voluntarily chose to review this. I’ve given it a 5* rating. I continue to enjoy the way this author answers a child’s questions. As a busy parent, it’s sometimes hard to come up with these simple answers that will satisfy their minds till they are older and can learn more.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns the park in her old neighbourhood is being demolished – the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box – she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys….
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after”.
I am not a Dan Gemeinhart fan. His books are too “Perils of Pauline” for me. You know, one cliffhanging event after another. However, my Mock Newbery group nominated this book as a possible contender for 2020, to be read in March. So I read it. Gemeinhart stayed true to his style. Coyote and her father faced one obstacle after another. It is hard to believe that someone can get into so much trouble, yet always come out smelling like a rose. Another problem is something that I am noticing in middle-grade books lately, “Issue Overload.” COYOTE SUNRISE was no exception. Issues addressed in this book included: death in the family, domestic violence, police abuse, coming of age, teen runaway, racial discrimination, and LGBT. Phew! I’d hope that the committee does not award the biggest prize in children’s literature to this book, and I hope that my group picks a better book for May.
“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle-grade novel of family and brotherhood.
Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.
This book was good. Like REALLY good. The characters are real and relatable to the reader, and you form connections with them thoughout the story. I won’t spoil anything, but there is a FLOOD of emotion near the end. My only complaint is that the writing is strange and the story skips around a bit, but once you get used to the writing style and the hops in the story, you can fully enjoy this book. I would recommend this to anyone who likes poetry and to anyone who likes stories where you form connections with characters.
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief
“I’m scared I’ll forget you]]”
From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved – a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes expert information from a Christian perspective on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box.
At work (Amazon books) and noticed this book, started reading it and ended it crying on the floor. This book is so beautiful and heartwarming. Although it’s a tough subject, it’s absolutely a topic that should be discussed and it was discussed in such a hopeful manner. Beyond beautiful. I hope the author continues to write books for the early childhood education years on tough subjects and the illustrations were amazing as well,they gave a very mellow calming vibe and that was beautiful in its self.
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
In this modern-day fable, a woman who has suffered a terrible loss cooks up a special batch of “tear soup,” blending the unique ingredients of her life into the grief process. Along the way she dispenses a recipe of sound advice for people who are in mourning.
This is a really great book for anyone who’s suffered a loss. A friend showed me this book after someone gave it to her when she lost her 16-year-old son. I then purchased it for another family I knew that had also lost a loved one. It is a great resource for helping children and adults alike realize that healing is a process, and it’s okay to mourn, different people mourn differently, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Books to Help Children Cope with the Loss of a Parent
The death or absence of a parent can be an extremely traumatic experience for a kid. There are no solid rules with regards to helping kids grieve, cope with, or procedure their feelings in difficult situations. Instead, you just need to be there for them at all possible-to listen to their tales, help maintain normalcy, and also to be willing to speak to them about what’s occurred in a manner that makes sense to them.
For some children, their knowledge of the difference between the lack of a parent and the increased loss of one is muddied. They are able to just feel what they’re feeling that the mother or father they loved is no more around. If you’re amid this experience with just a little one, these eleven books can help your child to handle their feelings. They sensitively deal with the topic of loss of life, of divorce, and of reduction, and give a kid the affirmation they want that it’s alright to grieve, alright to be angry, and alright to be sad. Therefore many children believe they have to just forget about their parent to go forward, and are terrified of doing that. These books are subtle enough to help your child learn coping skills without them feeling like they are being forced after them.
Processing grief can be a significant challenge to those directly experiencing loss and their loved ones. According to Dr. Lynn Horridge, “People’s experience of grief is so subjective, and as a culture, we suffer from a lack of literacy around death and grieving. This leaves people feeling isolated and unsupported in their grief, at a time when they need people and support most.” While no single text can offer a simple answer, we’ve compiled a list of books that can, at the very least, help you better understand the grieving process. “When we suffer core-level losses, the narrative arc of our life stories is torn apart,” explains Dr. Miriam Benhaim, clinical director of the Center for Loss and Renewal. “There are no shortcuts in this process, but books can help to repair and rewrite those narratives as we learn about the stories and struggles of those who have gone before us in meeting these challenges and in validating our feelings and reactions.”