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Children's Grief Books

Recommended Books for School-Age Children


Updated December 31, 2010

These books are recommended for children ages 5-12. 

Can You Hear Me Smiling?

After her sister's death, nine-year-old Aariane is haunted by the mean things she said in a quarrel ("I don't like you. You're not my real sister, anyway"), and her grief is mixed with jealousy about the attention Londee received during her illness.   The mix of guilt and resentment with love, sorrow, and overwhelming loneliness is universal and will open up discussion with many children who are facing loss. The story is framed by a preface from the girls' mother and an afterword in which grief counselors speak to adults about how to confront a child's anguish and help him or her feel less alone.

Poppy's Chair

A little girl comes to terms with her fears after the death of her grandfather.  She is afraid to touch his things and sit in his chair.  The book touches on an important element of children's grief:  fear of the unknown.  Her Grammy helps her cope with fears and sadness.

Road to Tater Hill

Photo © Pricegrabber

Nine year old Annie goes on vacation with her pregnant mother and her baby sister is born prematurely and dies.  Annie tries to cope with her grief while her mother withdraws in a deep depression.  Annie becomes friends with a mysterious woman and with her help and the support of Annie's grandparents, Annie slowly comes to terms with her sister's death.

For Every Dog An Angel

Photo © Pricegrabber

This book explores the enduring connection between humans and their canines.  This is a beautiful book for any child who has lost a dog.  There is also a version for cat lovers that is equally touching. 

I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand

Photo © Pricegrabber

This is a generic book about missing loved ones.  It's a good book for children who are grieving a death, divorce, or recent move. 


Books for Pre-School and Early School Age Children

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  5. Young Children Grief Books - Grief Books for Young Children

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