Here you will find a list of books on death and grief for children of all ages. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it provides you with a place to begin the conversation with your children or children in your community. We have provided a description and suggested age range for each book; however, many books intended for younger children may be appropriate to read to older children as well. Additionally, there are a few books on the list that, while written as children’s books might not be appropriate for your situation, but we believe might provide you with language you can use to talk about death with your child. We have noted the distinction in the description where appropriate.
For your convenience we have included links to each book on Amazon and Walmart, and many of these books can also be found at your local library.
Browse by Age Group
Something Very Sad Happened
Author: Bonnie Zucker
Intended to be read to 2 and 3 year olds to help them understand and process death. Story can be personalized to tailor to specific situation. This book also includes tips and notes for parents on handling the details of death.
God Gave Us Heaven
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Discusses Heaven as a place people go when they die, as told by Papa bear to his cubs.
So Much to Think About
Author: Fred Rogers
An activity book created by Mr. Rogers to help young children talk about death.
I Miss You: A First Look at Death
Author: Pat Thomas
Explains to young child that death is a part of life and discusses the feelings of grief and loss in a simple and direct way.
Author: Charlotte Agell
Addresses sadness and grief in the healing power of friendship; does not directly mention death, but has good talking points to discuss with children.
Cry, Heart, But Never Break
Author: Glenn Ringtved
Death comes as a visitor for grandma and has a compassionate discussion with her four grandchildren. Makes a good connection about how feelings of Sorrow and Grief go hand in hand with feelings of Delight and Joy.
The Invisible String
Author: Patrice Karst
Discusses the idea that love is a never ending connection. The invisible string is made of love and is always there no matter where we may go.
The Goodbye Book
Author: Todd Parr
Easy-to-understand book discussing feelings a child may have when having to say goodbye to someone; does not specify the type of goodbye, thus is a good talking point for small children who may have lost someone.
How I Feel: A Coloring Book for Grieving Children
Author: Alan Wolfelt
A coloring book for kids ages 3-8 explores the emotions related to grief.
The Sad Dragon: A Dragon Book About Grief and Loss
Author: Steve Herman
The story of a dragon who loses someone he loves and the range of emotions experienced through grief.
Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
Author: Janis Silverman
Workbook with activities for children to process death over time from a terminal diagnosis to living life after death.
Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss
Author: Michaelena Mundy
Simple, direct, easy to understand language about death and the emotions and thoughts kids might experience.
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief
Author: Joanna Rowland
Openly discusses grief and two big questions that children may have: 1. Will I forget my loved one? 2. What do I do with my feelings?
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death
Author: Laurie Kransy Brown and Marc Brown
Uses simple and accessible language for children to understand death and grief. This book is very direct and may not be appropriate for all children; however, it may be a helpful resource for adults to find language to explain death to kids.
Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids: 100 Practical Ideas
Author: Alan Wolfelt
100 action oriented ideas that are easy for kids to do to process death. Written for kids to do independently.
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
Author: Pat Schwiebert
The story of Grandy and how she cooks “tear soup” to process her loss and grief, ultimately helping her find comfort and peace. The book also includes tips for dealing with grief for family, friends and children.
Healing a Child's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends, and Caregivers
Author: Alan Wolfelt
100 action oriented ideas for parents to do with children or as a family.