The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

General Information | Grief and Bereavement Bibliography

Books for Adults with Children
Books for Children

Books for Adults with Children:

Bell, J. and L. Esterling (1986). What Will I Tell The Children?, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Child Life Department, 982455 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-2455.
This small booklet gives concise information on children's understanding of death at different ages, some behavioral changes that might take place, and ways adults can help support children as they share information about a death. The booklet format makes it particularly helpful to use when reading a larger book would not be possible.

Fitzgerald, H. (1992). The Grieving Child: A Parent’s Guide, Fireside, Simon & Schuster Building, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020.
This book offers practical, compassionate advice for helping a child cope with the death of a loved one. Covers pre-school through teenagers including: visiting the seriously ill or dying, using language appropriate to the child’s age, selecting useful books about death, deciding whether a child should attend a funeral, and more.

Grollman, E. (1990). Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent And Child, Beacon Press, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2800.
This easy to read and thoughtful book guides parents and provides answers to children’s difficult questions about death. It includes a section to read with children.

Harpham, W. S., MD (1997). When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children, Harper-Collins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53 Street, New York, New York 10022.
A book for families written from the heart of experience. A mother, physician, and cancer survivor, Wendy Harpham offers clear, direct, and sympathetic advice to parents challenged with the task of raising healthy, normal children while they struggle with a potentially life-threatening disease. Includes a children's book about a seven year old girl's struggle with her mother's cancer.

Jewett, C. L. (1982). Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss, The Harvard Common Press, The Common, Harvard, Massachusetts 01451.
This book provides information on separation and loss as a result of the death of a loved one, in addition to loss as a result of divorce, parental absence, adoption, foster care, etc. The text helps caregivers prepare children for a loss and supports the child after the loss.

McCue, K. and R. Bonn (1994). How to Help Children Through a Parent's Serious Illness, St. Martin's Griffin, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
A supportive and practical guide that explains the special needs of children whose parents are seriously ill or dying. This book guides caregivers on how they can help children gain resilience, regardless of the parent's medical outcome. Topics include what to tell a child about the illness, how children of different ages are likely to react, how to recognize early warning signs of distress, how to initiate and facilitate fruitful discussions with the child and when and where to find professional help

O'Toole, D. and J. Cory (1993). Helping Children Grieve and Grow, Compassion Books, 477 Hannah Branch Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.
This booklet is designed for learning more about how children experience loss and grief, and what adults can do to help them through this time. It provides useful information and encouragement.

Papenbrock, P. L., RN (1988). Children's Grief: How to Help the Child Whose Parent Has Died, Medic Publishing Co., P.O. Box 89, Redmond, WA 98073-0089.
This booklet is for adults who are caring for a child whose parent has died. Discusses children and grief, explaining death to a child, funerals and memorial services, the grieving process in children of different ages, and more. Simple and easy to read but informative.

Scherago, M. G. (1987). Sibling Grief: How Parents Can Help the Child Whose Brother or Sister Has Died, Medic Publishing Co., P.O. Box 89, Redmond, WA 98073-0089.
A helpful and comprehensive booklet that provides information concerning the grief of a child whose sibling has dies. Despite is brief format, this booklet touches on many different areas, including the age of the surviving child, typical responses of siblings, fears children may develop, guidelines for parents, returning to school, and more.

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Books for Children:

Buscaglia, L., PhD (1982). The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, SLACK Incorporated, 6900 Grove Road, Thorofare, NJ 08086.
Ages 4 years and older; younger children may have trouble relating the story to the death of someone they know. This comforting story follows the life and death of a young leaf named Freddie. Freddie explores the meaning of life and the purpose of life even after death. A gentle and peaceful story.

Carney, K. L. and W. J. Pilkington (1995). Everything Changes, But Love Endures. Wethersfield, CT 06109, Karen L. Carney or Janet D. Klett, D'Esopo Funeral Chapels, 277 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109.
Ages 4-10 years. Friendly dogs, Barklay and Eve, share their experience with a friend being cared for by Hospice. Takes a very gentle approach to explaining end of life care to young children.

Delp, D. (1991). Packing for Heaven, Tower Hill Press, P. O. Box 1132, Doylestown, PA 18901.
Ages 7-12 years. This is the story of Casey, a young boy coming to grips with his own impending death. It is a compassionate story that establishes a positive tone while dealing with the difficult emotions surrounding the possible death of a child.

Fitzgerald, H. (2000). The Grieving Teen, A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends, Fireside, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
Ages 13 years and older. In this compassionate guide, the author addresses the special needs of adolescents struggling with loss, and offers teens the tools they need to work through their pain and grief.

Grollman, E. (1993). Straight Talk About Death For Teenagers, Beacon Press, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-2892.
Ages 13 years and older. This book uses a unique combination of prose and quotes to offer wisdom and comfort to teens who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Harpham, W. S. (1997). Becky And The Worry Cup, Harper/Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.
Ages 5-11 Years. With a thorough text, this book chronicles the experience of a young girl coping with her mother's cancer diagnosis and treatment. It discusses the fears, worries, and joys of family life complicated by the illness of the mother.

Heegaard, M. (1991). When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness — Children Can Learn To Cope With Loss And Change, Woodland Press, 99 Woodland Circle, Minneapolis, MN 55424.
Ages 6-12 years with adult participation. This book was created to help children understand and express feelings when someone in their family has a serious illness. The workbook format allows expression through drawing and discussion.

LeShan, E. (1988). Learning To Say Goodbye... When A Parent Dies, Avon Books, Division of Hearst Corp., 959 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019.
Ages 13 years and older. The honest but comforting text guides teenagers through the grief of losing a parent. Addresses common thoughts, fears, and feelings related to grief and loss while helping teens see recovery from grief as a part of the grief process.

Libby, L. (1993). Someday Heaven, Questar Publishers, Inc., PO Box 1720, Sisters, Oregon 97759.
Ages 7 years and older. This book explores the wonders and mysteries of Heaven. It provides thoughtful, comforting answers to children's difficult questions. The text is Christian oriented and biblically based with references to passages and verses about heaven.

Maple, M., PhD (1992). On The Wings of a Butterfly, Parenting Press, Inc., P.O. Box 75267, Seattle, Washington 98125.
Ages 8-12 years. Lisa, a young girl approaching death, waits anxiously for a butterfly to emerge from its chrysalis before she dies. Parallels the life and death experience of humans with that of a butterfly. The story includes Lisa's death and the reactions of her parents and the medical staff who cared for her. A very powerful book.

Mellonie, B. and R. Ingpen (1983). Lifetimes, A Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.
Ages 7 years and older. A story about beginnings, endings, and about living in between. With colorful illustrations from nature, this book teaches children that dying is as much a part of living as being born.

Mills, J. C., PhD (1993). Gentle Willow, A Story for Children About Dying, Magination Press, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.
Ages 4-10 years. Using the metaphor of an ill tree who will not get well again and a caterpillar who transforms into a butterfly, this book helps children come to terms with their own death or that of a close friend, relative, or pet. This tender story addresses sadness, disbelief, anger, and most of all, the good medicine called love.

Mills, J. C. (1992). Little Tree: A Story For Children With Serious Medical Problems, Magination Press, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.
Ages 4-10 years. In addition to the physical toll experienced by children with serious medical problems, there are usually emotional difficulties that are harder to see and even harder to ease. This book provides a place to which both parent and child can turn for help. Sensitively written and charmingly illustrated, this book brings to life a healing metaphor so powerful that its message of inspiration will be remembered long after the book is closed.

Price, J. S. (1987). Someone Special Died, Price, Stern, Sloan Publishers, A Division of Penguin Putnam, Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.
Ages 4-10 years. The simple text covers a wide range of thoughts and feelings experienced when this young child’s unidentified “someone special” dies. Helpful resolution at the end of the story when the youngster decided to make a scrapbook in memory of the special person.

Rogers, F. (1991). So Much To think About, Family Communications, Inc., 4802 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Ages 4-10 years. This workbook for children who have experienced the death of a loved one includes games, puzzles, cards to make, and photos to frame. Makes learning about feelings, funeral rituals, getting and giving help an enjoyable experience. By "Mr. Rogers" of the children's TV show.

Scrivani, M. (1996). I Heard Your Daddy Died, Centering Corporation, 1531 N Saddle Creek Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68104.
Ages 2-6 years. This book helps the young child begin to understand the feelings experienced when a father dies. It is gentle and supportive and teaches children that life is stable and goes on even while remembering the love they had for their father.

Scrivani, M. (1994). I Heard Your Mommy Died, Centering Corporation, 1531 N Saddle Creek Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68104.
Ages 2-6 years. This book helps the young child begin to understand the feelings experienced when a mother dies. It is gentle and supportive and teaches children that life is stable and goes on even while remembering the love they had for their mother.

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Growth House, Inc.
This award-winning website is your international gateway to resources for life-threatening illness and end of life care. Their primary mission is to improve the quality of compassionate care for people who are dying.

HospiceNet offers extensive information about grief and bereavement, including issues regarding children and adolescents.

KidsAid is an online support group for children dealing with any kind of loss. It includes artwork, stories and poems.

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