Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children (Brian Mellonie, 1983)

  • “Sometimes living things become sick or they get hurt and there are times when they can no longer stay alive.” This story provides a visual and safe way to begin explaining death to children.

The Tenth Good Thing about Barney (Judith Viorst, 1971)

  •  A child learns about death after his cat dies.

It Must Hurt A Lot (Doris Sanford, 1986)

  • A car hits a little boy’s dog and the story tells of his feelings and memories.

I’ll Always Love You (Hans Wilhelm, 1985)

  • A child’s sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the remembrance of saying every night, “I’ll Always Love You.”

Someone Special Died (Joan Singleton, 1993)

  • After a death, a little girl asks questions and talks about her feelings.

When Dinosaurs Die (Laurie Drasny Brown & Marc Brown, 1996)

  • A comprehensive book, in a cartoon format, which discusses different issues related to death.


Daddy’s Chair (Sandy Lanton, 1991)

  • When Michael’s father dies his family sits Shiva, a week of mourning and remembrance in the Jewish tradition.

When Someone Dies (Sharon Greenlee, 1992)

  • Explores feelings children may experience after the death of a loved one.

 Elementary/Middle School

Badger’s Parting Gifts (Susan Varley, 1984)

  • Animals share memories of their friend, Badger, after he dies.

Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope (Donna O’Toole, 1988)

  • A story of a young aardvark that experiences feelings of grief after his mother is sent to the zoo. He receives support from his animal friend and learns to cope.

The Saddest Time (Norma Simon, 1986)

  • Offers a way to talk to children about death through three short stories. Treats death and grief in a matter-of-fact manner that makes it a normal part of life rather than something to be feared.

 Middle/High School

Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers (Earl Grollman, 1993)

  • A book for teenagers explaining what feelings and emotions they can anticipate experiencing when faced with the death of a loved one.

When A Friend Dies (Marilyn Gootman, 1994)

  • A book about grieving and healing when someone has suffered the loss of a friend.


All Ages

The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf (Leo Buscaglia, 1982)

  • The story of life, death and the changing seasons of life.

Love You Forever (Robert Munsch, 1986)

  • A story about a son and his mother which encompasses life changes and passing on of rituals from one generation to the next.