Recommended Books For Teens

Parental Death, The Ultimate Teen Guide


According to a recent U.S. census, approximately 2.5 million children under the age of eighteen have experienced the death of a parent. Losing a parent at such a young age can have devastating consequences. Beyond the grief children and young adults experience, they can be at risk for many negative outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms, as well as diminished self-esteem. Their academic success and relationships with others can also be adversely affected. For these young adults, help is not always easy to find.

In Parental Death: The Ultimate Teen Guide, Michelle Shreeve offers a variety of ways in which young people can cope with this tough experience. In addition to outlining the universal difficulties of losing a parent, the author also points out the unique dynamics of specific losses--sons who lose fathers, daughters who lose mothers, sons who lose mothers, and daughters who lose fathers—and what those losses can mean for their future development. This book also identifies how the challenges of life without a parent can affect a young adult at different stages.

Featuring real stories and quotes from teens about their experiences, this book shows young adults a variety of views about the death of a parent and provides coping strategies that young people can call upon to help them through this difficulty. Parental Death: The Ultimate Teen Guide serves as a valuable resource for all teens, whether they are dealing with tragedy personally or are looking for ways to console friends or siblings.

Bereaved Children and Teens: A Support Guide for Parents and Professionals

By Earl A. Grollman (Editor)

A fairly comprehensive guide to helping children and adolescents cope with the emotional, religious, social and physical aspects of a loved one’s death. Topics range from how adolescents grieve differently from adults to concrete ways to help children cope.

Death is Hard to Live With: Teenagers Talk About How to Cope With Loss

By Janet Bode, Stan Mack (illustrator)

I just graduated from high school and feel we had a curse on my class. Six people died. The worst was Shannon, my best friend. She was free-spirited, the last person you’d expect to die. One day she’s great. The next day she’s dead. I wasn’t prepared for it.

Fire In My Heart, Ice in My Veins: A Journal For Teenagers Experiencing a Loss

By Enid Samuel Traisman

This is a journal that encourages teenagers to work through their grief in a creative and healthy way. It allows them to keep permanent memories of the person that died. It also gives them skills to help them throughout their life when faced with grief and loss.

The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends

By Helen Fitzgerald

Although the circumstances surrounding a death are difficult to handle at any age, adolescence brings with it challenges and struggles that until now have been largely overlooked. But in this unique and compassionate guide, renowned grief counselor Helen Fitzgerald turns her attention to the special needs adolescents struggling with loss and gives them the tools they need to work through their pain and grief.

Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Teens

By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Grade 7 and up book that is written in clear, user-friendly prose. Each page presents a different idea designed to help teens recognize mourning as a natural process connected with loss, reassuring them that they should not be afraid of deep, sometimes uncontrollable emotions, and showing them how to release grief in healthy, positive ways.

Helping Teens Cope With Death

By Dougy Center for Grieving Children

This practical guide covers the unique grief responses of teenagers and the specific challenges they face when grieving a death. You will learn how death impacts teenagers and ways that you can help them. The book also offers advice from parents and caregivers of bereaved teens on how to support adolescents and determine when professional help is needed.

Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love

By Earl A. Grollman

In a unique prose-poem format utilizing aphorisms and quotation fragments, Grollman speaks directly and effectively to the hearts and minds of teenagers who are coping with the death of a friend or family member. Sage advice and worldly wisdom from an author who understands both teenagers and grief.

When a Friend Dies: A Book For Teens About Grieving and Healing

By Marilyn E. Gootman, Pamela Espeland (Editor), Deborah Prothrow-Stith

This book is welcome as a quick read for students who are grieving. There is a real need for books on grief, especially how children cope with grief, because it often manifests in ways that are different from adult grief.

Teen Grief Relief

By Heidi Horsley, Psy.D., L.M.S., MS

Help your teen grieve in a healthy way. Teenage grief is hard, lonely, and painful. Parents want to know: How can I help? Teen Grief Relief provides both parents and teens with the help they need. Shared here are teen stories, feelings, techniques, references, and resources for use in not only surviving, but thriving, after the painful loss of a family member or close personal friend.

Teenagers Face to Face with Bereavement

By Karen Gravelle and Charles Haskinsem

Psychotherapist Gravelle and Social Worker/Episcopal priest Haskins asked 17 teens, all of whom have lost a relative or close friend, to tell their stories. These responses are discussed at length from the points of view of teens and counselors, as are difficult situations that may follow death.

You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk About Life After the Loss of a Parent

By Lynne B. Hughes

Hughes, the founder of Comfort Zone camp for grieving kids, believes that sharing experiences about losing a parent begins the healing process. Her purpose in writing the book is to let teens know that they don’t have to feel isolated—there is help available for them.

When Will I Stop Hurting? Teens, Loss, and Grief; It Happened to Me (The Ultimate Teen Guide)

By Kelly Adams

A self-help guide for teenagers who are struggling with bereavement and the emotional difficulties it presents. This book provides an overview of grief as a painful but normal process, and it offers insights from bereavement experts, as well as practical suggestions for coping with loss, including personal accounts from teens.

When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens About Grieving and Healing

By Marilyn E. Gootman and Pamela Espeland

Sixteen short chapters deliver helpful information on subjects including: How can I stand the pain? How should I be acting? What is normal? What if I can’t handle grief on my own? And How can I find a counselor or therapist?