Recommended Books For Children

Love Legacy: A guidebook for families anticipating the death of a parent

by Tara Ferriola, Psy.D. (Author), Justin Berardi (Illustrator)

For children ages 5-17

The death of a parent in childhood represents a void in a child’s life that can lead to both acute and prolonged challenges. Children who participate in healthy grieving are able to address the reality of the loss while also engaging in everyday living and reestablishing a new “normal.” Failure to engage in healthy grieving can result in depression, anxiety, difficulties with everyday functioning, and persistent yearning and searching for the deceased parent.

The goals of the Love Legacy Guidebook are threefold: to facilitate healthy grieving through addressing the challenges that are inevitable when a parent dies, guiding the family in making adjustments, and continuing connections both before and after the death. Not all children are allotted the opportunity to partake in the process of anticipatory grief. Those that are, have the benefit of processing emotions, spending extra time with the parent, and saying goodbye. This guidebook aims to facilitate healthy grieving by outlining tasks which help the family identify people to complete household tasks, discuss and assign ways to memorialize the deceased person on special occasions, and gather and document pictures and stories. Additionally, this guidebook provides the family a unique opportunity to engage in a process with the dying parent that will allow the parent to offer input by adding biographical information, personalized stories, and individualized letters to the children. After the parent has died, the family has a place to return in order to remember the parent.

BUY NOW Amazon

Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to A Friend A Fable About Loss and Healing

Howard Binkow and Reverend Ana, along with David Cutting

Website: With Lessons From Life, Combined With Animated Versions Of Each Book:

This organization provides books on over 20 subjects children deal with in daily life, and each book includes an animated version right on the website. The children can watch on their own or with the siblings and parents—even in school. griefHaven LOVES this site and wholeheartedly recommends it to any parent and those working with children. Visit the site to learn about the various subjects covered, including death of a loved one, bullying, parents fighting, trust, and so forth.

The Birthday Of An Angel

Zoey Leslie Hess

For Children – Written by a child after the death of her Papa, this book is simple and beautifully illustrated, explaining how Papa lives on in the wisdom he taught.

Breaking the Silence

Linda Goldman, 1996, Taylor & Francis

Provides a clear, concise and informative guide to helping children with complicated grief issues and provides strategies and referral resources for child grief issues. The text is understandable and user-friendly for parents and laypersons, as well as experienced clinicians.

Coping With the Death of a Brother or Sister

Ruth Ann Ruiz 

The author describes the grief for siblings and comments on the impact of cause of death on the grief process.

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

Earl A. Grollman 

For children ages 3-18 (appropriate for older teens)

Brave Bart

Caroline Sheppard

For children ages 3-14. A cat experiences both a post-traumatic stress reaction and grief following a bad, scary thing.

Children Also Grieve: Talking about Death and Healing

Linda Goldman

For children ages 5-10. A Story about a dog in a family whose grandfather died.

Children Are Not Paper Dolls

Erin Linn Levy

This is a book of drawings and quotations from young bereaved siblings. They talk about their personal experiences of loss, hearing the news, what the funeral was like, how they reacted, how their families changed, their feelings of guilt and sorrow, and what helped them to heal. A good resource for bereaved siblings of all ages.

Day of the Dead

Tony Johnston and Jeanette Winter

For children ages 3-10. A village in Mexico prepares and celebrates this holiday, which honors the memories of their loved ones.

Fall of Freddie the Leaf

Leo Buscaglia

For children of all ages. Poetic look at the life cycle and its meaning.

Grief Girl: My True Story

Erin Vincent

For children ages 12-adult. A memoir of a woman who was orphaned suddenly at age 14.

Guiding Your Child Through Grief

Mary Ann Emswiler, M.A., M.P.S. & James P. Emswiler, M.A., M.Ed., 2000,

Bantam Backed by the latest research in child psychology and filled with case histories, this title answers questions that parents and caregivers need to ask, such as: Is it normal for a child to act as if nothing has happened? Is an infant too little to understand the loss of a parent? Do children blame themselves for the death of a family member? Should I worry about a child committing suicide after a death in the family?

Healing Your Grieving Heart For Teens: 100 Practical Ideas

Alan D. Wolfelt

For children ages 12-18.

Healing a Child’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends, and Caregivers

Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., 2000, Companion Press

Helpful to adults to understand grief and mourning in children.

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina

Danielle Steel, 1998, Delacote Press

At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel’s tribute to her lost son is a gift of hope, healing, and understanding to us all.

The Invisible String

Patrice Karst

Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love—the love that binds, connects, and comforts us through those inevitable times when life challenges us will love this book! Even adults love it!

Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children

Linda Goldman, 1994, Taylor & Francis

An information guide for helping children deal with general grief issues, as well as hands-on techniques for grief resolution. Useful for parents as well as clinical sessions by mental health professionals.

Lifetimes: a Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

For children ages 3-7. Gentle explanations of the life cycle.

My Grief Journal: for Grieving Teens

For children ages 11-18. Offers the opportunity to draw or write about memories and feelings after death.

My Memory Book: For Grieving Children

For children ages 3-10. Offers the opportunity to draw or write about memories and feelings after death.

The Saddest Time

Norma Simon

For children ages 6-12. Explains death using three examples, death of a young uncle with terminal illness, of a classmate killed in an accident, and of a grandparent.

The Story Of…

Kate Polley

This wonderful book is actually personalized with the child’s name who died on the front and tells the story of where the child went and what death is. Also offered is a version for one who loses a twin and with a child who has dark skin. Check our website for more details or visit

A Taste of Blackberries

Doric Buchanan Smith

For children ages 8-14. A fictional look at how a pre-adolescent boy comes to terms with the death of a friend.

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney

By Judith Viorst

For children ages 3-8. Death, Grief, and the afterlife as experiences by a young boy following the death of his dear cat.

Timothy Duck

By Lynn Bennett Blackburn

For children ages 3-8. Duck learns about death, dying, grieving, and healing when his friend dies.

When Someone Dies

Sharon Greenlee

For children ages 4-10. Grief reactions after the death of someone close.

When Someone Very Special Dies

Marge Heegaard

For children ages 5-10. Workbook format dealing with lifecycle, grief reactions, memories and coping strategies.

When a Friend Dies

Marilyn Gootman

For children ages 12-18. Book for teens about grieving and healing.

When Dinosaurs Die

Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown

For children ages 6-12

Why Do People Die?

Cynthia MacGregor

For children ages 6-12. General treatment of the subject of death, funerals, the after-life and grief, written and illustrated in an engaging style.

I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand

Dr. Pat Paimer

For children ages 3-6. Explanations of grief and hot to cope with loss using the death of a beloved dog.

I Wish I Had a Book to Read: Helping a Child’s Heart Heal When Someone Special Has Died

Randi Pearlman Wolfson

For children ages 7-13. Grieving children will see themselves in this sensitively written book which offers a unique way to write and draw about their feelings and memories following the death of someone close.


Moshe Halevi Spero

For children ages 6- 12. A story guide to help Jewish children cope with loss and bereavement.