Grief Lending Library

An essential part of the Academy, the Kim Peterson Memorial Grief Lending Library houses an extensive collection of books and resources for all ages, available for check out.

Located at Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway (3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines), the library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Use the below categories to assist with your search.

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anticipatory Grief
  • Children and Terminal Illness
  • Children's Books
  • Death of a Child
  • Death of a Partner
  • Death of a Pet
  • General Adult Grief
  • Helping Teens and Children
  • Professionals
  • Spanish Language
  • Sudden Death
  • Teen Books

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Title Author Description Category Topics Location
I Have No Intention of Saying Goodbye: parents share their stories of hope and healing after a child’s death Fox, Sandy (iUniverse, Inc., 2001)

Five or more years after the death of their children, twenty-five families open their hearts and share stories of courage, hope and their attempts to make sense out of the most unbearable loss of all. What did they do to move on with their lives, to make each day meaningful again, to remember their child? In addition to helping themselves, learn how these parents help others and what advice they give to those still having difficulty living in a world without their child.

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I have questions about cancer: Clear Answers for All Kids, including Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Special Needs Gains, Arlen Grad and Meredith Englander Polsky (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019)

This book is designed to help kids, including children with autism spectrum disorder or other additional needs, to understand what it means when someone in their life has cancer.

  • Disabilities / Cancer
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I have questions about divorce: A Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Special Needs Gains, Arlen Grad and Meredith Englander Polsky (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018)

Using a question and answer format, it explores the changes and feelings a child may experience during a divorce, and provides ideas to help cope with this life change. Illustrated with SymbolStix, which uses a symbol-based language for visual thinkers, this book explains a difficult topic to children who might otherwise struggle to understand it, and gives additional guidance for guardians.

  • Divorce / Disabilities
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I Know I Made It Happen Blackburn, Lynn Bennett (Centering Corporation, 1991)

Ages 3-8. Deals with childhood guilt; looks at feelings when there’s a family fight, a divorce, illness, injury and death. Let’s kids know that their thoughts don’t control the world.

I Miss You: a first look at death Thomas, Pat (Barron's Educational Series, 2001)

Ages 4-8. When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one's death.

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Ida, Always Levis, Caron (Atheneum Books, 2016)

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears. Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will stay in his hearts, always.

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If I Die and When I Do: exploring death with young people Sternberg, Franki (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1980)

A teacher’s experience in pioneering courses on death and dying for junior students.

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If Nathan Were Here Bahr, Mary (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000)

Ages 6-13. A warm, sensitive story of how one little boy is encouraged and supported to find his own way to remember his best friend. Written in simple, honest language, and the warm, expressive watercolors tenderly express the sensitive story of children’s friendships.

  • Death of a Friend
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Imagine A Rainbow: a child’s guide for soothing pain Miles, Brenda (Magination Press, 2006)

Ages 2-5. When a child is in pain, imagining scenes that are soothing or uplifting may help reduce the discomfort. This book is a great tool for introducing children to the idea of using their imaginations to cope with pain, whether by itself or as part of a more comprehensive pain management plan.

  • Pain
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Invisible String, The Karst, Patrice (DeVorss and Company, 2000)

Ages 4-8. This simple story reminds children and adults they are never truly alone. As the mother in the story explains, “People who love each other are always connected by a very special string made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

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Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute? Barber, Elke and Alex Barber (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016)

This honest, sensitive and beautifully illustrated picture book is designed to help explain the concept of death to children aged 3-7. Written from a child's own words, it is based on the real-life conversations that Elke Barber had with her then three-year-old son, Alex, after the sudden death of his father. 

  • Death of a Father
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It Must Hurt A Lot Sandford, Doris (Multnomah, 2014)

When Joshua's puppy is killed by a car accident he learns that some surprises come wrapped in the "package" of loss. We encourage adults to talk about these gifts with children. Sensitive, caring adults are made not born. The book is written for children ages 5 - 11 years.

  • Death of a Pet
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It's Ok to be Happy! Mason, Ta'Shay (Belshay House, 2021)

The second book of the series, It's Ok to be Happy!, continues to follow a little girl's journey as she tries to navigate life after the death of her father. The themes in the book include a support group for children, equine-assisted therapy, and different ways to remember a loved one. (The first book in this series is entitled, But I Don't Want to Say Goodbye!)

  • Death of a Father
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It's okay to Cry: A parents guide to helping children through the losses of life Wright, H. Norman (Waterbrook, 2004)

Look through the eyes of a child again. When something unexpected, disappointing, or traumatic occurs, children feel a very real sense of loss. They may respond with fear or with anger. Most likely they are confused. They have questions they want answered. They need help from their parents or others who care to understand and process their grief. It’s Okay to Cry offers practical help for parents. It explains the symptoms of loss and unresolved grief so that parents can recognize them and walk alongside their children on the path to recovery.

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It's the End of the World as I Know it Landis, Matthew (Penguin Random House, 2019)

Since his mother was killed in the line of duty in Iraq, Derrick is building a doomsday shelter to prepare for the apocalypse when he makes friends with Misty, the girl next door.

  • Death of a Parent / Military
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Keys To Helping Children Deal With Death And Grief Johnson, Joy (Barron's Educational Series, 1999)

An outstanding book to help parents explain the idea of death in ways that are understandable to children. Includes sections on the process of grief and ways to help children cope with loss.

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Last Day Of April, The Roach, Nancy (The American Cancer Society, 1974)

This poignant story, straightforward and honestly told, fills a long-felt need for the parents of children with malignant and potentially fatal disease.

  • Terminally Ill Children
Lean On Me Gently: helping the grieving child Manning, Doug (In-sight Books, 1998)

Excellent for parents who want to help their children grieve while grieving themselves. Includes all the information about children and grief, plus includes tools and resources.

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Learning to Say Good-bye LeShan, Eda J. (Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976)

Discusses the questions, fears and fantasies many children experience when a parent or someone close to them dies.

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Let’s Roll Beamer, Lisa with Ken Abraham (Tyndale House Publishing, 2002)

Todd's wife Lisa reveals what really happened on that ill-fated flight, as well as poignant glimpses of a genuine American hero. She talks candidly about Todd's growing-up years, their marriage and last week together, and then family moments without him-the devastating day her children learned their daddy had died, how they celebrated his first birthday without him, the mix of grief and joy when she gave birth to their third child, and how she's found the confidence to go on in the face of such tragedy and loss. It's no wonder that, through this unpretentious homemaker and mother, an entire nation can find hope, inspiration and strength.

  • Sudden & Traumatic Death
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Letter to Mickey, A Keller, Jay (Star Bible Publications, 2006)

How do you explain death to a 6 year old? In his book, “A Letter to Mickey,” Jay Keller does just that! Simple language, colorful illustrations and large print make the text easy to read and understand. Written from a Christian perspective.

  • Religious
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Life and Loss: a guide to help grieving children Goldman, Linda (Accelerated Development, 1994)

A guide for parents, educators, clergy and health care professionals to handle children’s loss and grief issues. Includes bibliographical references and index.

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Lifetimes: a beautiful way to explain death to children Mellonie, Bryan (Bantam Books, 1983)

Ages 5-8. Explains life and death “in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way.”

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Lilacs for Grandma Hucek, Margene Whitler (Centering Corporation, 2002)

Ages 5-10. Megan hid under the lilac bush under Grandmother's bedroom window. Grandma knew she was there. She heard the grown-ups talking about Grandma being ill. After grandma dies, Megan watches the doves build a new nest and gathers lilacs to bring to the funeral.

  • Death of a Grandmother
Living With Death And Dying Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth (Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1981)

The subject of children and death made comprehensible to parents, relatives, doctors, nurses, social workers, and everyone else concerned.

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Living With Grief: children and adolescents Doka, Kenneth J. (Hospice Foundation of America, 2008)

Discusses various issues that children and adolescents face before, during, and after the death of a loved one. Also touches on the dying child. Topics that are discussed include developmental perspectives, children’s hospice care, sibling loss, loss of a parent, loss of a friend, and loss experienced by military children.

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Living with Grief: children, adolescents, and loss Doka, Kenneth J., ed. (Hospice Foundation of America, 2000)

A compilation of writings each dealing with how we can better help children and adolescents cope with grief and loss, including pieces written by grieving children themselves.

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Living With Grief: Shattered: Trauma and Grief Doka, Kenneth J. and Tucci, Amy S.

This book includes perspectives from clinicians who have experienced personal trauma, such as death by suicide, supporting a community after a tragedy, and working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapters include: Supporting those bereaved by Drug Overdose and Suicide Deaths, Treating traumatic loss after Violent Death, and Trauma and grief in children and adolescents.

  • Trauma
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Look at Death, A Anders, Rebecca (Lerner Publications Company, 1978)

For the very young; text and photographs present the concept of death, the importance of grief, and the customs of mourning.

  • Historical
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Loss of a Parent: Adult Grief When Parents Die Jackson, Theresa (Busy Bee Media, 2014)

Theresa Jackson's father died in 2007 and she has since put together useful clinical and healing resources for others in the same position, to help them recover. With an Masters degree in clinical research, Theresa has combined the latest theories and practices on loss, with effective meditations and exercises so that you can honor and remember your lost parent, all the while processing your grief in a healthy way. Sharing hers and others’ personal journeys of coming to terms with the loss of a parent, she hopes to help more bereaved adult children on their healing journeys.

  • Death of a Parent
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Love Letters Sanford, Doris (Multnoman Press, 1991)

For adults who know children with major hurts, this book provides a model for support and comfort. It also gives helpful advice about helping kids experiencing difficult situations such as death, divorce, abuse, etc.

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Love You Forever Munsch, Robert N. (Firefly Books Ltd., 2004)

Ages 4 and up. I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. This book is about unconditional love and growing older. In the end, the grown son holds his dying mother and sings the song to her.

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Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide Smid, Emmi (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015)

This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. Suicide always causes shock, not just for the family members but for everyone around them, and children also have to deal with these feelings. The book approaches the subject sensitively and includes a guide for parents and professionals.

  • Suicide
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Magic Moth, The Lee, Virginia (Clarion Books, 1972)

When ten-year-old Maryanne dies, six-year old Mark-O and the rest of the family become a little wiser about death.

  • Historical
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Making It Through The Toughest Days of Grief Woodson, Meg (Zondervan, 1994)

Based on the deaths of both her children as well as her professional experiences as a grief counselor, Meg Woodson offers compassionate, practical advice to see you through these darkest, loneliest days.

  • Death of a Child
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Mama Mockingbird Wood, Sauni (Centering Corporation, 1998)

Shows you how to find your song when one of your children dies. Mama searches all over for her old song, but learns that she must now sing a new song. Excellent for storytelling.

Mama’s Going to Heaven Soon Copeland, Kathe Martin (Augsburg Fortress, 2005)

Ages 8-11. A compassionate yet straightforward story to assist young children and their caregivers as they deal with an impending death of a mother. The bright, childlike artwork and simple, straightforward language offer readers a hopeful message. The book does not specify what is wrong with the mother, so it could apply to a number of situations or illnesses.

  • Anticipatory / Before the Death
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Memory Box, The McLaughlin Kirsten (Centering Corporation, 2001)

'How could Grandpa die when he promised to take me fishing?' A young child shares his feelings after Grandpa dies. He talks about all the things he will miss doing with Grandpa. The child decides to make a memory box out of Grandpa's old tackle box. He fills it with special items and all the memories of his Grandpa.

  • Death of a Grandparent
Memory Box, The: A Book about Grief Rowland, Joanna (Beaming Books, 2017)

From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process.

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Missing Mommy Cobb, Rebecca (Henry Holt and Company, 2011)

Honest and straightforward, this story explores the many emotions a child who has experienced a death may experience, from anger and guilt to sadness and bewilderment. Ultimately, Missing Mommy focuses on the positive―the recognition that the child is not alone but still part of a family that loves and supports him.

  • Death of a Mother
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Molly's Rosebush Cohn, Janice (Albert Whitman and Company, 1994)

Ages 4 and up. When the new baby they've been expecting isn't strong enough to be born, Molly and her family find different ways to express their feelings and comfort each other.

  • Miscarriage
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Molly’s Mom Died: a child’s book of hope through grief Holmes, Margaret M. (Centering Corporation, 1999)

Molly talks about the feelings that she has been having since the death of her mother. Includes information for caregivers.

  • Death of a Mother
Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore Tangvald, Christine Harder (Chariot Books, 1988)

For children ages 4 and up. Love, understanding and hope for the child whose parents are divorcing.

  • Divorce
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Moon is Always Round, The Gibson, Jonathan (New Growth Press, 2019)

The moon is always round, even when we can't always see the whole moon. Through this illustration, children understand that God is always good, even in difficult times when we can't always see all of his goodness. Help your kids find answers to hard questions about God and suffering.

  • Religious
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Mulberry Music, The Orgel, Doris (Harper and I Row, Publishers, 1971)

Libby loves her Grandma Liza more than anybody - but suddenly Grandma Liza is ill. Libby is not allowed to see her, but in a panic she defies all and searches for Grandma Liza.

  • Historical
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My Big Dumb Invisible Dragon Lucas, Angie (Sounds True, Inc., 2019)

The day a young boy's mother dies, an invisible dragon swoops in and stays with him, weighing him down day and night until, at last, their relationship changes.

  • Death of a Mother
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My Mom Is Dying: a child’s diary McNamara, Jill Westberg (Augsburg Fortress, 1994)

Ages 6-12. When Kristine learns her mother is dying, she turns to God for help. Through her 17 conversations with God, she begins to understand her feelings and learns that it’s all right to feel fear, anger, and sadness. God understands her grief and supports her through it. Includes a discussion to help parents and children talk about death, grieving and God’s love.

  • Religious / Death of a Mother
My Sister Might Die: A book to share with children anticipating grief and loss Brenneman, Dr. Diane Zaerr (Brenneman, 2020)

A book to help sibilings anticipate a brother or sisters death from a terminal illness.

  • Anticipatory / Before the Death
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Never Too Young to Know: death in children’s lives Silverman, Phyllis Rolfe (Oxford University Press, 2000)

This book brings together diverse fields of study and offer a practical as well as multifaceted theoretical approach to how children cope with death. Using stories of children’s own experiences supported by data from a large research study, Silverman explains the wide range of effects of loss upon children, the challenges they face as they grieve, and ways of supporting them as they change and grow in the bereavement process.

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Next Place, The Hanson, Warren (Waldman House Press, Inc., 1997)

Readily adaptable message to both children and adults about “life after life”. Uniquely illustrated.

  • After Life
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Nobody’s Child Anymore: grieving, caring, and comforting when parents die Bartocci, Barbara (Sorin Books, 2000)

Explores the four stages of losing a parent. Children often must endure the painful final stages of a parent’s life, the finality of their death, and their own grief while offering support for a surviving parent. Helps reader acknowledge and respect the differences in how different people process pain, explaining why all people do not feel the same after such a loss.

  • Death of a Parent
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Not Just a Fish Hemery, Kathleen Maresh (Centering Corporation, 2000)

PARENT COUNCIL REVIEW® 'A young child struggles with his grief over the death of his fish. He is especially upset when others comment 'it was only a fish.' Then to add to his distress, his father flushes Puffer down the toilet. A wise aunt suggests a memorial service, and the story ends with a healing eulogy. A wonderful story for young children grieving over the death of a beloved pet.'

  • Death of a Pet
Not today, Celeste! A dogs tale about her humans depression Stevens, Liz (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016)

Charmingly illustrated, this heart-warming story for children aged 3+ reflects some of the feelings and experiences that a child whose parent or caregiver has depression may face. When it comes to periods of low mood in a parent or caregiver, children can often feel that they are to blame, or even that the parent doesn't love them anymore. The story provides reassurance by explaining what depression is and how it is possible to find help.

  • Depression
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On Children and Death Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth (Macmillan Publishing Company, 1983)

Describes the difficulties parents with dying children must face; offers loving and practical help in handling these crises.

  • Children Dying
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On Those Runaway Days Feigh, Alison (Free Spirit Publishing, 2008)

Ages 6-10. Changes such as divorce, abuse, or the death of a loved one can cause children to run away or hide from the problem. This book is created especially to help teach children to see running away for what it truly is: a dangerous means of avoiding problems.

  • All Loss
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Oncology, Stupology…I Want To Go Home! Hershey, Marilyn (Butterfly Press, 1999)

A delightful picture book written for children with cancer. The character, after learning he has cancer, would rather go home. But in the meantime he discovers the playroom and makes new friends.

  • Cancer
One Wave at a Time Thompson, Holly

When someone we love dies, emotions come and go in waves....

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Option B: facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy Sandberg, Sheryl and Grant, Adam (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017)

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

  • Death of a Partner
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Our Heaven Baby Vis, Leah (Three Horse Publishing, 2018)

"A story that gently talks about miscarriage while also embracing the hope and wonder of Heaven from a child's perspective."

  • Miscarriage
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Out Came the Sun: Helping children as they grieve Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas (2017)

Are you looking for ways to better understand the impact of the loss – and how to help? This booklet was written specifically for surviving adults, such as family members, caregivers, and close friends. It might also be of interest to teachers, counselors, clergy, healthcare professionals, and others who work with young people and, most importantly, care about them

Parenting the Suicide Survivors Club Anderson, Rebecca (SSC Publishing, 2016)

In this hopeful five-book set, a mother and her three children ages 5, 7 and 19 share their story after the suicide death of husband and father Don, in 2002. Their reflections are captured in their own words and through poignant art by artist/storyteller Laurie Phillips

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Parenting While Grieving: A survival guide What's Your Grief?

As a parent, you don't have the luxury of worrying only about yourself and your emotional well-being. It is your job, in good times and bad, to attend to the needs of your child as well as your own. Putting your child's needs first is a no-brainer, so when something bad happens, it feels natural to put your own on the back burner.The purpose is to help parents who are dealing with their own grief balance their needs with the needs of the children in their care.

Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children Nieburg, Herbert and Arlene Fischer (Harper Perennial, 1992)

A practical guide and an emotional support for adults and children who have had a pet die.

  • Helping Children
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Please Come Home Sanford, Doris (Multnomah Press, 1985)

For children ages 4 and up. A book about divorce, and learning, and growing. Includes helpful suggestions for parents and caregivers.

  • Divorce
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Please See My Need Davis, A. Jann (Satellite Books, 1981)

Poetry that expresses the needs and feelings of children, the elderly, and those who are ill, dying or mourning a death.

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Poems of Praise and Meditations: Volume II Veach, Arthur E. (1978)

Scripture based poems under the headings of; God's Creation, God's Children, God's Guidance, God's Gifts, and God's Victory.

  • Religious
Preparing the Children: information and ideas for families facing terminal illness and death Nussbaum, Kathy (Kathy Nussbaum, 1998)

Information children need to know during the illness, during the death, and what children need to heal from their loss. Information how children can express themselves, learn about integrating death into their lives and search for new meaning.

  • Cancer
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Private Worlds of Dying Children, The Bluebond-Langner, Myra (Princeton University Press, 1978)

Analyzes the behavior of leukemic children aged 3-9

  • Leukemia / Historical
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Purple Balloon, The Raschka, Chris (Schwartz and Wade Books, 2007)

Ages 5-12. Crafted for terminally ill and/or grieving children. Tool for opening discussion on the impending death of a young person.

  • Before the Death
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Quilt for Elizabeth, A Tiffault, Benette W. (Centering Corporation, 1992)

Ages 8+. Elizabeth makes a memory quilt out of scraps of her father's clothes.

  • Death of a Father
Rabbit Listened, The Doerrfeld, Cori (Dial Books For Young Readers, 2018)

When something sad happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.

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Ragtail Remembers Duckworth, Liz (Centering Corporation, 2003)

Ragtail, a young mouse, has just experienced the death of his best friend. As he tries to understand what has happened, Ragtail is swept by confusing feelings of denial, anger and sadness. With the help of a new friend, he learns to deal with his feelings and soon discovers the comfort that comes from remembering.

  • Death of a Friend
Rainbow Feelings of Cancer, The Martin, Carrie and Chia (Hohm Press, 2001)

Ages 4 and up. A book for children who have a loved one with cancer. This book encourages conversation between children and those who love them.

  • Cancer
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Red, White, and Whole LaRocca, Rajani (Quill Tree Books, 2021)

A heartbreakingly hopeful novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.

  • Cancer
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Remember Balloons, The Oliveros, Jessie (Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 2018)

This tender, sensitive picture book gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

  • Alzheimer's Disease
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Remember Rafferty Johnson, Joy (Centering Corporation, 1991)

Ages 6-96. About the unique grief felt by children when a pet dies.

  • Death of a Pet
Remember the Butterflies Hines, Anna Grossnickle (Dutton Children's Books, 1991)

Ages 3 and up. When grandpa dies, Holly and Glen remember the special times they had together—gardening, reading and learning about butterflies.

  • Death of a Grandparent
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Remember the Secret Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth (Celestial Arts, 1982)

Ages 6-12. Because she has already discovered the wonders of God, Suzy understands the true meaning of her best friend's death.

  • Death of a Friend
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Right now, I Am Fine Owen, Daniela Dr. (Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, Inc. 2020)

A mindfully written self-help guide to aid children in dealing with stress and anxiety by uncovering their emotions and following a simple calming routine.

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Roses in December: comfort for the grieving heart Heavilin, Marilyn (Harvest House, 1997)

This book shows how God provides roses--special occasions, people, and memories--to help us through sorrow. Drawing from the loss of her children (crib death, pneumonia, drunk driver collision) Heavilin will help you understand the grieving process, support family members, give insight into sibling grief, and maintain your marriage during this difficult time.

  • Death of a Child
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Saddest Time, The Simon, Norma (Albert Whitman and Company, 1986)

Ages 6-10. Explains death as the inevitable end of life and provides three situations in which children experience powerful emotions when someone close has died.

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Safe In The Arms Of God: truth from heaven about the death of a child MacArthur, John (Nelson, 2003)

What happens to children – those unborn, stillborn, or youngsters – when they die? Can you hope to see them again? Can you let go of your fear and guilt? Can God’s love soothe a wound so jagged? With Scriptural authority and the warmth of a pastor’s heart, John MacArthur examines the breadth of the entire bible and reveals in this compelling book that the Heavenly Father’s care for every life.

  • Religious
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Sam’s Dad Died: a child’s book of hope through grief Holmes, Margaret and Sasha Mudlaff (Centering Corporation, 1999)

Ages 5-9. Explores the feelings Sam has after his dad dies. Includes a parent’s guide for helping children cope with grief.

  • Death of a Father
Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile Kaplon, Julie, PhD. and Donna Pincus, PhD. (Magination Press, 2007)

Ages 5-8. The story of a young girl whose father has recently died, which deals with the full range of emotions, questions, and worries that children have when a parent has died. Offers ways to remember and honor the lost parent, encourages the open sharing of feelings, and helps children understand that their parents want them to be happy and live their lives fully.

  • Death of a Father
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Sarah's Journey: one child's experience with the death of her father Wolfelt, Alan D., Ph.D. (Center for Loss and Life Transition, 1992)

This book describes Sarah's grief following her father's death. It offers compassionate practical advice for adults who want to help grieving children.

  • Death of a Father
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Savannah's Sunflowers: A Story about life, love, and loss Montini-Mosca, Gina (Goose River Press, 2019)

Two young friends, Carly and Savannah, experience the fullness of life by by creating a friendship garden. Unfortunately, tragedy occurs when young Savannah is diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer. As the seasons turn Carly attempts to comprehend death and support her dying friend. When Savannah dies Carly is able to find ways to cope with her grief and honor her friend.

  • Childhood Cancer
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Should the Children Know? Rudolph, Marguerita (Schocken Books, Inc., 1978)

How the very young can and should be taught about death at school and at home. A resource for teachers of the young, as well as for their parents.

  • Historical
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Silent Grief: miscarriage, child loss-finding your way through the darkness Hinton, Clara (New Leaf Press, 1997)

Clara writes of her own grief, and interviews women and men. The moving, honest responses to these interviews tells the reader that through the tears and rage and awful silence, God still loves us and knows our children.

  • Miscarriage
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Six Simple Weeks: A caring manual for support group leaders Cole, Eloise & Johnson, Joy (Centering Corporation, 2001)

This model is designed for a six-week time period.  In other words, the group meets once a week for six weeks.  When groups get stretched out over longer periods of time, participation is often interrupted.  Many people can plan six weeks into their schedules, but beyond that, it may get complicated.  It also means people are not committing to a series of meetings which may never end.   Six Simple Weeks gives you everything you need to know to start a support group.  It includes all the information necessary and a week by week model to get you started.

  • School Resources
Someday We’ll Play In Heaven Strannigan, Shawn Alyne (Standard Publishing, 1995)

Ages 3-7. A story about grieving with activity pages and suggestions for parents.

Someone Came Before You Schwiebert, Pat (Grief Watch, 2007)

Book for the child who comes after the one who died. Explains the parents’ desire for a child and the sadness that comes over them when that baby dies. Then shares how the parents get to the point of wanting another child to come into their lives.

  • Death of a Sibling
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Someone I Love Died Tangvald, Christine Harder (Chariot Books, 1988)

For children ages 4 and up. A very personal way to help your child deal with the death of a friend or relative. Includes practical suggestions for parents.

  • Helping Children
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Someone I Love Died By Suicide: a story for child survivors and those who care for them Cammarata, Doreen (Grief Guidance, Inc., 2001)

Designed for adult caregivers to read to surviving youngsters following a suicidal death. 'Wondering if you could have done something to prevent this suicide is normal. Nothing you said or did would have changed what happened.'

  • Suicide
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Someone I Love Died from a Drug Overdose Ray, Melody (Centering Corporation, 2018)

Accidental substance overdoses continue to rise across our country, leaving families at a loss as to how to tell and assist the children that are grieving. This story is an excellent tool for parents and caregivers. Includes a workbook, definitions, some facts and a note to the adult reading the story.

  • Overdose
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Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler's Guide to Understanding Death Zucker, Bonnie (Magination Press, 2016)

Something Very Sad Happened is intended to be read to two- and three-year-old children to help them understand death and process the loss of a loved one. Written at a developmental level that is appropriate for two- and three-year-olds, the story explains death; lets children know that it is okay to feel sad; and reassures children that they can still love the person who died, and the person who died will always love them.

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Stepparenting the Grieving Child: Cultivating Past and Present Connections with Children Who Have Lost a Parent Fromme, Diane Ingram (Merry Dissonance Press, 2017)

In Stepparenting the Grieving Child, Diane Ingram Fromme shares the assumptions and presumptions, steps and missteps that occurred within her own stepfamily. Diane faced the key challenges any new stepparent to grieving children experiences, including helplessness to know how and when to offer comfort, awkwardness to identify the times and ways to memorialize the lost parent, and outsider blues--not only feeling uncomfortable in her own home but also in her own skin.

  • Death of a Parent
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Story for Hippo, A: a book about loss Puttock, Simon and Alison Bartlett (scholastic Press, 2001)

When his best friend Hippo, who is the oldest and sagest animal in the jungle, dies, Monkey is devastated and wonders what he will do without his friend who always told him stories and laughed at his jokes, in a touching book that shows young readers how to cope with loss.

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Sunflower Promise Hemery, Kathleen Maresh (Centering Corporation, 2005)

Ages 8-12. A chapter book that tells the story of Willow who loses his best friend and how he deals with the loss.

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Sunflowers and Rainbows for Tia: saying goodbye to Daddy Alexander-Greene, Alesia (Centering Corporation, 1999)

This story is about a child whose father dies at home. It follows the family from the night of the father's death through the days following the funeral. The feelings of the child and the events surrounding her father's death are realistically portrayed and caringly addressed. The illustrations are bright and colorful and the text is rich and descriptive. This is an excellent resource for families who are experiencing, or will soon experience, the death of a family member.'

Supporting Children And Teens Through Grief And Loss: a guide for parents Center for Grieving Children, The (1999)

A reader friendly guide to helping children. Includes: supporting grieving children and teens, signs of grief in children and teens, what you can do, teachable moments, and taking care of yourself. Information that will help parents and their grieving children.