*** Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977) For many middle-schoolers this Newbery Medal book is the first they read where a major character dies. For young people dealing with loss it takes on an even more important aspect. [NHCPL]
Coping with Grieving and Loss by Sandra and Owen Giddens (2000) Explains the stages of grief in terms that can be understood by children and teens. [NHCPL]
Death is Hard to Live With by Janet Bode (1994) Through interviews with teenagers who have experienced the death of a friend or relative, Janet Bode explores ways of making peace with the shock, guilt, and tragedy of death.
*** The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and their Friends by Helen Fitzgerald (2000) Fitzgerald adeptly covers the entire range of situations in which teens may find themselves grieving a death whether the cause was old age, terminal illness, school violence, or suicide. She helps teens address the gamut of strong and difficult emotions they will experience and the new situations they will face, including family changes, issues with friends, problems at school, and the courage needed to move forward with one’s own life. [NHCPL]
I Will Remember You: What To Do When Someone You Love Dies by Laura Dower (2001) This is an inspirational and accessible guide to coping with loss. It includes personal stories of death and life from real teens, advice from a renowned grief counselor, and dozens of hands-on creative exercises to help teens move through their pain and sorrow. [NHCPL]
Julia’s Kitchen by Benda A. Ferber (2006) When her mother and younger sister are killed in a house fire, eleven-year-old Cara struggles to find a way to deal with her emotions and to reach out to her grieving father. [NHCPL]
Just One Tear by Kate Mahon (1992) A thirteen-year-old boy’s diary offers an honest, raw, and unvarnished look at the difficulties of adolescence, expressing his searing emotions after he sees his father shot and killed and is forced to endure the killer’s trial.
Just Us by Wanda Henry-Jenkins (1993) Rev. Wanda Henry Jenkins wrote this book following the death of her mother from murder.
*** Losing Someone You Love: When a Brother or Sister Dies by Elizabeth Richter (1986) Sixteen young people ranging in age from ten to twenty-four describe the fears, sorrow, and other emotions they experienced when a brother or sister died.
Part of Me Died, Too: Stories of Creative Survival Among Bereaved Children and Teenagers by Virginia Lynn Fry (1995) A moving and eloquent chronicle of eleven children, ranging from toddlers to teenagers, who have lost family or friends shows how drawing, music, and other rituals can help the grieving process, offering creative strategies for dealing with loss. [NHCPL]
Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi (2011) Teens will enjoy the black humor of this novel about a high school senior whose only goal in life is to study mortuary science.
*** Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (1979) Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so, a sick person will become healthy. [NHCPL] See also the picture version of this story by Coerr and illus. by Ed Young.
Teenagers Talk About Grief by June Cerza Kolf (1990) Helps teenagers explore the issues around grief and loss.
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (1981) Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. [NHCPL]
When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens About Grieving an Healing by Marilyn E. Gootman, Ed. D. (2005) The advice here is gentle, non-preachy, and compassionate. The author has seen her own children suffer from the death of a friend. [NHCPL]
When Someone You Know Has Been Killed by Jay Schleifer (1998) Part of the “Everything you need to know” series. [NHCPL]
You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk About Life After the Loss of a Parent by Lynne B. Hughes (2005) Words of reassurance and strategies for coping with the loss of a parent by the director of the nation’s largest bereavement camp for children.[NHCPL]
*** Books I personally think are exceptional either in content or readability or both. Worth buying.
This bibliography was prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Funeral Consumers Alliance – Costal Carolina. Notation of “NHCPL” means the New Hanover County Public Library.
Please check your local public library, or request titles by Interlibrary Loan. Virtually all titles are also available from online bookstores, like amazon.com, often in “used” and other inexpensive editions.,
Questions or for more copies contact:
Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406