Suggested Readings

For Parents:

A Parent's Guide to Enhancing the Quality of Life in Children with Cancer

American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO)

Bereavement Readings

For Parents:

Listed below are various books that you may find helpful if you are coping with the loss of a child. Listed are books most commonly read and recommended.

After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine Again: A Parent's Guide to Coping with the Loss of a Child
Elizabeth Mehren
A combination of the author’s story and advice from other parents, this book aims to help parents through the loss of their child and have them realize they are not alone

The Bereaved Parent
Harriet Sarnoff Schiff
Offers guidance through the day-to-day hardships after the loss of a child

The Bereaved Parents' Survival Guide

Juliet Cassuto Rothman

Seeks to help guide parents through their suffering and pain-- from marriage problems to what to do with the child’s belongings.

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies
Anne McCracken and Mary Semel
Edited by two mothers who have lost children, this book contains a compilation of articles, essays, poetry and fiction about loss, grief, and moving on.

Evolving Through Grief: A Mother’s Guide to Healing After the Loss of Her Child
Roe Ziccarello
Written by a mother who lost her son, this book tells the journey through loss, grief, anger, and survival. It includes tips and suggestions on how to cope with grief.

The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child
Suzanne Redfern and Susan K. Gilbert
Written by two grieving parents along with 20 other contributors, this book is a compilation of their stories and advice

Grieving: How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies
Theresa A. Rando
A comprehensive guide to grief and suffering written by doctor and bereavement specialist.

Healing a Parent's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies
Alan Wolfelt
Discusses common problems for grieving families and provides tips on making the grieving process easier

How to Survive the Loss of a Child: Filling the Emptiness and Rebuilding Your Life
Catherine Sander
Written by a bereaved parent the book provides parents with emotional support and understand of the grieving process

A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One
Carol Staudacher

A collection of deep thought and meditations to help guide individual through the loss of a loved one

Tears: Living After Losing a Child
Ellen Mitchell, Rita Volpe, Ariella Long, and others
Written by nine mothers who have lost children in early teens or 20s. They tell their stories about coming together and sharing their experiences and pain

Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Home and Healing Your Heart
Alan Wolfelt
Discusses the differences between grief and mourning and the need to acknowledge and accept death. Spirituality and religion are discussed as well.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Harold Kushner
Best seller written by a Jewish rabbi as he faced his child’s fatal illness discusses the question of “Why me?”

When the Bough Breaks: Forever after the Death of a Son or Daughter
Judith Andrews Bernstein
This books looks at ways to cope with the loss of a child and examines ways to rebuild your live, yet have the memory of the child in your heart.

The Worst Loss – How Families Heal From the Death of a Child
Barbara D. Rosof

Offers advice to parents on coping with the loss of a child and how to help other children. It examines the stages of grief and the importance of grieving as a step towards recovery.

For Parents Helping Another Child Cope With Loss:

The following books provide parents with strategies, tips, and information on how to help other children cope with the death of their sibling.

35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child
The Dougy Center Staff. (Contact information in Web section.)

Talking with Children About Loss: Words, Strategies, and Wisdom to Help Children Cope with Death, Divorce, and Other Difficult Times
Maria Trozzie

The Grieving Child, a Parent's Guide
Helen Fitzgerald

Healing Activities for Children in Grief

Gay McWhorter

Healing Your Grieving Teen’s Heart: 100 Practical Ideas
Alan Wolfelt

Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
Janis Silverman

Helping Children Cope with Death
Donna L. Schuurman
*Also available in Spanish

Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Guide for Grownups
William C. Kroen and Pamela Espeland

Helping Teens Cope with Death
The Dougy Center

In the Presence of Grief: Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying, and Bereavement Issues
Dorothy Stroh Becvar

Unspoken Grief: Coping with Childhood Sibling Loss
Helen Rosen

For Children And Teens Who Have Lost A Sibling:

For young children

After the Funeral (Ages 4 to 8)
Jane Loretta Winsch
A book for young children about the death and aftermath that faces the family.

Always and Forever (Ages 4 to 8)
Alan Durant and Debi Gliori
Story about Otter, Mole, Fox, and Hare that share a house in the woods. When one friend dies, the remaining three find a way to move on and remember their friend.

Don't Despair on Thursdays!: The Children's Grief-Management Book (Ages 6-10)
Adolph Moser and David Melton
Helps children explore different ways to control their anger and grief

The Dragonfly Door
John Adams
Recipient of the Mom’s Choice Award, Lea and Nym are two water nymphs who become best friends. Nym and Lea fight one day and when Nym comes home he cannot find Lea. Lea appears in a dream and describes how she is in a better place and is not a beautiful dragonfly. It includes the theme of coping with the loss of a loved one.

The Empty Place: A Child's Guide Through Grief (Ages 4 to 8)
Roberta Temes
A young boy and his friend Betsy both experience the death of a sibling and help each other through their feelings of loss and guilt.

Hugs & Kisses from Brittany: A Children's Book About the Death of Another Child, from a Child's Point of View(Ages 6-10)
Cristine Thomas
A story about Shelby who loses her sister Brittany to cancer. She learns that she can give hugs and kisses to her family, and Brittany gives hugs and kisses to Jesus

Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying(Ages 4-8)
Joyce C. Mills & Cary Pillo
Amanda, the squirrel and Little Tree find out that their friend Gentle Willow is sick. This story teaches about grief, guilt, disbelief, and anger. It teaches that death is more of a transformation than an end and that memories are special gifts.

I Know I Made It Happen (Ages 6 to 10)
Lynn Bennett Blackburn
Deals with the guilt child often feel after the loss of a sibling.

I Miss You: A First Look At Death(Ages 4-8)
Pat Thomas
Provides simple explanation of death and the afterlife without the religious/spiritual questions related to it.

Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister(Ages 2-6)
Ellen Yeomans
A young girl experiences the loss of her older and older sibling Paige. When her parents say “We lost Paige” she goes on a journey to look for her. Through the story and illustrations, this book discusses the stages of grief and the young girl’s struggle through her loss.

Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss(Ages 4 to 10)
Michaelene Mundy and R.W. Alley

Written by a school counselor this book gives positive messages to children as they cope with a loss. It teaches that hearts do indeed heal and is a good way to convey the meaning and accepting of death to young children.

The Saddest Time(Ages 4 to 8)
Norma Simon and Jacqueline Rogers

Includes three different stories of loss—one from illness, accident, and old age. It explains death as inevitable and explores the emotions involved with death.

Saying Goodbye(Ages 5-10)

Jim & Joan Boulden

Award-winning book about how to say goodbye to someone you love that has died. Rises questions and gives answers children can understand

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Ages 4-8)
Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

This book does not follow a story line, rather answers difficult questions that children may ask such as “What is death?,” or “What comes after death?” It helps children examine their feelings and talk with parents and family.

Where's Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die (Ages 6-8)
Marvin Johnson
A young boy’s sister Jess dies and he notices her absence. His parents describe death to him and explain it is okay to talk about her still.

For the older child and teens:

A Summer to Die
Lois Lowry 

Teens Meg and Molly move to a new town and are forced to make new friends. It is difficult for Meg, but Molly is popular and adjusts well. One day Molly is rushed to the hospital and it is clear to Meg that she is sick.

After Normal: One Teen's Journey Following Her Brother's Death

Diane Aggen

A young teen experiences the death of her younger brother. It is about her journey as she tries to make sense of what happened and get through her grief.

Beat the Turtle Drum

Constance Greene

A story about two adolescent sisters, Kate and Joss’ summer together and Joss’ dream of having her own horse. Tragedy strikes and Joss dies suddenly leaving Kate to deal with the varying feelings that come with death.

The Empty Room : Surviving the Loss of a Brother or Sister at Any Age  

Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn  

Written by a woman who experiences siblings loss in the past, this book tells her stories and shares interviews of others’ who have lost a sibling.

Facing Change: Falling Apart and Coming Together Again in the Teen
Donna O’Toole

Specifically for teens, this book helps teens through the difficult questions, feelings, and changes that occur when someone they love dies.

Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins

Enid Samuel Traisman

An journal/aid that allows a young adult or teen express their feelings of loss. It helps him/her write down their thoughts and feelings and acts as a coping methods.

The Grieving Teen

Helen Fitzgerald

Includes common questions teenagers have about grief and a “what you can do” section. Includes everything related to teen grief from the funeral to anniversary.

Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss
Earl Hipp

Discusses the grief process and emotions of the young adult.

I Will Remember You: A Guidebook Through Grief for Teens

Laura Dower

A guide for teens to help make sense of their thought and emotions after the loss of a loved one. Includes passages from teens who have experienced loss enabling the reader to feel understood.

Letters from a Friend: A Sibling's Guide for Coping and Grief (Death, Value and Meaning Series)

Erika Barber

This workbook has sections dedicated to different topics of siblings loss such as hospitalization, illness, and death. Includes games, creative writings, and drawing activities that help express feelings.

Losing Someone You Love : When a Brother or Sister Dies  

Elizabeth Richter   

Children and young adults from ages 10-24 years share their stories of the siblings they have lost and their own feelings and reactions.

Sibling Grief: Healing After the Death of a Sister or Brother

Pleasant White

Includes more of the research-based information on grief and how it affects the siblings. Discusses everyday issues and offer hope and healing to a bereaved siblings at any age

Straight from the Sibling: Another Look at the Rainbow
Gloria Murray

Bereaved brothers and sisters share their stories, drawings, and quotes.

You Take the High Road

Mary K. Pershall

Samantha tells the story of her family and how it fell apart after her baby brother Nicholas dies in a drowning accident at two years old.

What is Goodbye

Nikki Grimes

A combination of story and poetry about Jerilyn and Jesse coping with the death of their brother.

Includes more of the research-based information on grief and how it affects the siblings. Discusses everyday issues and offers hope and healing to bereaved siblings at any age

Straight from the Sibling: Another Look at the Rainbow
Gloria Murray

Bereaved brothers and sisters share their stories, drawings, and quotes.

You Take the High Road

Mary K. Pershall

Samantha tells the story of her family and how it fell apart after her baby brother Nicholas dies in a drowning accident at two years old.

What is Goodbye

Nikki Grimes

A combination of story and poetry about Jerilyn and Jesse coping with the death of their brother.