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Death and Dying: Books for Children



Beaty, Andrea. Cicada Summer.

Twelve-year-old Lily has had a secret since the accident that took her brother. When Tinny comes to town, Lily has a chance to solve a mystery, make a friend, and find forgiveness. (Older)


Bley, Anette. And What Comes After a Thousand?

Lisa is consoled after the death of her grandfather with the thought that people we love are inside of us and our memories never end. (Younger)


Brisson, Pat. I Remember Miss Perry.

When Miss Perry is killed in a car accident, Stevie and his classmates take turns sharing memories of their teacher, especially her fondest wish for each day. (Younger)


Bunting, Eve. Rudi’s Pond.

When Rudi dies after a long illness his classmates build a pond at school in his memory. (Younger)


Cochran, Bill. The Forever Dog.

Until Corky died, Mike believed he and his dog would do things together forever. Now he understands Corky will be with him forever – in his heart. (Younger)


Durant, Alan. Always and Forever.

A family of forest animals learns to cope with the death of a loved one. (Younger)


Edwards, Michelle. Stinky Stern Forever.

When class troublemaker Stinky Stern dies, his classmates find a way to remember him–the good as well as the bad. ((Middle)


Goldman, Judy. Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead.

When Lupita's Tio Urbano dies shortly before the Day of the Dead celebration, Lupita finds comfort in watching the monarch butterflies her uncle loved.   (Younger)


Greene, Stephanie. Falling into Place.

As Margaret adjusts to a new stepfamily she helps Gran cope with being a widow and living in a retirement community. (Older)


Grimes, Nikki. What is Goodbye?

In alternating poems, Jesse and Jerilyn chronicle the days, months, and years after their older brother's death. (Older)


Hanson, Regina. A Season for Mangoes.

Sareen overcomes her nervousness to relate stories of her Nana at the sit-up being held to celebrate Nana’s life. (Middle)


Hermes, Patricia. Sweet By and By.

Blessing has to figure out how to carry on when she learns that her grandmother, her primary guardian, is dying. (Older)


Hest, Amy. Remembering Mrs. Rossi.

No one expected eight-year-old Annie Rossi’s mom to die-least of all Annie. But life goes on, aided by the love of her father and a wonderful book made by Mrs. Rossi’s students. (Younger)


Ichikawa, Satomi. My Pig Amarillo.

When his pig Amarillo disappears, Pablito is heartbroken, but he decides to fly a kite on All Saints Day to say goodbye. (Younger)


Johnson, Emily. Write Me If You Dare!

Eleven-year-old Maddie, who is still hurting from her mother's death three years earlier, writes to a mysterious girl whose odd language causes Maddie to think she may be a ghost. (Older)


Kobayashi, Issa. Today and Today.

Karas arranges and illustrates haiku by Issa to tell the story of the year in which a boy and girl's grandfather dies. (Younger/middle)


Lawrence, Iain. Gemini Summer.

After Danny's older brother dies in an accident, Danny believes that his brother's spirit is reincarnated in a stray dog. Set in the 1960s, this is a story about family, forgiveness, and acceptance. (Older)


MacLachlan, Patricia. Edward’s Eyes.

Edward is part of a large and close family that loves baseball, music, and books. When he unexpectedly dies and his parents donate his organs, his eyes go to a perfect recipient. (Older)


Martino, Carmela. Rosa, Sola.

When Rosa's baby brother is stillborn, she and the rest of her Italian-American family turn to each other and God to overcome their grief. (Older)


Newman, Leslea. The Best Cat in the World.

Victor initially has trouble adjusting when his family adopts a new kitten after his cat, Charlie, dies of old age. (Younger)


Nicholls, Sally. Ways to Live Forever.

During the last three months of his life, Sam, who has leukemia, keeps a journal where he lists things he wants to do before he dies and questions that no one wants to answer. (Older)


Parker, Marjorie. Jasper’s Day.

Riley and his parents spend one last day with their dog who has cancer. (Younger)


Parkinson, Siobhan. Something Invisible.

Jake grows through his unlikely friendship with an eccentric girl and the tragedy that befalls her large family. A story of family, friendship, loyalty, and loss. (Older)


Perez, Amada. Nana’s Big Surprise.

When newly-widowed Nana comes to visit from Mexico, the whole family joins together to try to ease her grief. In Spanish and English. (Younger)


Plourde, Lynn. Thank You, Grandpa.

The lessons a girl learns spending time with her grandfather help her cope with his eventual death. (Younger/Middle) 


Roberts, Willo. The One Left Behind.

A mystery forces Mandy to learn how to cope with life a year after her twin sister's death. (Older)


Rosen, Michael. Michael Rosen’s Sad Book.

In this eloquent and moving book the author, whose son died, explores the wide-ranging emotions experienced by anyone dealing with death. (Middle/Older)


Thornhill, Jan. I Found a Dead Bird: the Kids’ Guide to the Cycle of Life & Death.

How and why do things die? What happens to them afterwards? Read kid-pleasing trivia and factual, intriguing information about life cycles, food chains, life expectancies, and more. (Middle/Older)


Tolan, Stephanie. Listen!

Still grieving from her mother’s death two years earlier, Charley spends the summer undertaking the taming of a wild dog. (Older)


Wallace-Brodeur, Ruth. Blue Eyes Better.

When Tessa's older brother dies in a drunk-driving accident, Tessa has to deal with her own grief as well as her mother's lingering depression. (Older)


Warner, Sally. This Isn’t About the Money.

Janey must deal with her grief and anger when a drunken driver causes an accident that kills her parents, disfigures her face, and sends her and her younger sister to live with relatives.(Older)


Wiles, Debbie. Each Little Bird That Sings.

Ten-year-old Comfort believes herself to be an expert on funerals, but the death of her beloved great uncle and the arrival of her whiny cousin Peach upset her expectations. (Older)


Wood, Nancy. Old Coyote.

Lyrical language describes Old Coyote’s final days and how he prepares for death. (Younger/Middle)



Compiled by Children’s Librarians of the

Monroe County Library System