Literature for Children and Teens About Bereavement

I’ve mentioned the work of The Reader Organisation before–my fondest professional wish is to establish a Canadian parallel to their fantastic Reading With Us (formerly Get Into Reading) program.

This month, their blog, The Reader, has a list of books about bereavement for children and teens. Research shows that books can spark discussion on difficult topics and provide children and adults with ways to frame their own experiences and make sense of them.

Here is the list arranged in terms of age suitability–but I recommend you click the link to read the original article and its plot descriptions:

Very Young Children (3-5)

  • Goodbye Grandma by Melanie Walsh (3+)
  • Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley (5+)
  • A Sky of Diamonds by Camille Gibs (5+)

Primary (6-9)

  • Ten Sorry Tales by Mick Jackson (7+)
  • Slog’s Dad by Mark Almond (7+)
  • The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (7+)
  • Sad Book by Michael Rosen (8+)

Middle School (10-12)

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (10+)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (10+)
  • The Savage by David Almond (10+)
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (10+)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (10+)
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (10+)

Young Teens (13-14)

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (13+)

Teens (15+)

  • The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  • We Were Liars by Emily Lockhart
  • Falling Out of Time by David Gossman

And my suggestion for adults is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce. I loved it.