Books for Grieving Children and the Adults who Love Them: Pt 2- Parents & Grandparents

Sometimes, books and stories can help to start a conversation with children about their feelings of grief.  Here is a list of some of our favorites.

Books to Help with Death of a
Parent or Grandparent

As a convenience, clicking in each section will bring you to an page for the particular book. Camp Kate does not receive any compensation for any purchases made through our site

Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping with the Loss of a Parent by Julie Pankow and Donna Pincus

Recommended ages: 5+ years

*Excellent for the death of a Father.

With the help of her neighbor Mrs. Cooper, Samantha Jane is able to talk about how sad she is since her father died, and then she begins to feel better.

Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle & Freya Blackwood

Recommended ages: 4-8 years

*excellent for death of a mother

Award winners Roddy Doyle and Freya Blackwood team up to create a heartwarming story of loss, love, and what it means to be a family. When Siobhan was just three years old, her mother died, leaving Siobhan and her father alone in their house in Dublin. They never talk about her, and now, at ten years old, Siobhan no longer remembers her mother's face.

One day, Siobhan meets a mysterious woman in the park who tells her that to remember her mother, she just needs to look in a mirror. As Siobhan grows older, she sees more and more of her mother's face in her own reflection. With time, she and her father and her own daughter are able to remember Siobhan's mother with joy and laughter instead of tears.

Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement by Rebecca Cobb

Recommended ages: 4-6 years

Some time ago, we said good-bye to Mommy. I am not sure where she has gone. Honest and straightforward, this touching story explores the many emotions a bereaved child 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.

Saying Goodbye to Daddy by Judith Vigna

Recommended ages: 4 + years

Frightened, lonely, and angry after her father is killed in a car accident, Clare is helped through the grieving process by her mother and grandfather

What Happened When Grandma Died by Peggy Barker

Recommended ages: 4+ years

*Faith Based

The death of a loved one is hard enough for an adult to understand and accept. Even more profound is a child's sense of confusion and loss upon the death of someone near and dear.
In What Happened When Grandma Died, author Peggy Barker presents life and death in terms a child can understand easily. She addresses sensitively the contradictions a young child faces upon hearing a deceased relative is "in heaven with Jesus" and then seeing the body in the funeral setting. Scripture verses help the child understand the experience and reinforce the joyful hope of heaven.

A simple story ... a comforting message ... and a solid Christian context make What Happened When Grandma Died a book to be shared by young and old alike whenever a dear one dies.

When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief by Victoria Ryan

Recommended ages: 5+ years

Explaining what happens from a child's-eye view, the elves depict the difficult days before, after, and beyond a grandparent's death. They explore the meaning of death and heaven, as well as how to stay close in spirit with a grandparent who has died. Includes questions for discussion.

How it Feels When a Parent Dies by Jill Krementz

Recommended ages: 9+ years

18 children from age 7 - 17, speak openly of their experiences and feelings. As they speak we see them in photos with their surviving parent and with other family members, in the midst of their everyday lives.

And Still They Bloom: A Family's Journey of Loss and Healing by Amy Rovere

Recommended ages: 6-12 years

Winner: 2013 National Health Information Award, Silver; 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Children's Picture Book; 2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Bronze, Mind/Body/Spirit, Self-Esteem; 2012 Mom's Choice Award, Gold, Juvenile Level 2 Books 9-12, Mind/Body/Spirit; 2012 USA Best Book Award, Parenting/Family: General; 2012 Association Trends All-Media Contest Finalist

Responding to the fact that coping with a parent’s death can be especially hard on young children, this beautifully written and illustrated book is a valuable resource for parents and counselors. Ten-year-old Emily and seven-year-old Ben must deal with the loss of their mother to cancer. Guided by conversations with their father, they embark on a journey of grief and healing, each searching for a path to acceptance. Along the way, both children realize that their mother will always be with them in their hearts. And just as their mother’s flowers had bloomed in the garden, Emily and Ben emerge from the darkness of grief to bloom once more. Using nature as a backdrop for the cycles of life, this moving story emphasizes hope and healing and will connect with all readers who have lost a loved one.

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OCT 23, 2020

After 20 months of separation, quarantine, and zoom calls, we finally had an opportunity to move Onward at an in-person camp. The power of Camp Kate is being able to be with peers who help us move forward in our grief journeys.

For this first camp in two years, we returned to Camp Westminster with an Onward theme. Like the characters in the Disney movie, we talked about those special people in our lives, the memories made and missed with them, and our plans for moving Onward.

We still employed safety protocols and social distancing among our groups, but our masked campers and adults still benefitted from being with peers. Whether involved in archery, fishing, kayaking, rock wall climbing, or small group sharing, our participants all had a wonderful day.