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 Amazon.com 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.
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.
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.
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
Recommended ages: 4+ years
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.
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.
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.
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.