This list covers books and resources for children and families affected by a sudden or unexpected death, including accidents, suicide and homicide.

For further help in finding resources, contact our Helpline.

Please note: inclusion on this list does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by Child Bereavement UK, as we are aware that whether a book is helpful or not is subjective and as such is a decision that can only be made by the individual reader.


Coping with grief when someone you love dies suddenly

This free booklet aims to help you understand emotions and feelings commonly suffered after a sudden death. It provides straightforward advice on how to cope and who can help you to recover.

Available to download from Sudden

Someone has died suddenly

Mary Williams and Steve Fraser

This colourful book, prepared in partnership with bereavement specialists, is for suddenly bereaved children and adults to read together. It helps children understand their strong feelings and gives suggestions to help them cope. It provides straightforward information about practical things that happen after a sudden death, such as a post-mortem examination. There is also an additional download with tips for adults on how to use the book with young children.

Available to download from Sudden

When Something Terrible Happens: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief

Marge Heegaard

Terrible things can happen to children. Traumatic events in the lives of their families, their friends or in the world leave then feeling confused, insecure and frightened. There are floods, earthquakes, and sometimes people cause violence and trauma. This is a workbook designed to help children understand and deal with overwhelming feelings from loss and change.

Buy from Amazon

Road traffic collision

Someone has died in road crash

Mary Williams OBE and Caroline Chisholm   

Two young characters, who have been bereaved by a road crash, narrate the colourful book by giving caring and helpful tips. Tackling all the tough questions that children may want to ask, the book deals with the crash itself, funerals, police investigation and the possible emotions a child may experience. There is also an additional download with tips for adults on how to use the book with young children.

Download from Brake


Red Chocolate Elephants: For children bereaved by suicide - Book & DVD 

Diana C.Sands  

Provides adults with the understanding and assistance to support primary school aged children experiencing the death of a family member to suicide. It is not intended for children to read on their own, but as an assisted reading activity with an adult, reading a few pages and taking the time to explore concerns. Provides a sensitive and appropriate means of engaging with children around the difficult question of death through suicide.

Buy from Child Bereavement UK

The Little Flower Bulb

Eleanor Gormally

The Little Flower Bulb tells the story of Jamie, his mum and his twin sisters, and of how Jamie comes to deal with the death of his father. Suitable for children aged 3-8, this beautifully illustrated book will be helpful for parents when talking to children bereaved by the suicide of a close relative.

Buy from Amazon

Luna’s Red Hat

Emmi Smid

This book tells the story of Luna, whose mum died by suicide one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. Dad talks to her and explains what happened, and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum. This book is designed to be read with children age 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. It includes a guide for parents and professionals.

Buy from Amazon

Beyond the Rough Rock: Supporting a Child Who Has Been Bereaved Through Suicide

Di Stubbs and Julie Stokes

This booklet offers practical advice for families in the immediate days and weeks when suicide has been the cause of death. It aims to give parents and professionals the confidence to involve children in discussions about the nature of a death by suicide.

Buy from Amazon

After a Suicide: A Workbook for Grieving Kids

Dougy Centre

In this hands-on, interactive workbook, children who have been exposed to a suicide can learn from other grieving kids. The workbook includes drawing activities, puzzles, stories, advice from other kids and helpful suggestions for how to navigate the grief process after a suicide death.

Buy from Amazon

A Special Scar: The experiences of people bereaved by suicide

Alison Wertheimer

Written and researched by a bereaved sibling, this book covers the losses of siblings, parents, children and friends.

Buy from Amazon

Help is at hand: A resource for people bereaved by suicide

Department of Health 

This free guide is for people who are affected by suicide or other sudden, traumatic death. It aims firstly to help people who are unexpectedly bereaved in this way. It also provides information for healthcare and other professionals who come into contact with bereaved people, to assist them in providing help and to suggest how they themselves may find support if they need it.

Download from the Department of Health

I Love You, Sunshine

Addy Farmer and illustrated by Darren Gate

I Love You, Sunshine tells the story of how one dad dies by suicide and how it affects his eight year old daughter, Milly, and the rest of her family. It is a story of bereavement but it is also a story of love. It is intended as a way for all families bereaved by suicide to know that they are not alone; to build resilience through understanding; and to help take small steps forwards.

The story has been informed and developed through conversations with bereaved parents and with feedback from bereavement support practitioners at Child Bereavement UK. The charity has provided the important parental guidance notes to go alongside Milly’s story. These notes also point the way to support networks for families bereaved by suicide. The book is intended for distribution and sale to bereavement charities, to school counsellors and to anybody who might find it a useful resource.

Available from Addy Farmer where 5% of all sales will go to Child Bereavement UK or Buy from Amazon

Murder and manslaughter

Hope Beyond the Headlines: Supporting a Child Bereaved through Murder or Manslaughter

Di Stubbs and Kate Gardner

This new book offers practical advice for families in the immediate days, weeks and months following a murder. It is written for both parents and professionals, giving them confidence to involve children and young people in understanding and managing the particular difficulties and complexities that so often surround a death by murder or manslaughter.

Buy from Amazon


After a Murder: A Workbook for Grieving Kids

Dougy Centre

Through the stories, thoughts and feelings of other kids who have experienced a murder, this hands-on workbook allows children to see that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences. The workbook includes drawing activities, puzzles and word games to help explain confusing elements specific to a murder, such as the police, media and legal system.

Buy from Amazon

A Grief Like No Other: Surviving the Violent Death of Someone you Love

Kathleen O’Hara 

Violent death brings to survivors a different kind of grief. From intense feelings of guilt, anger and post-traumatic stress, to years spent dealing with the legal ramifications, those left behind in the wake of violence have to contend with unique circumstances that are different from a “natural” death.

Buy from Amazon