This list includes books and resources for bereaved children and young people, including those with special educational or additional needs. For further help in finding resources, email [email protected] or call our Helpline on 0800 02 888 40.

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.


Under 5 Years

Someone I know has died

Author: Trish Phillips.  Available from Child Bereavement UK

Innovative activity book with interactive features written for bereaved children to do by themselves or with adult help. For pre-school and early years.


Missing Mummy

Author: Rebecca Cobb.  Available from Child Bereavement UK

Beautifully illustrated and with moments of wonderful warmth, this is a touching, honest and helpful book about the death of a parent. With minimal text, it covers some of the worries and fears that a young child may have after a death, offering reassurance and hope. For pre-school and early years.


I Miss You: a First Look at Death

Author: Pat Thomas   Buy from Amazon

This book helps children understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have. For pre-school and early years.


When Dinosaurs Die – A guide to understanding death

Authors: Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown   Buy from Amazon

A comprehensive, sensitive guide for families dealing with the loss of loved ones, ‘When Dinosaurs Die’ helps primary aged children understand what death means, and how best to cope with their feelings.


What Does Dead Mean?

Authors: Caroline Jay and Jenni Thomas, OBE    Buy from Amazon

A book for young children to help explain death and dying, based on the many questions that children ask. This book looks at questions such as why ‘Why can’t doctors and nurses make people better?’, and offers practical help for children, as well as guidance for parents and carers when a child is bereaved.


Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?

Author: Elke Barber & Alex Barber   Buy from Amazon

Alex is only three when his father has a heart attack. All on his own, Alex manages to get help but his beloved Daddy dies at the scene. Explains sudden death to pre-school children using words and illustrations they will understand.


What Happened to Daddy’s Body?

Author: Elke Barber & Alex Barber   Buy from Amazon

Using ideas very young children can understand, this sequel to “Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?” sensitively and honestly explains what happens after death. It helps children to understand cremation, burial, and spreading the ashes. It reassures children that it is okay to be sad, but it’s also okay to be happy.


Goodbye Mousie

Author: Robie H Harris    Buy from Amazon

The story of a young boy dealing with the death of his pet mouse is handled with the sure touch of an author familiar with children’s tender emotions. Simply told by the boy, in a matter of fact tone with a dash of humour, he recounts his reactions to the death of his pet mouse.


Tough Boris

Author: Mem Fox   Buy from Amazon

Boris von der Borch is a mean, greedy old pirate – tough as nails, through and through, like all pirates. Or is he?


Suzie Goes to a Funeral

Author: Charlotte Olson    Buy from Suzie Books

Join Suzie as she goes to Grandma’s funeral and says goodbye. Suzie can help explain to a child who may be anxious about going to a funeral for the first time. A simple story to help and show what they might experience on this day.


5 – 11 Years

Remembering

Author: Dianne Leutner. Illustrated by: Daniel Postgate.    Available from Child Bereavement UK

It’s part book, part scrapbook and was created to help keep a child’s memories alive after the loss of someone special and to give children a place to return to whenever they wish.


Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young children

Author: Doris Stickney   Buy from Amazon

Written from a Christian perspective, this acclaimed book can be used to help explain the concept of death to young children. The story illustrates that death is inevitable, irreversible but natural.


Badger's Parting Gifts

Author: Susan Varley    Buy from Amazon

Badger is so old that he knows he will soon die. He tries to prepare his friends for this event, but when he does die, they are still grief-stricken. Gradually they come to terms with their grief by remembering all the practical things Badger taught them, and so Badger lives on in his friends’ memories of him.

The new, 35th anniversary edition of the book features a reading guide from Child Bereavement UK that provides tips for reading Badger’s Parting Gifts with children and helping them better understand grief.

Download our online information sheet Talking With and Supporting Bereaved Children with further notes and guidance, using examples and illustrations from the book.



Always and Forever

Author: Alan Durant    Buy from Amazon

When Fox dies the rest of his ‘family’ are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.



Saying Goodbye to Hare

Author: Carol Lee   Buy from Amazon

This is an uplifting story written for children aged 5-9 years about death and dying. As young Rabbit witnesses the life, illness and death of his dear friend Hare, the story explores some of the emotional and physical feelings, and some of the questions children have at this time. The story is sensitively written to give a positive, thoughtful message about death and dying. It also includes guidance notes for adults supporting a bereaved child.



Benny's Hat

Author: Juliet Clare Bell   Buy from Amazon

Benny’s Hat deals quietly with the huge subject of a sibling dying, from the viewpoint of the sister. It shows how children and young people might deal with serious illness and death differently to adults. The story gives adult readers examples of how to support children when a sibling is not expected to live, not only from the section for parents at the back, but also by watching Friz’s parents’ reactions to her behaviour.



Ben's Flying Flowers

Author: Inger Maier    Buy from Amazon

When Emily loses her brother after a long illness, she feels alone, angry, and very, very sad. with the understanding and support of her parents, Emily learns that it helps when she snuggles with her parents. It helps when she talks about her feelings and asks questions about Ben. And it helps when she does regular kid stuff too. But mostly, she learns that remembering Ben and their happy life together builds health and helpful images that soother her sad feelings and provide much comfort to her and her family. Written for children aged 4-8.



Stewart's Tree

Author: Cathy Campbell   Buy from Amazon

Ellen’s new baby brother Stewart has been “lost”. Ellen looks in all the cupboards for Stewart, and even in the washing machine – but then her family her understand that Stewart has died and isn’t going to come back. Together They plant a tree for Stewart, so they will always have a place to remember him. This book for children aged 3+ helps explain sibling loss shortly after birth, and provides guidance for adults written by qualified clinicians.


Remembering My Brother 

Author: Ginny Perkins and Leon Morris   Buy from Amazon

In 1993, Chris Reed died. The author of this book has worked with his family to put this book together which aims to show the importance of talking about grief and loss and remembering with love someone important who has died. It relates ordinary family events alongside an account of the family’s visit to Chris’s grave.



Isaac and the Red Jumper

Author: Amanda Seyderhelm    Buy from Amazon

Isaac is heartbroken when his best friend Freddie dies. His house freezes. And his red jumper turns grey with grief. His friends try to console him, and it’s only after Isaac receives a special visit from Freddie that he understands love and friendship last forever, and are alive in spirit.



Am I Like My Daddy?

Author: Marcy Blesy   Buy from Amazon

Join seven-year-old Grace on her journey through coping with the loss of her father while learning about the different ways that people grieve the loss of a loved one. In the process of learning about who her father was through the eyes of others, she learns about who she is today because of her father’s personality and love.



Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Author: Michael Rosen    Buy from Amazon

A very personal story that speaks to adults as well as children. The author describes feeling sad after the death of his son and what he does to try to cope with it.


Goodbye Mog

Author: Judith Kerr   Buy from Amazon

Mog was tired. She was dead tired…Mog thought, ‘I want to sleep for ever.’ And so she did. But a little bit of her stayed awake to see what would happen next. Mog keeps watch over the upset Thomas family, who miss her terribly, and she wonders how they will ever manage without her. Eventually the family are able to begin moving forward in their lives, but little Debbie says she will always remember Mog. ‘So I should hope,’ thinks Mog. And she flies up and up and up right into the sun.



The Tenth Good Thing about Barney

Author: Judith Viorst    Buy from Amazon

A book looking about death from the perspective of a child. Though dealing with the death of a pet, it helps children deal with the reality of any death, including why we have funerals. This book does not have religious overtones, so it can be used by families with all different sets of beliefs.



The Lonely Tree

Author: Nicholas Halliday    Buy from Amazon

This beautiful and moving story follows the first year in the life of a lone evergreen tree growing in the heart of the ancient oak woodland of the New Forest. The evergreen is befriended by the oldest oak who has lived for hundreds of years. When winter arrives all the oak trees must go to sleep, but of course evergreens never sleep. Finally, after a long, cold and lonely winter, spring brings both sadness and joy to the little tree.

­There is also a colouring book that accompanies this story, which you can also buy from Amazon.

Rabbityness

Author: Jo Empson    Buy from Amazon

This is the story of a very special rabbit. He enjoys doing rabbit things, but he also loves – well, un-rabbity things. His boundless creative talent is a source of joy and inspiration to the other rabbits. When Rabbit suddenly disappears, no one knows where he has gone. His friends are desolate. But, as it turns out, Rabbit left behind some very special gifts for them, to help them discover their own un-rabbity talents!



When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief - Workbook

Author: M Heegard    Buy from Amazon

This work book was designed to teach basic concepts of death and help children understand and express the many feelings they have when someone special dies. Communication is increased and coping skills are developed as they illustrate their books with their personal story.



Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died

Author: Winston’s Wish    Buy from Amazon

Offering practical and sensitive support for bereaved children, this book suggests a helpful series of activities and exercises accompanied by the friendly characters of Bee and Bear. It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on different aspects of their grief.


The Invisible String

The Invisible String

Author: Patricia Karst

This story that teaches of the tie that really binds. Mums (and Dads) feel the tug whenever kids give it; and kids feel the tug that comes right back: the Invisible String reaches from heart to heart. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach anyway? Whether it is a loved one who has died, or a parent who is just in the next room, this book illustrates a new way to cope with a child’s fear of loneliness and separation. Here is a warm and delightful lesson teaching young and old that we aren't ever really alone.

Buy from Amazon


The Scar

Author: Charlotte Moundlic

A little boy responds to his mother's death in a genuine, deeply moving story leavened by glimmers of humour and captivating illustrations.

When the boy in this story wakes to find that his mother has died, he is overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and fear that he will forget her. He shuts all the windows to keep in his mother's familiar smell and scratches open the cut on his knee to remember her comforting voice. He doesn't know how to speak to his dad anymore, and when Grandma visits and throws open the windows, it's more than the boy can take -- until his grandmother shows him another way to feel that his mom's love is near.

Buy from Amazon


Mum’s Jumper

Author: Jayde Perkin

If Mum has gone, how do you carry on? Missing her feels like a dark cloud that follows you around or like swimming to a shore that never comes any nearer. But memories are like a jumper that you can cuddle and wear. And Mum s jumper might be a way to keep her close.
Buy from Amazon

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Memory Tree 

Author: Britta Teckentrup

Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest. One day, he lies down in his favourite clearing, takes a deep breath, and falls asleep for ever.

Before long, Fox's friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.

This gentle and comforting tale celebrates life and the memories that are left behind when a loved one dies.

Buy from Amazon


The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

Author: Ali Redford

Boy built a wall to keep himself safe. Behind it he felt strong and more protected. Then Someone Kind came along. She bounced a ball, sang and painted on the other side of the wall, and Boy began to wonder if life on the other side might be better after all. Written for children aged 4 to 9, this gentle full-colour picture book uses a simple metaphor to explain how children who have had painful or traumatic experiences can build barriers between themselves and other people. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication.

Buy from Amazon


I Miss My Sister        

Author: Sarah Courtauld
This book written by Sarah Courtauld and illustrated by Holly Surplice, is recommended for children aged 4-10 years old. The beautiful and expressive colour illustrations help to guide the child through the different emotions they may encounter following the death of a sibling, as well as the different categories of grief over a period of time. Now awarded 'commended' in BMA Patient Information Awards 2010.

Buy from CBUK


No Matter What

Author: Debi Gliori

'I'm a grim and grumpy little Small and nobody loves me at all,' said a small fox. But that's not true and Small's mother is determined to prove that her love is limitless - no matter what! With sparkly foil stars and a small, sturdy board format, this is the perfect story to share with the very young. A beautiful, lyrical, loving book about setting big worries to rest.

Buy from Amazon


Guess How Much I Love You

Author: Sam McBratney

When you love someone to the moon and back…

Sometimes when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how great your feelings are. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure!

Buy from Amazon  


Young People

A Teenage Guide to Coping with Bereavement

A Teenage Guide to Coping with Bereavement (fold up leaflet)

Author: Sarah Darwen
This pocket sized resource contains practical advice and guidance for a young person managing confusing emotions when someone important in their life dies. Written by a young person whose father died.

Buy from CBUK


What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies?

Author: Trevor Romaine & Elizabeth Verdick    Buy from Amazon

Suggests ways of coping with grief and offers answers to questions such as ‘Why do people have to die?” and “How can I say Goodbye?” Friendly, accessible text and illustrations aimed at ages 8-14.



Grief Encounter

Author: Shelley Gilbert    Buy from Amazon

Aimed at 8-15 year olds. The focus is on the death of a parent, but suitable for the loss of a sibling, grandparent, friend. Author recommends that the book is used with an adult, at least initially. 


Still Here with Me: Teenagers and Children on Losing a Parent

Author: Suzanne Sjoqvist    Buy from Amazon

This book is a moving and thoughtful anthology of the experiences of thirty children and teenagers who have lost a parent. In their own words, children and young people of a variety of ages talk openly and honestly about losing their mother or father. They describe feelings of pain, loss and anger, the struggle to cope with the embarrassed reactions and silence of others, and the difficulties involved in rebuilding their lives. They also share happy and loving memories of their parents, and talk about the importance of remembering while learning to accept their parent’s deaths.



From a Clear Blue Sky

Author: Timothy Knatchbull    Buy from Amazon

A powerful survivor’s account of the IRA bomb that killed the author’s 14-year-old twin brother, his grandparents and a family friend, published on the 30th anniversary of the atrocity.


Sometimes Life Sucks: When Someone You Love Dies

Author: Molly Carlile    Buy from Amazon

Teenagers experience loss in all kinds of ways. Whether it’s the death of a grandparent, pet or school friend, a teen fatality, a peer with terminal illness, living without a mum or dad, or the death of a celebrity. Like everyone else teenagers also struggle to come to terms with their shock and grief. Full of great tips, stories and gentle advice, Sometimes Life Sucks helps teens to navigate their personal experience of grief.



We Get It

Authors: Heather L. Servaty-Seib and David C. Fajgenbaum    Buy on Amazon

A unique collection of 33 narrative by bereaved students and young adults in America, this book aims to help young adults who are grieving and provide guidance for those who seek to support them. It has been described as like having a group in a book.


Teenage Guide to Coping with Life after Death: Helping teenagers through the death of the Mum, Dad, Sister or Brother

Author: Grief Encounter

This guide is to introduce young people to some ideas, to Grief Encounter, and to other things that may help. Grief Encounter aim to help young people feel less alone, acknowledge what they are going through, and to help them feel back in control.

Download from Grief Encounter


Grief Encounter

Author: Shelley Gilbert

Aimed at 8-15 year olds. A workbook to encourage conversations with children, young people and adults about death. Grieving is hard work, especially for parents and children in deep grief. The upward spiral of grief replaces stages theory and allows time for people to adjust to the fact that someone special has died. The book is full of creative activities and offers incredible comfort to mourners-old and young. The focus is on the death of a parent, but suitable for the loss of a sibling, grandparent, friend. The author recommends that the book is used with an adult, at least initially.

Buy from Amazon


The young person’s guide to grief and loss

Author: Ann Atkin

‘Everything’s Changing’ services as a catalyst to important conversations with young people, and a useful record for the young person to refer back to in the future. The book draws on tried and tested bereavement support resources, which have been re-worked in order to appeal to people in the 13-25 years age group.

Buy from Website


Rory’s Story

Author: Anna Jacobs

Rory is an adolescent boy who is struggling with the loss of his mother. Confused and bullied at school, he attempts to run away and finally returns to face his feelings. This therapeutic story is a gritty, readable story that teenagers will relate to; it explores the teenage experience of loss and bereavement; it can be used to support young people who have experienced loss; it can help teenagers understand the needs of their peers when loss occurs; it has notes for discussion on the themes of each chapter.

This story can be used in conjunction with the practical workbook 'Supporting Teenagers through Grief & Loss'. This useful tool which will help teachers, therapists and carers to support and understand the needs of adolescents facing loss.

Buy from Amazon


When a Grandparent has died

My Grandma Died: A Child's Story about Grief and Loss

Author: Lory Britain   Buy from Amazon

A young child talks about the emotions felt after Grandma’s death. Includes a list entitled “Things I can do when someone I love dies.”


Granpa

Author: John Burningham    Buy from Amazon

Adorable Granpa gamely nurses his granddaughter’s dolls, eats her pretend strawberry-flavoured ice cream, takes her tobogganing in the snow, and falls in step with her imaginary plans to captain a ship to Africa like all good grandfathers should. Winner of the Kate Maschler Award, this poignant tale of friendship and loss is one children will long remember.


Grandad's Ashes

Author: Walter Smith    Buy from Amazon

This beautifully illustrated picture book for children aged four to eight tells the story of four children who embark on an adventure to find their Grandad’s favourite place, they are faced with plenty of challenges on the way. Told with gentle humour, this is a charming story for children and an ideal resource for parents or professionals to read with a child as a way of broaching issues surrounding loss or bereavement.


Remembering

Author: Dianne Leutner
It's part book, part scrapbook and was created to help keep a child's memories alive after the loss of someone special and to give children a place to return to whenever they wish

Buy from CBUK


Grandad’s Bench

Author: Addy Farmer

This is a beautiful, sensitively told story of love and loss and of a special relationship between grandfather and grandson.

Jake loves playing in Grandad’s workshop. One autumn day, Grandad teaches Jake how to chisel his name in a piece of wood, and afterwards they go to the park. Grandad shows Jake the tree that grew from an acorn he planted when he was a boy. Jake goes off to buy ice-creams and returns to find Grandad on the ground. The ambulance arrives. Mum and Jake go home without Grandad… Jake grieves for his grandfather all winter. But Grandad has left him his workshop and Jake wants to make something special. With Mum’s help, he does – a plaque for the bench under Grandad’s tree. It is spring; for the first time in months, Jake feels happy.

Buy from Amazon