Death and Dying (Grade
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- Badger's Parting Gifts, Varley, Susan (O-688-
- Gr 1-6. All the woodland creatures love old Badger, and when
he dies, they are overwhelmed by their loss. "An ageless story of
death, love, and comfort." (Rocky Mountain News)
- Ordinary People, Guest, Judith (0-140-06517-2,
- Gr 6 (mature) Up.
- The Accident Carrick, Carol. Illus. by
Donald Carrick. (Houghton, 1981)
- Begonia for Miss Appelbaum, A., Zindel, Paul
(O-553-28765-6, $3.99) Gr 4-7. When Henry and
- Zelda discover their favorite teacher hasn't very long to
live, they become her Saturday companions. (Amazon synopsis)
- Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lilly. Carlstrom, Nancy
White. " When her best friend, an old lady
- named Miss Lilly, passes away, Sara learns that the memory of
a loved one never dies." "from a booklist at the Allen County
Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana"
- Bravest Thing, The, Napoli, Donna Jo (0-140-
- Gr 4-6. When her pet rabbit's newborn babies die, her doctor
tells her that she may have scoliosis, and her aunt is diagnosed
with cancer, 10-year-old Laurel feels reminded of the mortality of
all living things. (Amazon synopsis)
- Bridge to Terabithia, Paterson, Katherine (0-
- Gr 4 Up. The life of a 10-year-old boy in rural Virginia
expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently
meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway. (Amazon
synopsis) (Newbery Medal, 1988?)
- Bye, Mis' Lela. Carter, Dorothy. " At
first, Sugar Plum cries when her mother leaves her with
- Mis' Lela, but the happy days they spend together make Sugar
Plum want to remember her, even after she dies." --from a booklist
at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana"
- Cay, The, Taylor, Theodore (0-380-01003-8,
- Gr 4 Up. Blinded by a blow to his head when his ship is
torpedoed by Germans, Phillip finds himself shipwrecked with
Timothy, an old, black West Indian sailor. "Innocence vs. wisdom,
black vs. white, growing up and surviving ... forcefully
- The Dead Bird. Brown, Margaret Wise. Illustrated
by Remy Charlip. (Harper Trophy, 1995;
- Addison-Wesley, l938 ) "last April, my nieces (aged 4 and 5)
lost both an aunt and an uncle. It was extremely hard on the whole
family, in fact, we're still getting over it. This book was
comforting in an odd, inexplicable way. I highly recommend it.
- Gr 4-8. "This book really blew me away when I read it. It is
the story of 12-year-old Slim, her father Mack, his partner Larry,
and the havoc that AIDS wreaks on all their lives ... touching and
heartwarming in many places ... will make readers think about how
important life is and how we should treasure people while they are
here and hold them close in our memories when they are gone."
- Death. Bryant-Mole, Karen. (Wayland, 1992) "a
more direct, factual book for rather older
- children. A somewhat quirkier book - but ideal for those
children who would find it easier to deal with death in terms of
the whole life cycle rather than on its own is.
- Earthshine, Nelson, Theresa (O-440-21989-2,
- Ellen Anders on Her Own, Hirsch, Karen (0-027-
- Gr 3-7. A book acknowledging that, for a sixth grader coping
with bereavement, grieving is as much about changing relationships
as it is about healing. Months after her mother dies in a car
crash, blond, smart Ellen finds the diary she kept at age 12 and
discovers her mother sounds like a '60s version of the sort of
person she and her friends look down upon ... her father offers
insights without providing solutions ... lean low- key writing.
- The Fall of Freddie the Leaf Buscaglia, Leo.
(1982)"(not sure of the spelling of the author's
- last name). It is an excellent book on death for children" " I
personally like Freddy the Leaf best, but my best seller is When
Dinos die." "The leaf is afraid of letting go of the branch like
all the other leaves. He is afraid of dying. I know this book is
used with children about death." "Death (of a leaf, in this case)
is presented in much the same fashion as in the Lion King's
"Circle of Life." The dedication is to "all children who have ever
suffered a permanent loss, and to the grownups who could not find
a way to explain it."
- The Foundling Carrick, Carol. Illus. by Donald
Carrick. (Houghton, 1983)
- Freak the Mighty, Philbrick, Rodman (0-590-
- Gr 4-9. "An extraordinary friendship between a brilliant 12-
year-old midget, Kevin (called "Freak") and gigantic Max, who have
much to give each other. Max's description of their friendship,
ostensibly written after Freak's death, is gritty, unsentimental,
sparked with Freak's wry wit and Max's earthier humor ... Easily
read but compelling." (Kirkus) "The one book in the world I think
every single human being should read." ([young?] reader review)
- A Funeral for Whiskers: Understanding Death.
Balter, Lawrence. "Sandy is very sad and
- upset when her cat Whiskers dies, but her parents help her
understand and accept the loss." "from a booklist at the Allen
County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana
- The Happy Funeral. Bunting, Eve. Illus.
by Mai Vo-Dinh. (Harper, 1982)
- Last Dance, Moore, Miriam Ann (0-380-79118-8,
- Gr 5 Up. In the era of disco, Marti Hirsch is just another
would-be writer looking for a break, until someone fatally shoots
her friend's fiancee. Marti turns sleuth. Her search takes her
throughout the Bad Apple--from chic penthouses to dingy dives, and
she soon has to worry about "staying alive, staying alive."
- Letters from Heaven. Anderson, Rachel.
- Missing May, Rylant, Cynthia (0-440-40865-2,
- Gr 5 Up. A gifted writer returns to one of her favorite
themes--love--in this case, as it can inform and transform grief.
After her mother's death, Summer is taken in my her Uncle Ob and
Aunt May ... six years later, May has died ... Ob's mounting
depression ... reveals a great deal about her characters ... a
beautifully written, life-affirming book. (Kirkus)
- Music from a Place Called Half Moon, Oughton,
Jerry (O-440-21999-X, $3.99)
- Gr 5 Up. Edie Jo's small town is bitterly divided over the
issue of letting the town's minority Indian population send their
children to the vacation bible school ... Even Edie Jo is divided.
On the other hand, she falls in love with a charismatic older boy
named Cherokee Fish ... powerful, passionate, and deeply moving
- Night Kites, Kerr, M.E. (0-06-447035-0, $4.50)
- Gr 5 Up. 17-year-old Erick's comfortable and well-ordered life
begins to fall apart when he is forced to keep two secrets: the
identity of his new girlfriend and the nature of his brother's
debilitating disease (AIDS). (Amazon synopsis)
- Pablo Remembers. Ancona, George. (1993) " is
about a young boy who celebrates the day of
- the dead and it takes on special meaning for him because his
grandmother has recently died."
- Running Loose, Crutcher, Chris (O-440-97570-0,
- Gr 5-12. Louis Banks, a high school senior in a small Idaho
town, learns about sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures
into manhood. (Amazon synopsis)
- A Song for Cecilia Fantini. Astor, Cynthia.
"When her beloved music teacher dies suddenly,
- Emmaline tries to find indelible ways to remember her always."
--from a booklist at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne,
- Stone Water, Gilbert, Barbara Snow (1-886-
- Gr 5 Up. "A 14-year-old is faced with the hardest decision of
his life. His grandfather suffers a stroke and asks Grant to help
him die ... when the crisis comes and Grant makes his agonized
choice, his grandfather regains consciousness long enough to hold
the drugged cup himself: it's not absolution, but mercy, and a
fitting resolution to a compassionate story ... a rich, absorbing
story of believable situations and intelligent characters. No
reader will remain unmoved." (Kirkus)
- Sudden Silence, A, Bunting, Eve (0-449-70362-2,
- Gr 4-8. Jesse Harmon know she will never forget the night his
brother, Bry, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Striving to ease
his grief, Jesse and Bry's girlfriend begin a search for the
driver--and uncover other truths just as difficult and disturbing.
- Summer to Die, A, Lowry, Lois (O-440-21917-5,
- Gr 4-6. 13-year-old Meg envies her sister's beauty. Her
feelings don't make it any easier for her to cope with Molly's
strange illness and eventual death. "It flowed very well, and the
story was written very smoothly ... it was not really very sad,
but was more scary. I would freak out if I woke up and my sister
was [deleted for purposes of suspense]" (6th grade Reader review)
- Taste of Blackberries, A, Smith, Doris Buchanan
- Gr 4-7. No one, least of all his best friend, dreamed that
Jamie's exuberance and a harmless prank could end in his sudden
death. But when it does, his friend must find the strength to bear
his grief and his feeling that he might have saved his friend.
(ALA Notable Children's Book)
- Tenth Good Thing About Barney, The, Viorst,
Judith (0-689-71203-0, $4.99)
- Gr 2 Up. "In simple phrases narrated by a child whose cat,
Barney, has just died, the author succinctly and honestly handles
both the emotions stemming from the loss of a beloved pet and the
quesions about the finality of death which naturally arise ... an
unusually good book." (The Horn Book)
- Tiger Eyes, Blume, Judy (O-440-98469-6, $4.99)
- Gr 4-8. "After the murder of her father in his Atlantic City
store, 15-year-old Davey Wexler, her mother, and younger brother
go to stay in New Mexico ... The plot is strong, interesting, and
believable. The story, though intense and complicated, flows
smoothly and easily. Blume has come of age." (VOYA) (ALA Best Book
for Young Adults; NYT Outstanding Children's Books of the Year)
- The Two of Them. Aliki. (Morrow, 1979;
Greenwillow, l979) "It's about a grandfather and
- granddaugher who share a special relationship. Her grief after
his death is dealt with in a realistic way." "The two of them_ by
Aliki is a wonderful look at a grandfather and his beloved
granddaughter. He is always there for her, a special part of her
life. Of course as she grows older, so does he and their
relationship grows and changes. He does pass away, though not very
suddenly. It explores a little how she misses him, but whe does
the things she knows would please him anyway"
- Walk Two Moons, Creech, Sharon (0-330-33000-4,
- Gr 5 Up. 13-year-old Salamanca's mother has disappeared. While
tracing her steps with her grandparents on a car trip, Sal tells a
parallel story of a friend whose mother also disappeared ...
fashions characters with humor and sensitivity ... would have been
stronger without quite so many remarkable coincidences. (Kirkus)
(Newbery Medal 1995)
- The Wall Bunting, Eve. Illustrated by: Ronald
Himler. (Clarion, 1990) ALAN 1991 "A boy and
- his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam Veteran's
Memorial in Washington D.C. and find the name of the boy's
grandfather, who was killed in the conflict. (P)"
- When Grandpa Came to Stay. Casley, Judith.
- Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls, Wilson (O-553-
- Gr 4 Up. Classic about a 10-year-old boy growing up in the
Ozarks with his inseparable pair of coonhounds. An exciting tale
of love and adventure. "It gets all of your emotions involved;
sandness, excitedness, etc. I've never come across such a well-
written book." (Reader review) (Great Stone Face Award)
- You Hold Me and I'll Hold You. Carson, Jo.
Illus. by Annie Cannon. (Orchard, 1992) "When a
- great-aunt dies, a young child finds comfort in being held and
in holding, too." --from a booklist at the Allen County Public
Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana"
- How It Feels When a Parent Dies, Various (0-
- Gr 3 Up. Eighteen young people from seven to sixteen discuss
the questions, fears, and bereavement they experienced when one of
their parents died. 1988 title.
- Part of Me Died, Too, Fry, Virginia Lynn (O-
- Gr 5 Up, 218p. "Down-to-earth, practical guide that offers,
through stories of young people coping with the death of loved
ones, help for others in crisis ... told with great compassion ...
laced with advice and shared experiences." (Kirkus)
- Right to Die, A?, Walker, Richard (0-531-14413-
- Gr 4-8, photos, reprods., glossary, index (Viewpoints series).
Many viewpoints ... each two-page spread focuses on an aspect of
the topic ... well-chosen photos ... the effects of modern
medicine and our longer life spans, religious beliefs about the
sacredness of life, suicide, euthanasia, life-support systems,
doctors' duties and responsibilities, hospice programs, living
wills, and funeral choices ... will lead youngsters to come up
with their own conclusions without being overwhelmed by the
- When a Friend Dies, Gootman, Marilyn E. (0-915-
- Gr 6 Up. Primarily directed at teens whose friends have died
- When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding
Death, Brown, Laurie Krasney, et al. (O-316-10917-7,
- Gr 1-5. "Sensible, upbeat self-help ... crowded cartoons ...
terse explanations ... has at its center a positive message:
Grieve, and go on with living." (Kirkus)
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Updated: August 7, 1998 | Copyright © 1996-1998 by
Dale Copps. Copyright © 1999 by Nancy J. Keane
Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of
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