Death and Dying (Grade 4-7)

Contributor's Form (list #3)

Picture Book

Badger's Parting Gifts, Varley, Susan (O-688- 02703-2, $14.93)
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)

Adult Fiction

Ordinary People, Guest, Judith (0-140-06517-2, $7.95)
Gr 6 (mature) Up.

Junior Fiction

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- 37973-8, $3.99)
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- 06-440184-7, $4.50)
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, $4.50)
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 portrayed." (LJ)
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." (Reader review)
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, $4.50)
Ellen Anders on Her Own, Hirsch, Karen (0-027- 43975-5, $15.00)
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- 47413-8, $3.99)
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, $5.99)
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, $4.50)
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 novel. (Kirkus)
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, $4.50)
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, Indiana.
Stone Water, Gilbert, Barbara Snow (1-886- 91011-1, $15.95)
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, $4.50)
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. (Amazon synopsis)
Summer to Die, A, Lowry, Lois (O-440-21917-5, $4.50)
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 (0-690-80512-8, $13.89)
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, $6.99)
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. (Greenwillow, 1986)
Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls, Wilson (O-553- 27429-5, $5.50)
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"

Junior Non-Fiction

How It Feels When a Parent Dies, Various (0- 394-51911-6, $12.95)
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- 525-45068-8, $19.99)
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- 5, $18.60)
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 authors' opinions.
When a Friend Dies, Gootman, Marilyn E. (0-915- 79366-0, $7.95)
Gr 6 Up. Primarily directed at teens whose friends have died of AIDS.
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death, Brown, Laurie Krasney, et al. (O-316-10917-7, $14.95)
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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