Children’s Books About Grieving

Books have always helped me make sense of the world. In light of the last week’s sad events, here are some children’s books about grieving that maybe you’ll want to read or share.


Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes- A classmate who recently died in a tragic accident sets Martha on a summer of soul-searching.

Tess’s Tree by Jess M. Brallier- In this moving and gentle story, Tess must say goodbye to her favorite tree—so she brings together her neighborhood to celebrate its life.

Kindred Souls by Patricia McLachlan- A poignant story about what we do for the ones we love, and how the bonds that hold us together also allow us to let each other go.

Feelings by Aliki- Happy, sad, shy, excited–how do you feel? Sometimes it’s hard to explain your feelings.

I Love It When You Smile by Sam McBratney- Only Mom knows how to make a grumpy little kangaroo smile.

After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates- Oates captures the experience of a teen girl’s physical and emotional recovery after a horrible car accident kills her mother.

The Little Yellow Leaf  by Carin Berger- A story for anyone who has ever been afraid of facing the unknown—and a celebration of the friends who help us.

Lost for Words by Alice Kuipers- Following a terrible tragedy that changed her life and tore her family apart, Sophie must figure out how to let go and face her future.

Sun & Spoon by Kevin Henkes- A heartwarming story about grief and rejuvenation, as a ten-year-old searches for a way to remember his deceased grandmother.

Listen! by Stephanie S. Tolan – A moving story of a girl’s healing after her mother’s death, while she tames a wild dog.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson- A secret world between friends is struck by tragedy.


6 thoughts on “Children’s Books About Grieving

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Kevin Henkes is our speed. We will get that at the library this week to help my 2nd grader with last week’s events. I think this will get a lot of action on my Pinterest page from all my parent-friends. Great idea. How thoughtful of you!

  2. I’m not familiar with these books, but I’ll check them out. My family lost someone special last week, a day before the tragic events at Sandy Hook, and so my children are dealing with grief right now. We didn’t tell them about Sandy Hook specifically, but they’ve picked up bits and pieces. It’s hard to know the best ways to develop their coping mechanisms.

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