Books About Grief

Kids and teens who've experienced the death of a loved one or pet may find comfort -- or a starting point for discussion -- in a book about the subject. From picture books for the youngest readers and prereaders to edgy young adult novels, these selections touch on a variety of situations, including the loss of a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, classmate, or animal, as well as the devastation and confusion that come in the wake of teen suicide. For more stories about tough moments in life, check out our Top Picks for Coming-of-Age Stories and Books to Talk About.

Boats for Papa Poster Image
BOOK

Boats for Papa

age 3+

Tender, moving story about boy and mom dealing with loss.

By: Jessixa Bagley (2015)
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City Dog, Country Frog Poster Image
BOOK

City Dog, Country Frog

age 3+

Touching tale of dog-frog friendship depicts cycle of life.

By: Mo Willems (2010)
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BOOK

The Goodbye Book

age 3+

Comforting story about grief, loss, and finding joy again.

By: Todd Parr (2015)
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Koko's Kitten Poster Image
BOOK

Koko's Kitten

age 3+

Amazing true story of pet loss helps kids understand grief.

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The Dead Bird Poster Image
BOOK

The Dead Bird

age 4+

Classic about kids burying bird gets vibrant new art.

By: Margaret Wise Brown (2016)
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BOOK

Ida, Always

age 4+

Heartrending, hopeful story of farewell to dying friend.

By: Caron Levis (2016)
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BOOK

Ocean Meets Sky

age 4+

Boy remembers his grandfather in magical, visual tale.

By: Terry Fan, Eric Fan (2018)
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BOOK

Tess's Tree

age 4+

Sweet story of grief and healing is pitch perfect.

By: Jess Brallier (2009)
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A Stone for Sascha Poster Image
BOOK

A Stone for Sascha

age 5+

Beautiful art in wordless tale of loss and passage of time.

By: Aaron Becker (2018)
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Bluebird Poster Image
BOOK

Bluebird

age 6+

Striking, vibrant tale of friendship, bullying, and loss.

By: Bob Staake (2013)
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BOOK

The Poet's Dog

age 6+

Talking dog helps stranded kids in gentle book about grief.

By: Patricia MacLachlan (2016)
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BOOK

Charlotte's Web

age 7+

Gentle, much-loved barnyard classic delights all ages.

By: E.B. White (1952)
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Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Poster Image
BOOK

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

age 8+

The blues and forgiveness fuel emotional family grief tale.

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Clues to the Universe Poster Image
BOOK

Clues to the Universe

age 8+

Two friends look for fathers, reach for stars in brave tale.

By: Christina Li (2021)
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The Einsteins of Vista Point book cover showing kids with flashlights looking at mysterious tower.
BOOK

The Einsteins of Vista Point

age 8+

Poignant adventure of loving family dealing with loss.

By: Ben Guterson (2022)
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Finding Langston Poster Image
BOOK

Finding Langston

age 8+

In lovely, moving story, boy who lost mom discovers poetry.

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome (2018)
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The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook Poster Image
BOOK

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook

age 8+

Realistic story of girl coping with sick cat, dad's death.

By: Joanne Rocklin (2012)
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The House That Wasn't There Poster Image
BOOK

The House That Wasn't There

age 8+

Engaging story of loss, friendship, and a mystery to solve.

By: Elana K. Arnold (2021)
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Love That Dog Poster Image
BOOK

Love That Dog

age 8+

Boy pours his grief into poetry in moving free-verse gem.

By: Sharon Creech (2004)
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Remembering Mrs. Rossi Poster Image
BOOK

Remembering Mrs. Rossi

age 8+

A gentle, honest look at healing after a parent's death.

By: Amy Hest (2007)
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