We’re all about free resources. If you live in the Sioux Falls area, you can look for the following books about grief at your nearest Siouxland Libraries branch. Check the library website for the latest collections.
Helping a Child Understand Death
Buscaglia, Leo (1982). “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf.” Thorofare, NJ; Slack, New York: Distributed H. Holt.
- As Freddie experiences the changing seasons along with his companion leaves, he learns about the delicate balance between life and death.
Brown, Laurie Krasy (1996). “When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death.” Boston, New York, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Company.
- Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.
Goble, Paul (1989). “Beyond the Ridge.” New York: Bradbury Press.
- At her death, an elderly Plains Indian woman experiences the afterlife believed in by her people, while surviving family members prepare her body according to their custom.
Scrivani, Mark (1994). “I Heard Your Mommy Died.” Omaha, Nebraska: Centering Corporation.
- Helps children cope with the death of a mother by examining the feelings they experience and the changes in their lives. A book by the same author titled “I Heard Your Daddy Died” is also available.
Munsch, Robert (1996). “Love You Forever.” Willowdale, Ontario Firefly Book.
- A parent’s love embraces over time and through generations.
Clifton, Lucille (1983). “Everett Anderson’s Goodbye.” New York: Henry Holt and Company.
- Everett has a difficult time coming to terms with his grief after his father dies
Weitzman, Elizabeth (1996). “Let’s Talk About When a Parent Dies.” New York, Power Kids Press.
- Provides advice on surviving the death of a parent and suggests what feelings and behaviors to expect from others.
Schwoebert, Pat. “Tear Soup.”
- A modern day fable, told in a richly illustrated children’s book format. Tear Soup, a recipe for healing after loss, centers on an old and somewhat wise woman, Grandy. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life and so she is headed to the kitchen to make a special batch of Tear Soup. There she puts on her apron because she knows it’s going to be messy. Slowly the pot is filled with tears as the old woman steeps away. To season her soup, Grandy adds memories like the good times and the bad times, the silly and sad times. She does not want to forget even one precious memory of her loss.
Roberts, Jillian (2016). “What Happens When a Loved One dies? Our First Talk About Death.” Victoria, British Columbia: Orca Book Publishers.
- Whether children are experiencing grief and loss for the first time or simply curious, it can be difficult to know how to talk to them about death. Using questions posed in a child’s voice and answers that start simply and become more in-depth, this book allows adults to guide the conversation to a natural and reassuring conclusion. Additional questions at the back of the book allow for further discussion. Child psychologist, Dr. Jillian Roberts designed the Just Enough series to empower parents/caregivers to start conversations with young ones about difficult or challenging subject matter.
Death of a Pet
Viorst, Judith (1971). “The Tenth Good Thing About Barney.” New York: Aladdin.
- In an attempt to overcome his grief, a boy tries to think of the ten best things about his dead cat.
Loewen, Nancy (1964). “Good-bye, Jeepers: What to Expect When Your Pet Dies.” Mankato, MN, Picture Window Books, c2012.
- “When a pet dies, it can feel like you lost your best friend. What do you do? Whether you had a guinea pig, dog ,cat or fish, this story will help you through the tough times.” (from the cover)
Death of a Friend
Bahr, Mary (2000). “If Nathan Were Here.” Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers.
- A young boy grieves the loss of his best friend and thinks about how things would be if he were still alive.
Looking for more recommendations? See a full list of our counselors’ picks.