Books can be a great way to help children and young people understand their feelings after a loved one has died. As today is #ReadABookDay, we thought we would take this opportunity to share some of our favourite books about bereavement.
The Magical Wood - Mark Lemon
'The Magical Wood is a story about loss, friendship and hope'. We love this book – it explores what it is like to lose someone you love, using a fallen tree as the centrepiece to the story. Using language that is easy for children to understand, it remains clear that the tree has 'died' and avoids using any metaphors for death, which can be so confusing for children. Mark will be appearing as a guest speaker at our conference in March 2020 (Tickets available at conference.mosaicfamilysupport.org), talking about his own experience of childhood bereavement along with how it inspired him to write 'The Magical Wood'.
The Garden of Hope – Isabel Otter
This stunningly illustrated book follows Maya's story as she comes to terms with her Mum no longer being around. Although this book does not talk about death specifically, it can be used to explore loss of any kind and offers hope and new life in the shape of caring for her Mum's old garden. Illustrations by Dorset based author Katie Rowse.
Let's Talk About Death - Molly Potter
This question and answer style book comes complete with colourful pictures and simple explanations for what happens when someone dies, as well as normalising feelings that a child might have. Having worked with children in education for a long time, Molly clearly answers many of the questions children will have after a death in a way that is honest and easy to understand. She will also be appearing at our conference in 2020, hosting one of our three workshops.
When Someone Very Special Dies. Children Can Learn To Cope With Grief - Marge Heegaard
This book helps teach the basic concepts of death and also helps children begin to understand and express the many different feelings they have when someone they love dies. It is aimed at children ages 6-12 and is designed for them to illustrate with pictures as they work their way through it and maybe encourage conversations too.
Bothered: Helping teenagers talk about their feelings - Margot Sunderland
This is a great book designed to help parents and professionals support teenagers when they are finding things difficult and challenging, whether it be after a bereavement or just in general. It is full of tools and techniques of what to say and how to be when having conversations with teens and exercises to help them move towards real self-awareness, better self-esteem and the ability to thrive.
I Have A Question About Death. A book for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Special Needs - Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky
This book is a must for any families of or professionals who work with children aged 5-11 with Autism Spectrum disorder or other special needs. It talks about death in a straightforward way, with very clear illustrations, and includes information for parents and caregivers. As well as longer explanations, it also includes a 'Short Picture Story' section, much like a Social Story, with minimal words, that repeats the main pages. This is aimed at children who learn best through visual clues or those who may want to read independently.
Grief in Children. A Handbook for Adults - Atle Dyregrov
This book looks at how children understand death differently at different ages and developmental levels, and gives information to the adults around them on how best to help them cope when someone they love has died. It is written in a way that is easy to understand and can be read all the way through or dipped into whenever the need arises.