When children are grieving, it’s so important to keep an ongoing conversation about what has happened and what they are feeling. Books for children’s grief can help prompt that conversation.
Children don’t necessarily express their grief like adults. And they may have questions and fears after the death of a parent, sibling, friend or grandparent.
When Dan passed away, I had 6- and 4-year-olds (along with tweens and teens). I wanted to help my children process their grief and continue to move through it. Not talking about our deceased loved ones doesn’t avoid grief; it postpones it. Books were one way to keep intentional conversations going so that my kids could grief in a healthy way.
Today, I’m sharing some of the best books for children’s grief I’ve found.
Someone I Love Died
This book helps answer a child’s questions and fears about death and shows them the comfort and assurance we can have through Jesus.
When Someone Dies: Find Comfort in Jesus
A comforting book about the assurance Jesus gives when kids are grieving a loved one.
When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief (Drawing Out Feelings Series)
This interactive book allows the child to draw pictures in the book to express feelings. It may help prompt conversation or questions and allows kids who don’t or can’t verbalize their feelings to express them through drawing. Note: this book does not talk about heaven or the Christian’s hope after death so I supplemented with our own thoughts as my kids worked their way through this book.
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief
Tell Me About Heaven
Children often have lots of questions about death and what happens after death. Books on heaven are very comforting. In this book, Randy Alcorn helps answer common questions kids have about heaven and gives assurance of what it’s like for loved ones in heaven.
Heaven God’s Promise for Me
This is a sweet book by Anne Graham Lotz I read with Matt and Annalise after Dan died. My older kids and I looked at what the Bible says about heaven along with a thick book answering questions about life after death and heaven. But I needed a resource for my youngest kids and so appreciated being able to snuggle, read together and talk about what it’s like for our loved ones in heaven and what awaits us.
When I’m With Jesus: For any Child with a Loved One in Heaven
Quinn Says Goodbye: Friends May Go Away, but God Is Here to Stay
One of the newest books for the very young child on loss, though this is in the context of friends. The author wrote this after her own sister was killed in an auto accident growing up.
Where Did My Sweet Grandma Go?: A Preschooler’s Guide to Losing a Loved One
A book for preschoolers to help them talk about death, grief, and eternal love. This book is beautifully illustrated with watercolors and has follow-up questions, activities, scripture and resources in the parent’s guide. (**There’s also a new book — Where Did My Sweet Grandpa Go?
When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief (Elf-Help Books for Kids)
This is a book specific for children who are grieving a grandparent.
Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss (Elf-Help Books for Kids)
Another book in a series to help children understand and anticipate the feelings that can come with grief and be okay with not feeling okay.
Hinds’ Feet on High Places: Delightfully Illustrated and Arranged for Children
This isn’t a book on grief, but it’s a Christian classic on suffering and difficulty in the life of a Christian. This is an adaptation for children with beautiful illustrations. But it’s not just for children; it was hugely healing for my teens and for me. We read it slowly, a couple of pages each day, talking about the Biblical truth portrayed in the story. Highly recommended.
Streams in the Desert for Kids: 365 Devotions of God’s Awesome Love
Streams in the Desert is a Christian classic devotional that has comforted hundreds of thousands through difficulty and grief. I was so happy to learn it’s now available in a children’s version, with a year’s worth of encouragement and help to feel better.
I hope these books for children’s grief help you help your child. Let me know if you have a book that you’d recommend to help children through grief!
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Betty Turner says
and again…thank you so much for sharing…love to you and your family
Melanie Gray says
Lisa I remember when you let me borrow the book ” Hinds Feet on High Places. ” The kids and I truly loved that book greatly. Seeing you mention it here makes me want to reread it again as i really treasured it the first time.
Lisa Appelo says
Praying for you all Melanie. Hard times stink. Your children will always remember how God took care of you in this. He will. <3 And your welcome to borrow the book again!
So beautiful, Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be referring these books to people as well as your blog post. So good.
Praying for you and your family. The wedding photo is like looking at Ben and Nick. Wow! I
René Perry says
Thanks for sharing this Lisa! Good info. Saying a prayer for you guys!
Lisa Cornish says
Lisa, sending my deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother in law… just found my way back to your blog again. I’ve really enjoyed reading and your children are so lovely!
Many hugs to you today!
Lisa Appelo says
Thank you Lisa! We will miss Nana; she was ready to meet her Savior. <3
This is a great list, Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing.