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Books for Children about Serious Illness

Resources for Serious Illness: Ages 7 to 12

Call (207)775-5216 to browse our Center Library.

Aliki Mummies Made in Egypt A mummy is a mystery- hidden in layers of ancient bandage, bedecked with priceless jewels.  Why did the Egyptians of long ago prepare and wrap their dead to last forever?  Step by step follow the process that took seventy days.  The art and the illustrations are stunning.

Altenhein, B. How Angels Get Their Wings This book is a guide to seeing and believing in a world full of happy surprises.  We are all angels-in–training trying to earn our wings.  It is a book of various sayings, samples of angel philosophy.

Anderson, M. Coping with Sorrow-on the Loss of Your Pet

Barrett, J. Willie's not the Hugging Kind Jo Jo thinks hugging is silly. Jo Jo is Willie's friend.  So Willie stops hugging his family.  Willie does want someone to hug him that is what he wants more than ever.  But no one will hug Willie...not any more.

Barron, T. Where is Grandpa When Grandpa dies, the whole family grieves, and his youngest grandson can't imagine life without him.  Everyone has fond memories of Grandpa.  His granddaughter talks about hiking the canyon with him, and his grandsons remember Grandpa climbing up to the tree-house and once carving pumpkins in the kitchen.  But where is Grandpa now?  The youngest boy thinks he knows.  Grandpa is still close by, a part of all the people and places he loved.   This is a beautiful picture book.

Baylor, Byrd Everybody Needs a Rock Everybody needs a rock- at least that the way this particular rock hound feels about it in presenting her own highly individualistic rules for finding jus the right rock for you.

Biale, R. My Pet Died Journal / Scrape-book Making ...to aid families cope with common childhood issues, a place to keep records, feelings, memories of a beloved pet.

Blackburn, Lynn I Know I made it Happen

Blake, C., Blanchard, E., Parkinson K. The Paper Chain   "The Paper Chain," is a wonderful book to help families cope with an ill parent.  Beautifully illustrated with excellent coverage of the important issues, it is sensitive, realistic, insightful and practical.  It is a great resource that speaks honestly to children about cancer.  It is a good tool for open communication between parents and children.

Boulden, Jim Saying Goodbye

Brooks, J. Uncle Mike's Boy

Brown, M. The Dead Bird

Buscaglia, L. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf  This story is a warm, wonderfully wise, and strikingly simple story about a leaf named Freddie. Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter's snow, is an inspiring allegory illustration the delicate balance between life and death. Adult and older primary age appropriate not many pictures for young children, however, they would enjoy hearing it read aloud.

Butterworth, N. My Mom is Fantastic

Butterworth, N. My Dad is Brilliant

Boulden, Jim & Brett Uncle Jerry Has AIDS

Brooks, J. Uncle Mike's Boy

Brown, L. & M. When Dinosaurs Die  A Guide to Understand Death:  No one can really understand death, but to children, the passing away of a loved one can be especially perplexing and troublesome.  This book helps to guide and dispel the mystery associated with death and provides some answers.

Buck, P.S. The Big White Wave

Burnett, F., H. The Secret Garden

Byars, B. Goodbye Chicken Little

Calvert, P. The Stone Pony

Carrick, C. The Accident

Clifton, Lucille Everett Anderson's Good-bye

Coburn, J. B. Anne and the Sand Dobbies,

Coerr, Eleanor Sadoako and the Thousand Paper Cranes   Chizuko came to visit her friend Sadoako in the hospital.  She brought with her a piece of gold paper that she made into a crane.  She told Sadoako if she could make 1000 paper cranes God would grant her wish that she could be well again.

Cohen, B. Thank You Jackie Robinson,

Conrad, Pam The Tub Grandfather

Cooney, Barbara Island Boy

Cooney, Barbara Miss Rumphuis

Coutant, H. First Snow

Coville, Bruce My Grandfather's House

Creech, S.  Walk Two Moons

Crossley, D. (Winston's Wish Foundation)  Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine This is a practical and sensitive support workbook for bereaved children.  It is beautifully illustrated and has helpful activities and exercises included.  It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on the different aspects of their grief, whilst finding a balance between remembering and having fun.

DePaola, T. Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs  Four-year-old Tommy loves visiting his grandma, Nana downstairs and great grandmother, Nana, upstairs. Every Sunday Tommy and Nana upstairs shared candy and told stories.  One day Tommy finds out Nana upstairs has died.

Donnelly, E. So long Grandpa

Dugan, Barbara Loop the Loop  A yo-yo is at the center of a friendship that unfolds between a sensitive, bored child and a feisty old woman.  Anne spends her days playing with Eleanor, her doll, until she meets Mrs. Simpson, a wheelchair-bound neighbor, and her cat, Bertrand.

Fassler, J. My Grandpa Died Today

Ferguson, D. Saturday Night Mulberries

Fiarotta, P. Snips & Snails & Walnut Whales

Gals, J. My Book for Kids with Cancer: A Child's Autobiography of Hope

Gaes, J. My Book for Kids with Cancer

Geller, N. Talk to God

Gerstein, M.  The Mountains of Tibet  In the tiny village high in the mountains of Tibet, lives a woodcutter.  All his life he has longed to travel to faraway places, to see the world.  But he grows old without ever leaving the mountain.   When he dies, he is suddenly offered the chance to live another life, in any form he wants, anywhere in the galaxies, Carefully he decides... and finds himself in a place he never thought he would choose.

Gibbs, M.  Snugglepot Cuddlepie

Giovanopoulos, P. Learning to Say Goodbye

Goble, Paul Beyond the Ridge The concept of the long climb of someone who is dying is one, which we can understand.  You walk gradually, and seemingly endlessly, upwards to a distant ridge.  The view from the top will simply take your breath away...this is a vision of that other land "Beyond the Ridge".

Gould, D. Grandpa's Slide Show

Greenleaf, S. When Someone Dies  Workbook for children

Grollman, S.  Shira; A Legacy of Courage

Gryte, Marilyn No New Baby  For siblings of a new baby

Hanson, Warren The Next Place  The Next Place is, above all, a celebration of life. Hear the music. Feel the warmth. And be carried away along life's everlasting flight.

Hammond, Janice When My Dad Died Hanson, Warren

The Next Place An inspirational journey of life and hope to a place where earthy hurts are left behind...a destination without barrier

Harris, A. Why Did He Die?

Heegaard, M.E. Coping With Death and Grief  Stories about young people's grief and facts about death.

Heegaard, M. When Someone Very Special Dies  Workbook for children or teens

Heegaard, M. When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness

Heegaard, M. When Something Terrible Happens  This is a special book because a child can draw in it.  It is easier for children to draw about some things than it is to discuss it.  It is not meant to be a pretty book.  Just use lines, colors, and shapes to tell the story that is inside of you.  It is a book that is meant to be shared with adults to tackle those difficult times that may be bothering you.

Hermes, P.  You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye

Hill, E. Spot Visits the Hospital

Hitchcock, R. Tim's Dad

Hodge, John  Finding Grandpa Everywhere

Holmes, M. Molly's Mom Died -  A Child's Book of Hope Through Grief A book that is written through a child's perspective.

Hulbert, E.K. The Memory Quilt

Jampolsky, G. There's a Rainbow Behind Every Dark Cloud

Jampolsky, G. Straight From the Siblings:  Another Look at the Rainbow

Johnson, M. & J. Tell me Papa

Jordan, M.  Losing Uncle Tim

Jukes, A. Blackberries in the Dark

Jukes, M. I'll see you in My Dreams

Karu, T. & Karu, T.  (4 copies) Henry and The White Wolf  A wonderfully illustrated and written book that talk about a child's illness, treatment and recovery through the life of animals.  A great book for children whose sibling is ill or for a child with an illness.

Kantrowitz, M. When Violet Died

Kohlenberg, Sherry Sammy's Mom Has Cancer

Krementz, J. How it Feels When a Parent Dies

Kubler-Ross, E. Remember the Secret

Kusugak, M.A. Northern Lights the Soccer Trials

Lancaster, M. Hang Tough This is a book written by a suffering from a terminal ill, young boy named Matthew.  His dream was to help others by making original drawings.  He showed rare courage.  Matthew died but his dream of writing a book came true.

LeShan, E. Learning to Say Goodbye

LeShan, E. When a Parent is Very Sick

Lessor, Richard Fuzzies- A folk fable for all ages  Come with us to the make-believe Valley of the Fuzzies.  You will experience the pristine beauty of a land of love and happiness.  Learn the secret only shared by the Valley people.

Levy, Erin  Children are Not Paper Dolls

Loftis, C. The Boy Who Sat by the Window

London, J. & Long, S. Liplap's Wish

Lovre, Cheri When Somebody Special Dies Children talking about siblings or parents who have died.

Lowry, L. A Summer to Die

Lucado, M. You Are Special Eli a woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is, no matter what the small wooden people named Wemmicks think!

Maple, M. On the Wings of a Butterfly

Marshall, Bridget Animal Crackers, A tender book about death, funerals and love

McCloskey, Robert Time of Wonder Out on the islands that poke their rocky shores above the waters of Penobscot Bay, you can watch the time of the day. So begins McCloskey's classic story of one summer on a Maine Island.

McLerran The Mountain that Loved a Bird

McNamara, Jill My Mom is Dying A child's diary: Kristine learns her mom is dying and turns to God for help.   Through her conversations she learns that is all right to feel fear, anger, and sadness.

Merrifield, Margaret Come Sit By Me

Mundy, Michaelene Sad Isn't Bad  "Sad Isn't Bad," offers children of all ages (and the people who love and care for them) a comforting, realistic look at loss, loaded with positive, life-affirming helps for coping with loss as a child.  It's a book that promotes honest and healthy grief, and growth.

Munsch, R. Love You Forever  A young woman holds her newborn son and looks at him lovingly.  Softly she sings to him: I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.  This is the story of how that little boy goes through the stages of childhood and becomes a man.  It is also about the enduring nature of parents' love and how it crosses generations.

Namka, L.  The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out

O'Toole, D.  Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope  Children can color drawings in this book.  It assists people in finding hope during periods of loss and grief.

Park, Barbara Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus There is a lot of laughter in this story.  It is about going to school for the time and all the new experiences that come with it. Junie is resistant to all these changes.  It is written from a five year olds language and point of view. This series is great for discussing change in a fun way.

Paulsen, G. Dogsong

Paulsen, G. Tracker

Pavloff, G. A Rainbow for Suzanne

Pene DuBois, W. My Grandson Lew

Peterkin, Allan What About Me?    When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick

Peavy, L. Allison's Grandfather

Pringle, L. Death is Natural

Roberts, J. & Johnson, J. Thank you for Coming to Say Goodbye

Roth, Susan It's Still a Dog's New York  This book is likely to be helpful to children who must deal with life in this city, or anywhere in this country after the September 11 attack.  The realities are there, but in doses young children can handle.  This book should work in well as part of the recovery process.  Pepper an Rover, two dogs from New York are miserable after September 11th.  Pepper feels overwhelmed with sadness and fear and anger.  Rover shows him life can go on.

Rylant, C.  Missing May

Robinson, B. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever  The Herdmans are absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.  They lie and steal and smoke cigars.  They talk dirty, hit little kids and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken down tool house.  None of them heard the Christmas story before.  No one was prepared one Sunday when the Herdmans invaded church and decided to take over the annual Christmas pageant.  The actual pageant is full of surprises for everyone, starting with the Herdmans themselves.

Saint-Exupery, De The Little Prince

Saltzman, D.  The Jester Has Lost His Jingle

Schami, Rafik The Crow Who Stood on His Beak  There was once a little crow that was not content just to sit in his nest in the walnut tree all day like the other little crows.  One day he taught himself to stand on his beak.  The older crows were not impressed with this talent.  They thought he was crazy, a bad influence on their children, and so they spurned the little crow.  The crows new found abilities came in handy when asked to do a favor for the king of the birds.   After his experience with the arrogant peacock, the crow earned the respect and affections of the other birds.

Sendak, Maurice We are all in the Dumps with Jack and Guy A poem traditionally a Mother Goose Nursery rhyme, ingeniously joined and interpreted by Sendak

Silverstein, Shel The Missing Piece It was a missing piece.  And it was not happy.  So it set off in search of its missing piece.  And as it rolled it sang this song- Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece...   I'm lookin' for my missin' piece...   Hi-dee-ho, here I go, Lookin' for my missin' piece... What it finds on its search for the missing piece is simply and touchingly told in this fable that gently probes the nature of quest and fulfillment.

Silverstein, S. The Giving Tree This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation.  Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for reader of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

Simon, N.  The Saddest Time

Smith, D. B. A Taste of Blackberries

Soros, B.Grandmother's Song  In the heart of Mexico, hawks soar over high mountains, swooping down slopes of corn below.  Glistening rocks, hot tropical sun...in the village at the foot of these mountains a grandmother lived with her granddaughter.

Spelman, C. After Charlotte's Mom Died This is a story about a young girl whose mother has died of cancer.  She lives with her father.  This is a book about hope and deals with a child's misconceptions surrounding death.  It is done well with excellent illustrations.

Spero, Moshe H. Saying Goodbye to Grandma It is an honest book about death, written especially for Jewish children.  IT presents, through a child's eyes, the emotional turmoil and changes in behavior, which occur following the death of a loved one.

Steptoe, John The Story of Jumping Mouse  "You will reach the far-off land if you keep hope alive within you."  The words of Magic Frog give courage to the young mouse on his long and perilous journey to reach the wonderful land of legend.  He faces many obstacles on his quest and sacrifices much to help others in need.  But the mouse's compassion and faith in himself prove to be a source of great power...and bring him rewards even beyond his dreams

Stillwell, E. Sweet Memories: Book on Crafts This book contains projects which open doors to healing by sharing memories and precious moments.

Stokes, J. A. The Secret of C

Striker, S., Kimmel, E. The Anti-Coloring Book Offers kids a chance to create their own images...Mind-ticklers, they provide a fantasy playground that fosters healthy, active self-expression.

Taha, K. A Gift for Tia Rosa

Thurman, C. A Time for Remembering

Tiffault, Benette  A Quilt for Elizabeth

Torrey, L. Michael's Mommy Has Breast Cancer. A story of hope ... Michael is upset and afraid because his mother has breast cancer.  With the help of Grandma and Daddy, Michael learns how to cope with Mommy's illness and his own feelings of guilt, anger, fear and helplessness.

Traisman, E.S. A Child Remembers

Traisman, S. Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins

Winter, J. & Johnston, T. Day of the Dead  Above a small town in Mexico, the sun rises like a great marigold, and one family begins preparations for an annual celebration, El dia de los muertos, the Day of the Dead.  Soon they will go out into the night, join their neighbor, and walk to the graveyard to welcome the spirits or their loved ones home again.Woodson, Jacqueline Sweet, Sweet Memory Now that grandpa is gone, Sarah tries to remember what he always used to say about the garden.   She feels sad and all alone.   How can life go on without grandpa? The stories and memories of loved ones, Sarah learns, are what keep people going on.

Yolen, J. Granddad Bill's Song