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Diverse Books For All Ages

A great selection of books for families, educators, and the community

Helping Children Cope with Grief & Loss using Children's Books (+ Video Read Aloud)

Updated: Jan 13

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

Grief and loss are a part of life but discussing them and helping children cope can be a heavy task. There are many ways to start these conversations and one powerful way is with children's books. We’ve rounded up a collection of diverse children’s books that can help kids understand and cope with the grief that comes with loss. (Complete with publisher's descriptions)

One quick note: Grief is most associated with death, but people also grieve the loss of connection to a variety of things such as relationship changes, moving to a new place, and other life changes. For instance, people faced grief during the pandemic due to a loss of "normalcy" and the many other changes that occurred during pandemic. This is just a gentle reminder that grief comes in many forms and for many reasons.

Diverse children's books

George loves Saturdays.

That's because Saturdays mean time with Grandma Stella. The two of them love going on adventures downtown to visit the dinosaur museum and ride on the carousel! Even when they stay in, George and Stella have fun together, making cinnamon rolls without popping open a tube and sharing the biggest, best hugs.

Then one day Stella is gone, and George is ready to cancel Saturdays. But when a new addition to the family arrives, George finds a way to celebrate the priceless memories he made with his grandma--while making new ones too.


Diverse children's books

A little girl grieves the loss of her mother, but she can't grieve alone.

When her friends and family arrive at her house to sit shiva, laden with cakes and stories, she refuses to come downstairs. But the laughter and memories gradually bring her into the fold, where she is comforted by her community. By the end of the book, she feels stronger and more nourished, and she understands the beautiful tradition. Then, when sees her father sitting alone, she is able to comfort him in his time of need.

Sitting Shiva is a beautiful, heartfelt story about grief and loss, but also about comfort and community. It shows that no matter what religion you practice, we are all more similar than we are different.

A note from the author explains the ritual of sitting shiva, a seven-day period of mourning for the death of a family member observed in Jewish homes.


Diverse Children's Books

Funny, emotional, and uplifting picture book about separation and love, to help children understand their emotions.

Everyone loves everyone in Tess's house, but when Tess has to leave for school for the very first time, she is worried that her family's love might not stretch that far. Mom explains that love is like a string, it connects people together even when they are far away. At school Tess notices that all the children have strings! Some are new, some are old, some stretch a long way, and some even stretch right up into the sky. But what happens when a string breaks?

Love is the third in a trio of feel-good picture books from author Corrinne Averiss (Joy (2018), Hope (2019)) - a pure delight from start to finish. A wonderful story that subtly tackles difficult topics of death, grief, separation, and overcoming anxiety.


Diverse children's books

When Ming and his grandmother visit the wishing tree on the Lunar New Year, his wishes always seem to come true. But one year the tree does not help, and Ming alone must make peace with the loss of his grandmother and the spirit of the tree.

An enormous banyan tree with thick, leafy branches grew in the center of a village near an ancient temple in a green valley with a gurgling stream.

Every Lunar New Year, Ming and his grandmother visit the Wishing Tree. Its branches are covered with wishes, each written on red and yellow paper fluttering in the breeze, secured by the weight of an orange.

Grandmother warned Ming to wish carefully, and sure enough, his wishes always seemed to come true. But one year when Ming makes the most important wish of his life, the tree lets him down.

The Wishing Tree is about the excitement of making wishes and waiting for them to come true. It is also about the love between a boy and his grandmother, and the realization that sometimes, we already possess the most important things in life.


Diverse children's books

Miss Eula is back! In this heartwarming companion to Chicken Sunday, young Trisha is devastated when her grandmother passes away, but finds joy in bonds with a new friend, her new California neighborhood--and the invincible Miss Eula.

There will never be anyone like her grandmother, Patricia Polacco thinks, when her grandmother passes away. But when she and her family move to California--in the middle of a drought--she meets a new friend, the irrepressible Stewart, and his amazing grandmother, Miss Eula, who not only takes Trisha under her wing, but, with Trisha and Stewart, steps up to lead their entire extraordinarily diverse neighborhood to help a hurting neighbor--and her once lush garden--survive the drought.

Trisha's grandmother's old saying about the stars being Holes in the Sky turns out to be Miss Eula's, too, convincing Trisha that she has miraculously discovered another unforgettable grandmother.


Diverse children's books

One young girl reflects on a year with her beloved grandpa.

She remembers the fields and parks they explored in the springtime and the old toys they fixed up in the summer. She remembers the handmade gifts they exchanged in the fall and the stories Grandpa told by the fi re each winter.