Books for Teens on Grief and Loss

Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love by Earl A. Grollman
In a unique prose-poem format utilizing aphorisms and quotation fragments, Grollman speaks directly and effectively to the hearts and minds of teenagers who are coping with the death of a friend or family member. Sage advice and worldly wisdom from an author who understands both teenagers and grief.

Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins : A Journal for Teenagers Experiencing a Loss by Enid Samuel Traisman
This is a journal that encourages teenagers to work through their grief in a creative and healthy way. It allows them to keep permanent memories of the person that died. It also gives them skills to help them throughout their life when faced with grief and loss.

When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens About Grieving and Healing by Marilyn E. Gootman, Pamela Espeland (Editor), Deborah Prothrow-Stith
This book is welcome as a quick read for students who are grieving. There is a real need for books on grief, especially how children cope with grief, because it often manifests in ways that are different from adult grief.

The Grieving Teen : A Guide for Teenagers and their Friends by Helen Fitzgerald
Although the circumstances surrounding a death are difficult to handle at any age, adolescence brings with it challenges and struggles that until now have been largely overlooked. But in this unique and compassionate guide, renowned grief counselor Helen Fitzgerald turns her attention to the special needs of adolescents struggling with loss and gives them the tools they need to work through their pain and grief.

Child’s View of Grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Lori Mackey (Illustrator)
This concise resource for parents of grieving kids explores several key principles for helping children cope with grief and offers ways to create an emotional environment filled with love and acceptance. It answers common questions such as “What should I say to children when someone they love dies?” and “Should young children attend funerals?” This guide also identifies and explains typical behaviors, thoughts and feelings of grieving kids and offers adults tips for responding to them.

Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Teens by Alan D., Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Grade 7 and up book that is written in clear, user-friendly prose. Each page presents a different idea designed to help teens recognize mourning as a natural process connected with loss, reassuring them that they should not be afraid of deep, sometimes uncontrollable emotions, and showing them how to release grief in healthy, positive ways.

After Suicide by John H. Hewett, Wayne E. Oates
For the individual in the throes of responding to the suicide of a loved one, this book provides valuable insight into the experience. This kind of cognitive knowledge can actually alleviate suffering by being a reliable guide through the process.

Death is Hard to Live With: Teenagers Talk about How to Cope with Loss by Janet Bode, Stan Mack (Illustrator)
I just graduated from high school and feel we had a curse on my class. Six people died. The worst was Shannon, my best friend. She was free-spirited, the last person you’d expect to die. One day she’s great. The next day she’s dead. I wasn’t prepared for it.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
Rarely does a book come along that tackles a perennially difficult human issue with such clarity and intelligence. Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi facing his own child’s fatal illness, deftly guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional answers to the problem of evil, then provides a uniquely practical and compassionate answer that has appealed to millions of readers across all religious creeds. Remarkable for its intensely relevant real-life examples and its fluid prose, this book cannot go unread by anyone who has ever been troubled by the question “Why me?”

Companion through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues on Grief by Stephanie Ericsson
As a result of her own experience with many kinds of loss, Stephanie Ericsson offers an intimate, profoundly touching guide for those in grief, legitimizing the complex and often taboo emotions we all feel when loss transforms our lives. In Companion Through the Darkness, Stephanie Ericsson defines grief as “the constant reawakening that things are now different.”Using a very simple format which combines excerpts from her own diary writings with brief essays, she vividly speaks the language of loss and captures the contradictory, wrenching and chaotic emotions of grief.

Bereaved Children and Teens: A Support Guide for Parents and Professionals by Earl A. Grollman (Editor)
A fairly comprehensive guide to helping children and adolescents cope with the emotional, religious, social and physical aspects of a loved one’s death. Topics range from how adolescents grieve differently from adults to concrete ways to help children cope.

Teen Grief Relief by Heidi Horsley, Psy.D., L.M.S.W., MS
Help your teen grieve in a healthy way. Teenage grief is hard, lonely and painful. Parents want to know: How can I help? Teen Grief Relief provides both parents and teens with the help they need. Shared here are teen stories, feelings, techniques, references and resources for use in not only surviving, but thriving, after the painful loss of a family member or close personal friend.

Helping Teens Cope with Death by Dougy Center for Grieving Children
This practical guide covers the unique grief responses of teenagers and the specific challenges they face when grieving a death. You will learn how death impacts teenagers and ways that you can help them. The book also offers advice from parents and caregivers of bereaved teens on how to support adolescents and determine when professional help is needed.

When Will I Stop Hurting? Teens, Loss and Grief, It Happened to Me (The Ultimate Teen Guide) by Kelly Adams
A self help guide for teenagers who are struggling with bereavement and the emotional difficulties it presents. This book provides an overview of grief as a painful but normal process, and it offers insights from bereavement experts, as well as practical suggestions for coping with loss, including personal accounts from teens.

You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk About Life After the Loss of a Parent by Lynne B. Hughes
Hughes, the founder of Comfort Zone camp for grieving kids, believes that sharing experiences about losing a parent begins the healing process. Her purpose in writing the book is to let teens know that they don’t have to feel isolated— there is help available for them.

When a Friend Dies: A book for Teens about Grieving and Healing by Marilyn E. Gootman and Pamela Espeland
Sixteen short chapters deliver helpful information on subjects including: How can I stand the pain? How should I be acting? What is normal? What if I can’t handle grief on my own? And How can I find a counselor or therapist?

Teenagers Face to Face with Bereavement By Karen Gravelle and Charles Haskins
Psychotherapist Gravelle and Social Worker/Episcopal priest Haskins asked 17 teens, all of whom have lost a relative or close friend, to tell their stories. These responses are discussed at length from the points of view of teens and counselors, as are difficult situations that may follow death.