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  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas. By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Companion Press, 2001

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-A 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. Several suggestions appear under each heading; many of them encourage readers to express their feelings in a journal. The book has a comfortable tone to it, without taking away from the very definite need to deal with grief. It seems to work with, rather than talk at teens as they tackle the problem/solution process. A good first step toward admitting the need for and getting help. -Kim Harris


  • The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends. By Helen Fitzgerald. Simon & Schuster, 2000.

 Library Journal

Although other excellent books have been published about grief in childhood, including Earl A. Grollman's Bereaved Children and Teens (LJ 8/95), in light of Columbine and other recent tragedies it seems appropriate for two new books to revisit this issue. The Grieving Teen is written specifically for teenagers. Fitzgerald, an expert in grief counseling and the author of The Mourning Handbook, communicates the issues clearly without oversimplifying or resorting to "teenspeak." Chapters consist of typical questions that young adults may have about grief, followed by a "What You Can Do" section. The topics covered include such contemporary issues as death from AIDS, posttraumatic stress disorder, and Internet support. Fitzgerald provides many real-life experiences and a true sensitivity to differing religious and cultural practices.


  •  When A Friend Dies. By Marilyn E. Gootman. Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 1994. 

School Library Journal

A brief guide that provides practical advice, some from teens whose friends have died. A good book for identifying and addressing feelings. 




  • A Time for Dancing. By Davida Wills Hurwin. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1997.

The ALAN Review - Jeanne Gerlach

Samantha and Juliana, Sam and Jules, are best friends and have been for over half of their sixteen years. They take the same classes at school. They go to the same parties. They take dancing lessons at the same dance studio. They are inseparable. Then Jules learns she has "Diffuse histolytic lymphoma"-a type of cancer. This is a story about friendship, romance, and growth to awareness. But more importantly, it is a novel that looks candidly at adolescent struggles with death and dying. "Do you believe in life after death?" Jules asks Sam. Not only does Jules have to come to terms with the possibility of dying, but Sam has to help her do it. Thus, Sam is faced with the most difficult task of her young adult life. Can the girls' friendship survive under such pressure? This was one of my favorite reads, and I believe that young adults in grades 9-12 will appreciate Hurwin's honest look at such a difficult topic. 


  • Say Goodnight, Gracie. By Julie Reece Deaver. HarperCollins Children's Books, 1989.

School Library Journal
A well-drawn portrayal of the complex emotions of an adolescent’s first confrontation with death. Morgan and Jimmy have been inseparable friends since birth. When Jimmy is killed by a drunk driver, Morgan’s pain seems unbearable. The novel candidly charts the range of Morgan’s grief and her slow growth towards acceptance and maturity.

1988 Best Books for Young Adults ( ALA)
1989 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ( ALA)
1988 Young Adult Editors' Choices (BL)
Young Adult Choices for 1990 (IRA)
Children's Books of 1988 (Library of Congress)
1988 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library) 

  • Bringing Up the Bones. By Lara M. Zeises. Random House Children's Books, 2004.

KLIATT - Claire Rosser
This is an unusually powerful coming-of-age story, an Honor Book in the Delacorte Press Prize competition for a First Young Adult Novel. Bridget is living on her own, recovering from the death of her best friend Benji, at odds with her mother, trying to understand her feelings for a new boyfriend, Jasper, and for her old friend Ellie. She is grieving. She is in therapy. She is frequently overwhelmed by her emotions and doesn't understand them. The setting is Delaware, of all places, the college town where the University of Delaware is located; Jasper is a student there. Bridget is postponing college, knowing that it is important that she is strong enough to get beyond Benji's death before she is able to move on to live her own life. The horrible complication about Benji and Bridget's relationship is that Benji was a reluctant lover even as Bridget felt he was everything to her: her soul mate. Benji was hungry to get as far away from home as possible, and some weeks before his death in California he had written to break up with her. She had lost him twice: once when he broke up with her, once when he died. So, is she ready to fall in love with Jasper? Does she know what love is? Yes, the physical attraction is great, and Jasper adores her and is understanding, but is this enough to build on? Zeises is able to create a complicated world around Bridget's thoughts and actions. Bridget is neurotic, yes, but understandably so, and she is a very sympathetic person. Other characters are also well defined and believable.


Additional Titles:

  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf -- by Leo Buscaglia  (Stack Inc., 1982)
  • Life After Death -- by Bob Deits  (Fisher Books., 1992)
  • Packing for Heaven -- by Debra Delp  (Tower Hill Press.,  Doylestown, PA. 1991)  -- A story and adult guide for assisting children through the grieving process when the child is "nearing" death.
  • Recovering from the Loss of a Child -- Katherine Donnelly  (The Berkley Publishing Group., 1994)
  • If There's Anything I Can Do .... A Practical Guide for Helping Others Cope with Grief -- by Carlene Eneroth  (Classic Publishing., 1988)
  • The Grieving Child -- by Helen Fitzgerald  (Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1992)
  • Letters of Hope:  Living after the Loss of Your Child  -- by Teresa Griffin  (Cedarbrook Press., Richboro, PA., 1991)
  • Talking about Death - A Dialogue Between Parent and Child -- by Earl Grollman  (Beacon Press., 1990)
  • When Someone Very Special Dies  -- by Marge Heegaard
  • The Grief Recovery Handbook -- by James, John and Cherry Frank  (Harper & Row Publishers., 1988)
  • Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss  -- Claudia Jewett Jarratt  (The Harvard Common Press, Boston)
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People  -- by Harold Kushner  (Avon Books., 1981)
  • Forever in my Heart  -- by Jennifer Levine  (Mountain Rainbow Publishers)  --  Addresses the most basic needs of children who are experiencing the dying of someone who is special to them.
  • 150 Facts about Grieving Children  -- by Erin Linn  (The Publisher's Mark., 1990)
  • When People Die -- by Joanne Bernstein
  • Lifetimes -- by Mellonie, Bryand, and Ingpen Robert