I recently received a phone call from a good friend whose niece had passed away and left behind an 8-year-old daughter. Knowing that I worked at a church, my friend asked if I knew of any children’s books about grief that might be helpful. We are blessed to have several wonderful librarians and teachers in our congregation, so I turned to one of our experts for help.
FUMC member Evylou Turner holds a master’s degree in library science and was a librarian for 37 years, before retiring from Millington Elementary School. Following are her recommendations, with brief descriptions from amazon.com, where all of these books are available.
- The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst
Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. “That’s impossible!” the children insist, but still they want to know more: “What kind of string?” The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.
- The Memory Box, by Joanna Rowland
“I’m scared I’ll forget you…” From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved – a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box.
- The Next Place, by Warren Hanson
A classic, The Next Place brings gentle verse revealing a safe and welcome destination free from earthly hurts and filled with wonder and peace. A comforting message of hope and a gift of compassion for the bereaved.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, please know you can always contact our pastor or our Congregational Care Team.