Sometimes you need a good cry. Sometimes you need to read about someone else’s grief to help you deal with your own. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read a book and walked away understanding my own grief in a new way. There’s a catharsis to be found in books and hopefully these titles will give you that.
Important Books that Beautifully Address the Topic of Grief
1. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Better Than the Movies beautifully weaves a story of losing a parent with an adorable and funny romance. Liz’s mother passed away suddenly when she was young, now senior year is here and filled with milestone moments. This book speaks to the heart-ache of experiencing classic moments like prom dress shopping, graduation, and heading off to college without presence of a parent that you always thought would be there with you.
2. Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
This novel-in-verse is an incredibly fast read that takes your breath away. Told from the perspective of two sisters you see how they’ve dealt, or haven’t dealt, with the death of their mother. Lyrical and full of imagery this novel explores aspects of the grieving process that aren’t normally voiced.
3. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Families can be complicated on a good day, let alone in the face of loss. Rumi Seto has been shipped off to live with aunt in Hawaii by her mother after the death of her little sister. Rumi must come to terms with not only the loss of her sister, but her mother as she deals with the loss of a child.
4. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
This book speaks to earth shattering heart-ache and how there is still joy beyond your pain. There is more than guilt and sorrow and rage. There is life — there is the da-dump of your heart and, “…still so much more beautiful stuff to see.”
5. This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner
Need to laugh through the pain? This Might Hurt a Bit is a touching yet funny story about the days after the worst day of your life. The book explores the longevity of pain and how loss isn’t a process with a strict timeline. Plus, it tackles the conundrum of getting paint to stick on cows!
6. Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman
Sometimes when we lose someone close to us, we just want everything to stop. Ellery’s younger sister has died in a car crash that she blames herself for. She’s decided that she too deserves to die and has taken the steps to do so until Colter enters her life determined to stop her. Sometimes all it takes is one smile, one person to change everything.
7. Road Tripped by Pete Hautman
A truth every child comes to eventually is that our parents are human. They have flaws and are prone to making mistakes just like everyone else. Sometimes accepting that truth can be painful and for Stiggy accepting his father’s suicide is something he refuses to do. He refuses to let himself grieve and instead runs from it while using his abrasiveness and wit to cover it up.