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Death of a Friend

Bahr, M. If Nathan Were Here. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000. (SA)

An especially beautiful book about a boy whose best friend, Nathan, has died. His classroom teacher has the boy's class contribute items to a Memory Box for Nathan. A good story for use in a classroom.

Carlstrom, N.W. Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lilly. Harper Collins Publishers, 1990. (PS)

When her best friend, an old lady and neighbor named Miss Lilly, dies, Sara learns that memory of a loved one never dies. The illustrations are bright and engaging. A touching story of intergenerational connections.

Cohn, J. I had a Friend named Peter. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1987. (PS/SA)

Simple, direct language and drawings tell the story of a child’s loss of a friend. A forward for parents accompanies the story.

Paterson, K. Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Crowell, 1977. (SA/AD)

Leslie and Jess are from different backgrounds, but they form a close friendship and create an imaginary, secret kingdom. The girl’s tragic accidental death marks the end of childhood for Jess, but their shared experiences help him bear the loss.

Smith, D.B. A Taste of Blackberries. New York: Crowell, 1973. (SA)

A little boy feels lonely and guilty when his friend, Jamie, is stung by a bee and dies of an allergic reaction. The boy describes his feelings at the funeral parlor, the funeral itself, and his eventual success in Jamie’s death. After the funeral, he offers to be a substitute son to Jamie’s mother. Realistic but not too intense.

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