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Death of a Sister or Brother

Alexander, S. Nadia the Willful. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1983. (SA)

Upon the death of Nadia’s brother, her father, the sheik, decrees that no one shall mention his name. For Nadia, not speaking about her brother means not remembering him. The headstrong Nadia finds a way to keep memories of her brother alive and helps her father remember, too.

Breebaart, J. and Breebaart, P. When I Die, Will I Get Better? New York: Bedrich Books, 1993. (PS)

This story, as told by a five year old grieving the death of his younger brother, tells of Fred Rabbit’s illness, death and funeral. Over time, Fred’s brother is able to express his feelings and finally play happily with his friends again.

Greene, C. Beat the Turtle Drum. New York: Viking, 1976. (SA/AD)

Joss, a girl in love with horses, plans to rent a horse for her birthday. But her beautiful plan ends in tragedy when she is killed in a fall. This tender book explores the death of a family member and its impact on others.

Hoffman, A. Green Angel. Scholastic, 2003 (AD)

A fifteen year old girl dives into despair following the sudden death of her parents and younger sister in a fire that was a community-wide disaster. Haunted by loss and the past, she eventually begins to heal through a series of mysterious encounters. A haunting but ultimately hopeful tale.

Johnson, J. and Johnson, M. Where’s Jess? Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 1982. (PS)

This very simple story helps a child understand a brother /sister death and suggests useful coping techniques.

Munoz-Kiehne, M.Since My Brother Died. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 2000. (SA)

Written in both Spanish and English, a child shares the feelings and questions that come with a brother's death. Feelings of anger, fear, confusion, and hurt are included. The book ends on a hopeful note about finding comfort in memories and expression of feelings through painting.

Old. W. Stacy Had A Little Sister. Morton Grove, Albert Whitman & Co., 1995. (PS/SA)

Uncomplicated story of a family (Stacy, mother and father) experiencing the death of their new baby by SIDS.

Pattison, D. The Wayfinder. New York: Green Willow Books, 2000. (SA/AD)

While struggling with guilt from the accidental death of his younger sister, eleven year old Win is given the quest to find the Well of Life to save his people from a deadly illness. Win’s journey to the well is also a journey of grief and healing. The author of this fast-moving juvenile fantasy novel lives in North Little Rock, AR.

Richter, E. Losing Someone You Love: When a Brother or Sister Dies. New York: Putnam, 1986. (SA/AD)

In this book, sixteen young people, ranging from ten to twenty-four, who have lost a sister or brother, talk openly about their feelings- their sorrow, fear, loneliness and anger- and their difficulties both at home and at school. This book can be read as a whole or in pieces most useful to a particular child.

Temes, R. The Empty Place, A Child’s Guide Through Grief. Far Hills, NJ: Small Horizons, 1992. (PS/SA)

Feelings and misconceptions are clearly expressed by a brother following the death of his big sister. His babysitter, who has experienced the death of a brother, helps him to understand that his feelings are normal and suggests way to help with the pain.

Yeomans, E. Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 2000. (PS/SA)

A preschool girl recounts her confusing thoughts and feelings after the death of her sister with cancer. She also recounts the number of ways she continues to feel her sister's love. Some very practical and realistic situations are included such as needing a night light and sitting alone on the school bus.

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