Death in Children’s Books: What is Your View?

Am I Like My Daddy?  is my picture book in the grief genre.  I have lots of ideas for posting about the book and its topic, but it’s not easy, and as I am building this blog I’m not sure being known as the place to read about children’s grief recovery is what I want to  be associated with my blog.  However, from personal experience which I will touch upon another time, I don’t think it’s good to shield kids from the realities of the life cycle.  I don’t think they need more details than they can handle, but sometimes their feelings aren’t considered in an effort to protect them.


When I was probably in the fifth grade I read Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.   I loved the unique friendship between Jess and Leslie in their creation of an imagined world.  When tragedy struck I was unprepared for the emotions it would bring about.  I had the same reaction in Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls when Billy lost his dogs.  I am not sure I learned a “lesson” in these books.  I am positive they did not prepare me for my own personal experiences with the death of a parent, but I do think that children of proper maturity and age should not be shielded from death.  While we hope they will never experience a personal loss, the reality is that some will.  If anything, these books build empathy and compassion and make children realize they aren’t alone when feeling sad.


So, I was wondering, how has death in a children’s book affected you or your children, and how did you handle it?  What do you think?