Death Is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbothman (juvenile nonfiction)
I thought this was an excellent book for kids about death. The title of the book comes from a comment made by the main character, a boy who has lost his grandmother. The book honestly discusses the death of human loved ones and also reserves a couple pages for the death of nonhuman loved ones, such as dogs and cats. The book doesn’t just give meaningless platitudes but actually discusses the hurt, fear, anger, and confusion children feel at the death of a loved one. The book speaks matter-of-factly about death and answers some of the most common concerns of children. For example, the author states that death is not a punishment and no, you shouldn’t want to die to be in a better place. I like that the book tells children that though a loved one has died, their memory lives on with you forever and you can keep a loved one’s memory alive by doing things that they did, such as a hobby of theirs or listening to music they liked, etc. I also like that the book says that you can talk to your loved one – if there is something you need to say, you can say it. I think this is helpful when dealing with guilt or unfinished business and it has helped me in grieving. The book also recommends creating a photo frame or collage of the lost loved one. I also like that the book respects the death of pets and acknowledges the real pain felt at this loss, though the bulk of the book does deal with the death of people. This is by far the best book I’ve read aimed at children grieving a loved one’s death.