Over many years we have developed a list of books and resources which we and others have found helpful. If you would like further help in finding a title or would like to suggest a title to add to our listing please contact the Support and Information Team or call 0800 02 888 40.
Please note: inclusion on this list does not constitute a recommendation by Child Bereavement UK, as we are aware that whether a book is helpful or not is subjective and as such is a decision that can only be made by the individual reader.
We have put links, where possible, from the books to their Amazon page. If you click through to Amazon via the hyperlinks and purchase a book Child Bereavement UK will receive a small commission from Amazon. It will not affect your purchase price, so please consider doing this.
The books in this section are around Sudden and Unexpected Death, suitable for sudden illness, road traffic collision, suicide, and murder/manslaughter.
Coping with grief when someone you love dies suddenly
This free booklet aims to help you understand emotions and feelings commonly suffered after a sudden death. It provides straightforward advice on how to cope and who can help you to recover.
Someone has died suddenly
Author: Mary Williams and Steve Fraser
This warm and colourful book, prepared in partnership with bereavement specialists, is for suddenly bereaved children and adults to read together. It helps children understand their strong feelings and gives suggestions to help them cope. It provides straightforward information about practical things that happen after a sudden death, such as a post-mortem examination. Included are tips for adults on how to use it with young children.
Road traffic collision
Someone has died in a road crash
Author: Mary Williams OBE and Caroline Chisholm
Two young characters, who have been bereaved by a road crash, narrate the colourful book by giving caring and helpful tips. Tackling all the tough questions that children may want to ask, the book deals with the crash itself, funerals, police investigation and the possible emotions a child may experience.
Red Chocolate Elephants: For children bereaved by suicide - Book & DVD Resource
Author: Diana C.Sands
Provides adults with the understanding and assistance to support primary school aged children experiencing the death of a family member to suicide. It is not intended for children to read on their own, but as an assisted reading activity with an adult, reading a few pages and taking the time to explore concerns. Provides a sensitive and appropriate means of engaging with children around the difficult question of death through suicide.
The Little Flower Bulb
Author: Eleanor Gormally
The Little Flower Bulb tells the story of Jamie, his mum and his twin sisters, and of how Jamie comes to deal with the death of his father. Suitable for children aged 3-8, this beautifully illustrated book will be helpful for parents when talking to children bereaved by the suicide of a close relative.
Luna’s Red Hat
Author: Emmi Smid
This book tells the story of Luna, whose mum died by suicide one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. Dad talks to her and explains what happened, and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum. This book is designed to be read with children age 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. It includes a guide for parents and professionals.
Beyond the Rough Rock: Supporting a Child Who Has Been Bereaved Through Suicide
Authors: Di Stubbs and Julie Stokes
This booklet offers practical advice for families in the immediate days and weeks when suicide has been the cause of death. It is a useful booklet aimed at giving parents and professionals the confidence to involve children in discussions about the nature of a death by suicide.
After a Suicide: A Workbook for Grieving Kids
Author: Dougy Centre
In this hands-on, interactive workbook, children who have been exposed to a suicide can learn from other grieving kids. The workbook includes drawing activities, puzzles, stories, advice from other kids and helpful suggestions for how to navigate the grief process after a suicide death.
A Special Scar: The Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide
Author: Alison Wertheimer
Written and researched by a bereaved sibling, this book covers the losses of siblings, parents, children and friends.
Help is at hand: A resource for people bereaved by suicide and other sudden, traumatic death (2010 edition)
Author: Department of Health
This guide is aimed at the wide range of people who are affected by suicide or other sudden, traumatic death. It aims firstly to help people who are unexpectedly bereaved in this way. It also provides information for healthcare and other professionals who come into contact with bereaved people, to assist them in providing help and to suggest how they themselves may find support if they need it.
Murder and manslaughter
Hope Beyond the Headlines: Supporting a Child Bereaved through Murder or Manslaughter
Authors: Di Stubbs and Kate Gardner
This new book offers practical advice for families in the immediate days, weeks and months following a murder. It is written for both parents and professionals, giving them confidence to involve children and young people in understanding and managing the particular difficulties and complexities that so often surround a death by murder or manslaughter.
After a Murder: A Workbook for Grieving Kids
Author: Dougy Centre
Through the stories, thoughts and feelings of other kids who have experienced a murder, this hands-on workbook allows children to see that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences. The workbook includes drawing activities, puzzles and word games to help explain confusing elements specific to a murder, such as the police, media and legal system.