Eight books to comfort a bereaved sibling

08 June 2019

The death of a sibling can be an unsettling time for a brother or sister as they encounter many feelings surrounding their grief, many of which will be new and difficult to understand. A child may feel their loss in a different way to their parents and have a lot of open-ended questions. Our Family Support and Therapies teams are trained to help siblings work through their emotions and questions, often using workbooks. Books and storytelling are a powerful way for children to relate to their situation, and to be able to fully comprehend what death means.

For our Bereavement Suite Appeal, here are some recommended books to help a sibling through this very confusing and sad time, to celebrate a life as well as to mourn it:


Always My Brother by Jean Reagen

Always My Brother is a sensitive, realistic story about the process of grief, acceptance, and recovery. Phyllis Pollema-Cahill's lovely illustrations bring readers right into the heart of Becky's family as they struggle to move forward and enjoy life again after the loss of her brother, John.

No Matter What by Debi Gliori
This is a beautiful picture book for younger children about an unconditional love that continues even when we are gone. This one may be especially helpful for children who may be afraid to show their grief for fear it may impact the rest of their family.

The Dragonfly Story by Kelly Owen

For those with a faith or belief in heaven, this one is ideal. Using the tale of the waterbug and the dragonfly, this story follows Jenny and Joe after the death of their sister Abi.

Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

A timeless story set in the time of World War Two, where evacuee Will is sent to live with grumpy widower Tom. The loss of one of his friends is utterly devastating and Will’s grief is accurately and poignantly captured by Magorian. One that acknowledges a range of emotions and doesn’t shy away from the reality and pain of bereavement.

Losing Someone You Love: When a Brother or Sister Dies by Elizabeth Richter

Sixteen young people between the ages of 10 and 24 recall siblings they loved and express their loss. One for young adults, the experiences shared here will encourage others dealing with a similar pain.

What Does Dead Mean? By Caroline Jay

A beautifully illustrated book that helps to answer some of the questions children may have about what it means when a loved one has died.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Written after the loss of his son, this honest portrayal of grief shows it’s okay to feel sad, accompanied by exceptional illustrations by Quentin Blake.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

A mother tells her two children that they are all connected by an invisible string. “Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

£5 could pay for a book for a brother or sister, to help them understand and cope with their grief. Please support our Bereavement Suite Appeal by making a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/bereavement

Thank you.