Compiled by a BHS Student

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: since this story is told through Death’s perspective in a time very different from ours today, I think this book would provide a sense of distanced grief. Exploring it, explaining it and feeling it in ways different (but also similar) to how a lot of the community is feeling now.

Ghost Word Song by Erica Waters: the main character deals with the loss of her father and has to fight her way to acceptance through a magical banjo. It s a beautiful story full of friendship and music.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: this book is written by the same author of I’ll Give You the Sun (!!!) so she navigates grief in an artistic way. The main character in this story is dealing with the loss of her sister. It has been a while since I read the book, but from what I remember, it is a romance, but does explore grief as a high school student. Lots of great quotes too.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: this has to be one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read! It’s about a young boy dealing with the loss/close to loss of his mother, but the grief manifests as a monster. It might a little too close to home right now because, from what I remember, it is a deep dive into grief/death in a metaphorical way. Still a beautiful read.

A few books I haven’t read but that I’ve heard are good on this topic:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: I haven’t heard one bad thing about this book. I don’t think it deals with as much loss, but more of finding beauty in life.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: not sure how safe this is to recommend just because of how close to the situation in the story is to what happened here. The main character ends up in a car accident where all of her family dies, but she has to make the decision whether she wants to continue living without them or not. I’ve seen a lot of people reading this, but haven’t had the strength to pick it up myself.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: I haven’t heard much about this one other than that it’s good. From what I gather, it’s another story about finding all the reasons life is good, beautiful and why it’s worth living.

Words in Deep Blue by Cathy Crowley: this story seems like a comfort book, definitely a lighter story than the others I’ve recommended. I think the story is about how the main character had recently lost her brother and learns to find comfort in a bookstore and old friends.