ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York


County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Suggested Reading for Grandparents & Grandchildren


Topics & Common Questions


Suggested Reading for Grandparents & Grandchildren

Books for Children & Adult Caregivers

Suggested Reading for Grandparents & Grandchildren

When someone you love dies or is gone for a long period of time the natural reaction is grief. Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Even before children are able to talk, they grieve when someone they love dies or is absent. Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and who are willing to talk openly about the death or prolonged absence of the child's parent will help the children understand that grief is a natural feeling. Children need adults to confirm that it's all right to cry and be sad, and that the hurt they feel now won't last forever.

A child's questions need to be answered in language they can understand. Adults shouldn't worry about having all the answers. The most important thing is to answer as best you can and in a caring way.

The following is a list of books for children and books for adult caregivers that may help:

Books for Children

Author: Martha Whitmore Hickman
Title: Robert Lives With His Grandparents: A Concept Book
Ages: 4 - 8
Date: 1995
Robert’s parents are divorced, and he lives with his grandparents. When his grandmother decides to attend Parent’s Day at his school, he is afraid of what the other kids will think of him.

Author: Jeanne Warren Lindsay
Title: Do I Have a Daddy?
Ages: 4 – 8
Date: 1991
A read aloud book to help caregivers respond to children’s questions about a parent they have never seen.

Author: Tololwa Mollel
Title: Kele’s Secret
Ages: Elementary School – picture book
Date: 1997
A young African boy who lives with his grandparents on their coffee farm follows their hen in order to find out where she is hiding her eggs.

Author: Cindy Klein Cohen and John T. Heiney
Title: Daddy’s Promise
Ages: 4 – 8
Date: 1997
Addresses all the different feelings children may have as they grieve a loved one. (Available through bookstores or amazon.com)

Author: Brigitte Weninger
Title: Good-Bye Daddy!
Ages: 4 – 9
Date: 1995
After spending the day with his daddy, a young bear is sad and angry that his father has to leave. The bear comes to learn that even when a father lives in another home, the love and caring never go away.

Author: Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Title: Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families
Ages: 5 – 10
Date: 1986
Dinosaur characters depict the range of experiences and feelings encountered by children of divorced parents.

Author: Elizabeth Weitzman
Title: Let’s Talk About When A Parent Dies
Ages: 5 - 9
Date: 1996
Gives advice on surviving the death of a parent and suggests what feelings and behaviors to expect from others.

Author: Jill Krementz
Title: How It Feels When a Parent Dies
Ages: 8 – 13
Date: 1981
Children, ages seven through sixteen, tell how it feels to lose a parent through death.

Author: Maureen K. Wittbold
Title: Let’s talk About When a Parent is in Jail
Ages: Early Elementary
Date: 1997
Discusses why jail exits, why people go to jail and how to deal with a person in jail.

Author: Jill Hastings and Marion Typpo
Title: An Elephant in the Living Room: the Children’s Book and
An Elephant in the Living Room: a Leader’s Guide for
Helping Children of Alcoholics

Ages: 4 – 8 and their caregivers
Date: 1994
These books help children from alcoholic homes learn about addiction and teach new ways to handle their feelings.

Author: J.K. Rowling
Title: Harry Potter - series of 4 books
Ages: 9 - 12
Date: 1998 - 2000
Harry Potter, whose parents were killed when he was a baby, is being raised by his loathsome aunt and uncle. On his eleventh birthday, he learns he is really a wizard and has quite a special past and future.

Author: Ruth White
Title: Belle Prater’s Boy
Ages: Young Adult - fiction
Date: 1996
When Woodrow’s mother disappears suddenly, he moves to his grandparent’s home in a small Virginia town. He befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Author: Richard A. Gardner
Title: The Boys and Girls Book about Divorce, With an Introduction for Parents
Ages: Young Adult
Date: 1992
A warm reassurance and honest answers to questions frequently asked by children of divorced parents.

Author: Rhoda McFarland
Title: Drugs and Your Parents
Ages: Young Adult
Date: 1997
How to survive in a chemically dependent household and how to get help for yourself and a parent.

Author: Barbara Hermie Draimin
Title: Everything You Need to Know When a Parent Has AIDS
Ages: Young Adult
Date: 1994
Facts and information about AIDS for children of AIDS patients.

Author: Jay Schleifer
Title: Everything You Need to Know When Someone You Know Has Been Killed
Ages: Young Adult
Date: 1998
Discusses death and the fear of death, explains the emotions experienced when someone you know is killed and gives strategies to cope with them.

Books for Adult Caregivers

Author: Sylvie De Toledo
Title: Grandparents as Parents: A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family
Date: 1995
Guidebook for any grandparent who is raising a grandchild.

Author: Deborah Doucette-Dudman
Title: Raising Our Children’s Children
Date: 1997
The social, legal and emotional issues faced by grandparents as parents, such as custody, housing and prior mistreatment of the children.

Author: Lillian Carson
Title: The Essential Grandparent: A Guidebook to Making a Difference
Date: 1996
An easily readable book that honors grandparenthood, dispelling grandparenting myths and helping readers develop their own grandparenting strategy.

Author: Eda J. Leshan
Title: Grandparenting in a Changing World
Date: 1997
Insightful, witty advice on such topics as grandparents who remarry, grandchildren who live far away, grandparents raising their grandchildren and more.

Author: Lenora Madison Poe
Title: Black Grandparents As Parents
Date: 1992
Focuses on the adjustments grandparents must make socially, emotionally and economically when raising their grandchildren.

Author: Traci Truly
Title: Grandparents Rights: With Forms
Date: 2nd Edition 1999
Simple, legal explanation of the law regarding grandparent custody and visitation rights. Includes legal forms and example cases.

Author: Carole B. Cox
Title: To Grandmother’s House We Go and Stay: Perspectives on Custodial Grandparents
Date: Date: 1999
Information for custodial grandparents.

Author: Joan Callander
Title: Second Time Around; Help for Grandparents Who Raise Their Children’s Kids
Date: 1999
Information and support for grandparents raising grandchildren, including a discussion of the issues facing kids today.

Author: Bob Rowland and Sally Houtman
Title: To Grandma’s House, We…Stay: When You Have to Stop Spoiling Your Grandchildren and Start Raising Them
Date: 1999
Help with understanding the new relationship with the custodial grandparent and child. Includes a list of helpful resources.

Author: Joseph Crumbley and Robert L. Little
Title: Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care
Date: 1997
Discussion of the many issues facing family members raising others’ children, from the perspectives of the child, the caregiver and the parent.

Author: Rebecca M. Yaffe, and Lonnie F. Hoade
Title: When a Parent Goes to Jail: A Comprehensive Guide for Counseling Children of Incarcerated Parents
Date: 2000
How to help children cope with their emotions and the legalities of their parent’s situation. (Available through bookstores and amazon.com)

Author: Silverman Janis
Title: Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
Date: 1999
An art and activity book to help children cope with the death of a loved one. (available through bookstores and amazon.com)

Author: Doughy Center Staff
Title: 35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child
Date: 1999
Information to help grieving children taken from the stories of other children and adolescents who have lost a loved one. (Available through bookstores and amazon.com)

Author: Phyllis Rolfe Silverman
Title: Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children’s Lives
Date: 2000
Offers a practical and theoretical approach to how children cope with death and how to support and help them.

Author: Earl A. Grollman
Title: Bereaved Children and Teens: A Support Guide for Parents And Professionals
Date: 1995
Understanding the age, religious and cultural differences in children coping with death.

Author: Cynthia MacGregor
Title: “Why Do People Die?” Helping Your Child Understand – With Love and Illustrations
Date: 1998
Genuine, sensitive story designed to read aloud to young children to answer questions about death.