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When tragedy strikes, it can be challenging for caregivers to feel equipped to field questions and navigate hard but necessary conversations with children.

Here are some books and resources for children and caregivers that can help us all navigate these frightening times, together.

Books for Kids*

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
A moving picture book about empathy and kindness, sure to soothe heartaches big and small. Written for ages 2-5.

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain
A touching story about a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. A heartfelt story that ensures readers won’t suffer from anxiety in silence – no matter what shape their worry monster might take. Written for ages 3-5.

There Might be Lobsters by Caroline Crimi
A little dog’s paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller arrives in need. Written for Preschoolers.

On the News: Our First Talk about Tragedy by Dr. Jillian Roberts
Gently introduce young children to the realities of natural disasters, terrorism, and other forms of tragedy. Written for elementary schoolers.

Love by Matt de la Peña
Celebrate the bonds of love that connect us all. Written for elementary schoolers.

A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang
A beautiful story about love and loss, family and friendship. Written for elementary schoolers.

The Lost Things Club by J. S. Puller
Visiting her lovable, younger cousin in Chicago over the summer, twelve-year-old Leah tries to help him recover from the trauma of a school shooting.

Aftermath by Emily Barth Isler
After her younger brother’s death from a heart defect, twelve-year-old Lucy moves to a town that was devastated by a school shooting four years earlier, where she must navigate different kinds of grief. Written for middle schoolers.

*Not all books are appropriate for all children. Caregivers and parents know best what is suitable for their individual children.

Books for Caregivers

When the World Feels like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids by Dr. Abigail Gewirtz
Dr. Gewirtz shows how the most basic tool, conversation, offers real help to children in dealing with worries, stress, and other negative emotions caused by problems in the world.

Conversations with My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age by Dina Alexander and Melody Bergman
At school and in our communities our kids are talking about BIG topics and they have questions. Caregivers can help our kids by connecting with them in deep and meaningful conversations about important topics.

Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline, MD, & Jim Fay
Trusted by generations of parents, counselors, and teachers to lovingly raise responsible children. Parenting with Love and Logic includes solutions for dozens of specific topics including navigating crisis and grief.

More Resources:

Look for the Helpers Song, Video from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS Kids
PBS Kids Talk about Feelings and Emotions, Video from PBS Kids
Talking to Children about Violence, Article National Association of School Psychologists
Helping Your Child Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a School Shooting, Article by American Psychological Association
7 Books to Share with Kids during Tough Times, Article by National Public Radio
What to do when the News is Scary, Article National Public Radio
Explaining the News to Our Kids, Article by Common Sense Media


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