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Older children's titles about compassion and bereavement

Take a look at our recommended titles for older children about compassion as part of St Elizabeth Hospice's Compassionate Communities project.

Compassionate Communities gives you the tools to help others whether it be at work, through community events or simply how to support a neighbour going through a bereavement. By developing these skills, we can build the confidence and resilience needed to care for one another before and after end of life

Charlotte’s web by E B White

This is the tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig, Wilbur, from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

Borrow Charlotte's web

The cat mummy by Jacqueline Wilson

I have a pet. I love her lots, but she is very, very boring. Even so, Mabel, my tabby cat, is a good listener. Miss Smith, my teacher, told us that in ancient Egypt people worshipped cats. Mabel could have been a cat goddess in those days.

Borrow The cat mummy

The many worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge

When Albie's mum dies, it's natural he should wonder where she's gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie's mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum's computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her.

Borrow The many worlds of Albie Bright

Clownfish by Alan Durant

Dak's dad has been dead for seven days when suddenly he reappears. He's the same in almost every way, with one startling exception: Dad has turned into a clownfish, and now lives in a tank at their local aquarium.

Dak is delighted by the news – he has Dad back, even if he isn't quite as he was before. Deciding to keep Dad's transformation a secret, Dak visits him at the aquarium as often as he can, and ends up spending so much time there that they offer him a job. This is how he comes to meet Violet, the owner's prickly but kindhearted niece; when the aquarium is threatened with closure, the pair must work together to save it.

For Dak, the stakes couldn't be higher… after all, if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to the fish?

Borrow Clownfish

A library of lemons by Jo Cotterill

A poignant story about dealing with grief through the magic of reading and friendship. Calypso's mum died a few years ago and her emotionally incompetent Dad can't, or won't, talk about Mum at all. Instead he throws himself into writing his book, 'A History of the Lemon'. Meanwhile the house is dusty, there's never any food in the fridge, and Calypso retreats into her own world of books and fiction. When a new girl, Mae, arrives at school, the girls' shared love of reading and writing stories draws them together. Mae's friendship and her lively and chaotic home - where people argue and hug each other - make Calypso feel more normal than she has for a long time. But when Calypso finally plucks up the courage to invite Mae over to her own house, the girls discover the truth about her dad and his magnum opus - and Calypso's happiness starts to unravel.

Borrow A library of lemons