Books by Theme
In the wake of September 11 and other tragedies both big and small, it's sometimes difficult to know what to say to children. Here are some books — about cultural acceptance, emotions, and difficult times others have faced — that can help you begin conversations that heal. Please preview these books to decide whether or not they are appropriate for the children in your life.
Life Doesn't Frighten Me
Renowned poet Maya Angelou's text urges us to face what frightens us, whether it is real or imaginary. Jean Michel Basquiat's full-color paintings capture just how challenging it is to be brave.
Mrs. Katz and Tush
In this special Passover story, Larnel Moore, a young African-American boy, and Mrs. Katz, an elderly Jewish woman, develop an unusual friendship through their mutual concern for an abandoned cat named Tush. Together they explore the common themes of suffering and triumph in each of their cultures.
One April Morning
Written by the children in Oklahoma City, this book captures the fear, sadness, and confusion they experienced as they heard about the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building, and the strategies they used to begin the healing process.
Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss
Loaded with positive, life-affirming advice for coping with loss as a child, this guide tells children what they need to know after a loss--that the world is still safe; life is good; and hurting hearts do mend. Written by a school counselor, this book helps comfort children facing of the worst and hardest kind of reality.
In this Caldecott Medal book, a boy and his mother come to know a Korean neighbor when their cats escape during the Los Angeles riots. Boldly colored paintings and textured collage illustrations help distance readers while evoking the tension of the time.
Some Things Are Scary
Feiffer's distorted perspectives on the things that "loom large" capture a range of human emotion with his usual deftness. Kids will commiserate with the saucer-eyed boy as he skates out of control, is afraid he won't be picked for either team, or gets stuck high in a tree. And maybe things won't be so scary next time.
A boy describes the trip he takes with his father to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Together, they look for the name of his grandfather, who died before he was born.
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