100 books like Death Is Stupid

By Anastasia Higginbotham,

Here are 100 books that Death Is Stupid fans have personally recommended if you like Death Is Stupid. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Rough Patch

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Author Of Where Is Poppy?

From my list on talking about death and loss with your kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author who typically centers humor at the heart of my books but who dipped into heartache to tell this specific story. As a former educator with four kiddos of my own, I’ve been able to witness the myriad ways kids cope with grief, everything from hiding out in blanket forts to holding a backyard funeral service for a beloved pet roly-poly. I hope my book, Where is Poppy? offers kids comfort, peace, and preparation for their own unique journeys with loss. I studied creative writing and political science at Stanford University and hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

Caroline's book list on talking about death and loss with your kids

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Why did Caroline love this book?

This may be one of the most-read books in our house, which is saying something for a book about a gardening aficionado named Evan, whose dog dies in the first few spreads.

It’s hard for even our 2-year-old not to bristle when Evan, in his grief, violently destroys his beloved garden. But watching how he unintentionally nurtures a once prickly vine into a prized-winning pumpkin has all of us cheering with each read.

I love how this story doesn’t shy away from the deep pain that comes with losing someone we love and doesn’t sugarcoat the long, often lonely process of coming back to the surface for air. Kids are ready for this honesty, and this book does it with a gentle but honest sense of purpose. 

By Brian Lies,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Rough Patch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A Caldecott Honor Book

An ALA Notable Book

A breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book that is pitch-perfect for anyone of any age who has experienced any type of loss or disappointment, from New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Brian Lies.

New York Times-bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible, and deeply personal story about friendship, loss, and renewal. The Rough Patch was awarded a Caldecott Honor and features stunning paintings from the award-winning creator of Bats at the Beach.

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their prize-winning garden, which grows…


Book cover of Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler's Guide to Understanding Death

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

About 9 months after my 3-year-old son sat in the room with us as his uncle quietly passed away, he began having panic attacks about dying. When I took him to a therapist, I realized that I’d done just about everything wrong in how I handled this loss with him. The therapist gave me this book.

The text is simple and focuses on what is important to the child, including what they are seeing in the people around them. Grief is scary to experience, and when you don’t quite understand what’s happening, it’s terrifying to watch your caretakers experience it. This book helps process all of that. I recommend inserting the name of the relative that died into all the places where the text mentions “grandma.”

By Bonnie Zucker, Kim Fleming (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something Very Sad Happened as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to explain it to a young child, particularly if you are grieving the loss yourself.

Sensitively written and gently illustrated, Something Very Sad Happened explains death in developmentally appropriate terms for two-and three-year-old childern. It reassures the child that it is okay to feel sad, and that love never dies.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about how to talk about death, answer your child's questions, and maintain your connection throughout the grieving process.

Ages 2-3


Book cover of Our Tree Named Steve

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

I did not buy this book because I thought it was a grief book. I got it to do a tree unit for my kids’ preschool. But a year after my father-in-law (also named Steve) died unexpectedly, I couldn’t finish reading this book aloud without crying.

While not a traditional grief book, this is the story of a tree that has become inextricably intertwined with a family’s daily life, until one day a storm blows it over and the children come home to Steve in a new form, as a treehouse. A great way to discuss how we can find our lost loved ones in new ways.

By Alan Zweibel, David Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Tree Named Steve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn’t stop staring at. . . .

After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he’s there when Adam and Lindsay get their first crushes, and he’s the centerpiece at their outdoor family parties. With a surprising lack of anthropomorphizing, this is a…


Book cover of Rabbit and the Motorbike

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

When I picked up Rabbit and the Motorbike, I didn’t know it had a death in it. I grabbed it for the beautiful cover and artwork. But the story inside deeply resonated with me, especially so soon after releasing my own grief book. Rabbit has a friend, Dog, who rides all over on his motorbike and comes back and tells Rabbit all his great adventures. Rabbit never goes anywhere but he loves Dog’s stories. One day, Dog dies and leaves his motorbike to Rabbit. Rabbit is mystified. Why would Dog leave him his motorbike? Rabbit never goes anywhere. But then one day he does, and the whole world opens up and now Rabbit has stories of his own to tell.

A beautiful book about how life goes on after grief and learning to live fully and make our own stories.

By Kate Hoefler, Sarah Jacoby (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rabbit and the Motorbike as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Rabbit isn't sure he'll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He's a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog's tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story? This timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance will touch every reader. For those confronting loss and those eager to explore and experience, Rabbit's bravery in the…


Book cover of Awakening from Grief: Finding the Way Back to Joy

Allen Klein Author Of Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Through Grief

From my list on grief and loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allen Klein is a former hospice volunteer and the former director of The Life-Death Transitions Institute in San Francisco. He has also spoken at over 100 hospice events around the world. In addition, several of his books have dealt with death, dying, and grief. Among them are, The Healing Power of Humor, The Courage to Laugh, and Embracing Life after Loss. Klein’s interest in the connection between humor and death and dying came out of the death of his wife, who had a wonderful sense of humor. He saw how humor helped her, and those around her, cope with this challenging circumstance.

Allen's book list on grief and loss

Allen Klein Why did Allen love this book?

This meditation teacher shows those who have experienced a loss new ways to embrace the pain so that they can feel joy again. Written for all types of loss, Welshons shows readers how grief can provide a unique opportunity to live a fuller and richer life in spite of our losses.

By John E. Welshons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Awakening from Grief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this remarkable book, Welshons weaves together his own personal awakening with those of others he's counseled to bestow a deeply felt and exquisitely expressed primer on dealing with grief. We learn new ways to embrace our pain so that our hearts can open to feel joy. We discover how grieving gives us the unique opportunity to develop deeper and fuller life experiences. Written for people who have experienced any type of loss—whether through death, divorce, or disappointment—this compelling and memorable guide will take its place among the insightful works of grief management.


Book cover of The House in the Pines

Sara Flannery Murphy Author Of The Wonder State

From my list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifelong fascination with houses and the sway they hold over us. Coming from a family that moved pretty frequently, I’ve experienced the way a house can feel like a true home, or like an unwelcoming space. Unlike the characters in The Wonder State, I don’t break into places to explore (not even abandoned spaces!). But I always take notice of the homes and structures in every neighborhood and city I visit, wondering what the residents’ lives are like and how their houses affect them. I’m a novelist who focuses on the speculative, and all three of my novels feature weird houses in some capacity.

Sara's book list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title

Sara Flannery Murphy Why did Sara love this book?

The house referenced in the title of this atmospheric thriller is no ordinary home, but I had to take quite a journey before understanding what makes this place so sinister.

In Reyes’ thriller, Maya is haunted by the seemingly inexplicable death of her friend. She suspects that the death has something to do with Frank, the mysterious man who created a rift between Maya and her friend. But Maya can’t prove anything… until she sees Frank connected to yet another woman’s bizarre death.

Without any spoilers, this particular house is unlike the others on the list, and Reyes plays with reality and perception in a fresh and intriguing way. Good luck guessing what’s going on in this eerie house in the woods… I certainly couldn’t anticipate the twists.

By Ana Reyes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House in the Pines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'AN ABSOLUTE, CAN'T-PUT-IT-DOWN THRILLER'
Reese Witherspoon (Reese's Book Club Jan '23 Pick)

'EERIE AND ATMOSPHERIC'
Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The House Across the Lake

'CREEPY'
The Times

'I READ IN A SINGLE SITTING, TOTALLY ENTHRALLED'
Lisa Gardner, Sunday Times bestselling author of One Step Too Far

'SUPERB'
M. W. Craven, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Botanist

'CHILLED ME TO THE BONE'
Andrea Bartz, author of Reese's pick We Were Never Here
________

This is the story of a house. The cabin lies deep in…


Book cover of The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies

Amy Lee Kite Author Of Goodbye, Gus

From my list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a young girl, I always turned to writing to work through anything that was happening in my life, ranging from the first time I experienced loss to my parents’ divorce. I have since published three children’s books on tough topics as I have aimed to provide parents, children, and teachers with tools to discuss loss and change. My most recent book, Goodbye, Gus is specifically about the loss of a pet. My dad died when I was 21, and that was the first death (other than my dogs) that I ever experienced. I was able to experience first-hand the fact that the loss of my pets helped prepare me to cope with grief, and I also learned that we can all focus on what we did have and hang on to those memories forever. 

Amy's book list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet

Amy Lee Kite Why did Amy love this book?

This book is full of comforting information for those who have lost a pet and are going through the grieving process. I remember reading this book and feeling so grateful that a psychologist put together this information specifically for those of us who are coping with losing a pet. I love my dogs, and they are a big part of my family. When I have lost them, I feel devastated. Pet grief is a bereavement process that deserves attention, care, and understanding, and this book helps us to understand that intense grief. 

By Wallace Sife,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Loss of a Pet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Understanding helps heal the hurt when you lose a pet.

This award-winning book has been hailed as the seminal work in the field. And now the fourth newly revised and expanded edition offers so much more to the bereaving pet owner. This edition also includes a significant new way of considering the meaning of afterlife for us and our pets. It discusses the topic from a twenty-first century scientific perspective that is very different from existing religious or metaphysical ones, offering a new comfort to skeptics and agnostics as well.

This book will help you in your healing from that…


Book cover of Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir

Debbie Chein Morris Author Of We Used to Dance: Loving Judy, My Disabled Twin

From my list on getting through life’s challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of fifty-three, I was suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for my disabled twin sister who was unable to sit, stand, feed herself, eat solid foods, or communicate. Up to that point, that role had been my mother’s with the help of home-attendants; but my mother was aging and the care provided by the ever-changing attendants was wanting. I was forced to place Judy in a nursing home. The challenge left me overwhelmed with the responsibility of overseeing her care and there were days I wondered if I could go on. With the support of family and friends, I was able to make it through.

Debbie's book list on getting through life’s challenges

Debbie Chein Morris Why did Debbie love this book?

In May of 2015, two-year-old Greta Greene was hit in the head by bricks falling from a nearby building while sitting on a bench with her grandmother. She died shortly after.

I remember hearing of it on the news and wondering how the parents and grandmother could survive such a trauma. Jayson Greene’s book tells us how. For me, it was a reminder that, even when the worst happens and we find ourselves in the dark of the tunnel, the light can shine again.

Reading this book I realized that this family made it through the same way I got through my own trauma: one step at a time, one day at a time; sometimes even just one small moment at a time.

By Jayson Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Once More We Saw Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss'
Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

'Extraordinary . . . both heartbreaking and life-affirming . . . you will find your heart magically expanded'
Mail on Sunday

'Unimaginably poetic . . . I learned a lot reading this book and have passed it on to others'
Jessie Cave, Red Magazine

'Greene's account of his loss is remarkably uplifting. It's hard-won proof that love can survive our worst fears and our darkest, most desperate emotions'
Daily Mail

'This minutely observed memoir will surely be helpful to…


Book cover of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Daniel P. Aldrich Author Of Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

From my list on the importance of community during disasters.

Why am I passionate about this?

We moved to New Orleans in July 2005. We had six weeks in our first home, filling it with furniture, buying a new car, and taking advantage of my first job. When Hurricane Katrina collapsed the levees holding back the nearby lakes, our home – and those of 80% of the city – filled with water. As I waited for FEMA and insurance to help us, I saw instead it was our friends, friends of friends, and faith-based organizations that helped us get back on our feet. Using our own experiences as a start, I traveled to India and Japan to study how communities around the world survived and thrived during shocks. 

Daniel's book list on the importance of community during disasters

Daniel P. Aldrich Why did Daniel love this book?

Sheryl Sandberg movingly tells the story of losing her husband suddenly and having to continue with her family on her own. Grief seems a solitary process that we have to work through by ourselves. But she describes how her process of recovery required connections with friends, with family, and with institutions in her neighborhood. All of us have to deal with personal tragedies like the deaths of loved ones, and I appreciated how this book combined her sharing her personal experience with broader expertise from psychology and social science.

By Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Option B as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. "I was in 'the void,'" she writes, "a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe." Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to…


Book cover of Unsaid

Jessica Ingold Author Of The Spirit Catchers

From my list on contemplating your own mortality.

Why am I passionate about this?


Jessica's book list on contemplating your own mortality

Jessica Ingold Why did Jessica love this book?

Told from the perspective of Helena, a veterinarian whose career was cut short by—you guessed it!—cancer, this book explores the ethical implications of testing on animals while unpacking the messy reality of grief. As Helena’s husband, David, struggles to care for his late wife’s houseful of beloved animals, ghost-Helena reflects on the meaninglessness of her existence. I think we all like to believe we leave some kind of impact on the world, but what if we don’t? And who are we to call ourselves superior beings when other creatures are forced to suffer at our expense?

By Neil Abramson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unsaid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

UNSAID is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband David. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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