A Tough Subject

“I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read.” – George R. R. Martin


I relate to this quote because reading, for me, is about escaping my own life and becoming someone else. I mainly read fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and horror. So I often forget that, other than escapism, stories can be used as a source of comfort when going through a challenging personal time, such as after experiencing the death of a loved one. I recently saw an outdated list of picture books that dealt with death and dying, and I thought the list could use a refresher. After some investigation and comparison, here are my top 5 choices. (My advice: Don’t read them without a tissue handy!)


  • The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (author) and Joanne Lew Vriethoff (illustrator)

  • Sun Kisses/Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo (author) and Courtenay Fletcher (illustrator)

  • A Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia


  • The Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland (author) and Thea Baker (illustrator)


  • Ida, Always by Caron Lewis (author) and Charles Santoso (illustrator)



2 thoughts on “A Tough Subject

  1. I have always loved Freddie the Leaf. Sadly we all need these types of books as death is part of life.
    On a happier note. Stephen King newest book The Outsiders. Is really good

  2. I agree with you about the advantage of books helping you through life’s journey. There are many times that my husband will laugh at me when he sees me blubbering over a book because of sad and/or happy ending. However I don’t mind. I struggled as a child with reading and even had to go to summer School, but Reading is one of my hobbies today. I read to my children when they were in my womb and continued reading to them as they were growing up. They all were able to read at an early age. We took turns reading whole books or a chapter or two each night before we went to bed.

    I now read a about a book or two a week when I’m not taking any college classes. In fact, I won a reward from our Public Library, for my paper on “What does your Library Card mean to you?” when i was taking classes a Junior College in IL. I encouraged my children to enter the contest and I entered it too, Since It was opened to students and there was no age. no age limitations, I thought why not.. I was the only adult that entered. Therefore I got a special recommendation.
    Today our tradition is continuing.as I read to my grandchildren and they to me. My granddaughter reads me a chapter of her book each morning while waiting for bus and each day after school when she does her reading homework.
    I attend the Scholastic Book Fairs at the where I teach and my grandchildren’s schools.
    I also buy books from the Scholastic Book Magazines at least once a month. I order books to consign with my lesson plan themes or other books that I feel would benefit my students and/or grandchildren.

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