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Bibliotherapy Books for Children and Young Adults: Death or Serious Illness

This guide details resources for bibliotherapy, especially for use in SPSY 6350 - School-Based Interventions: Children, Youth and Families and SPSY 6400 - School-Based Interventions: Groups, Classrooms and Systems.

General Books

The Smell of Old Lady Perfume

Summary:  When sixth-grader Chela Gonzalez's father has a stroke and her grandmother moves in to help take care of the family, her world is turned upside down.

Julia's Kitchen

Summary:  When her mother and younger sister are killed in a house fire, eleven-year-old Cara struggles to find a way to deal with her emotions and to reach out to her grieving father.

Keeper of the Night

Summary:  Thirteen-year-old Isabel, a girl living on the island of Guam, and her family try to cope with the suicide of Isabel's mother.

Blackberry Stew

Summary:  When her Grandpa Jack dies, Hope remembers the time she went with him to pick blackberries, and she realizes that he will continue to live in her and in her memories.

Kira-Kira

Summary:  Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill. kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.