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12 Children's Books That Help Explain Tragedies and Death

2 of 13
children's books explaining death or grief, A Terrible Thing Happened

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes


Sherman Smith is a young raccoon who saw something awful happen. He tries to forget about it, but over time it bothers him and makes his tummy feel sick. So Sherman starts to meet at school with sweet Ms. Maple, and he learns to talk about his feelings with her, which helps him feel better. The story never goes into specifics about what "terrible thing" Sherman saw, which makes it helpful for discussing everything from natural disasters to school violence to child abuse — whether experienced personally or heard about on the news or through the grapevine.

Recommended age: 4 and up

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Next: The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

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