Teen Fiction about Death, Loss, and Grief
Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft. 2010
As Seattle sixteen-year-old Jonathan helps a dying man come to terms with a tragic event he experienced during World War II, Jonathan begins facing his own demons, especially the death of his twin brother, helped by an assortment of friends, old and new.
After by Kristin Harmel. 2010
When her father is killed in a car accident, Lacey feels responsible, so when she is given a chance to make a difference in the lives of some of her fellow students, she jumps at the chance.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. 2010
After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.
Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers. 2005
Jesse pours his heart and soul into his sketchbook to make sense of life in his troubled Harlem neighborhood and the loss of a close friend.
Before I Die by Jenny Downham. 2007
A terminally ill teenaged girl makes and carries out a list of things to do before she dies.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. 2010
After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine. 2009
A photographic negative and two surprising new friends become the catalyst for healing as fifteen-year-old Rowan struggles to keep her family and her life together after her brother's death.
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith. 2008
High school freshman Ryan Walsh, a Chicago Cubs fan, meets Nick when they both skip school on opening day, and their blossoming relationship becomes difficult for Ryan when she discovers that Nick is seriously ill and she again feels the pain of losing her father five years earlier.
Crazy by Han Nolan. 2010
Fifteen-year-old loner Jason struggles to hide father's declining mental condition after his mother's death, but when his father disappears he must confide in the other members of a therapy group he has been forced to join at school.
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart. 2010
Set against the backdrop of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Katherine cannot forgive herself when her beloved twin sister dies, and she feels that her only course of action is to follow suit.
Deadline by Chris Crutcher. 2007
Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers. 2010
As she searches for clues that would explain the suicide of her successful photographer father, Eddie Reeves meets the strangely compelling Culler Evans who seems to know a great deal about her father and could hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death.
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston. 2010
Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, sixteen-year-old Loa Lindgren tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics and computer programming, to cure herself.
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane. 2009
Eighth-grader Molly's ability to throw a knuckleball earns her a spot on the baseball team, which not only helps her feel connected to her recently deceased father, who loved baseball, it helps in other aspects of her life, as well.
Hate List by Jennifer Brown. 2009
Sixteen-year-old Valerie, whose boyfriend Nick committed a school shooting at the end of their junior year, struggles to cope with integrating herself back into high school life, unsure herself whether she was a hero or a villain.
Hold Still by Nina LaCour. 2009
Ingrid didn't leave a note. Three months after her best friend's suicide, Caitlin finds what she left instead: a journal, hidden under Caitlin's bed.
Hothouse by Chris Lynch. 2010
Teens D.J. and Russell, life-long friends and neighbors, had drifted apart but when their firefighter fathers are both killed, they try to help one another come to terms with the tragedy and its aftermath.
Hush by Eishes Chayil. 2010
After remembering the cause of her best friend Devory's suicide at age nine, Gittel is determined to raise awareness of sexual abuse in her Borough Park, New York, community, despite the rules of Chassidim that require her to be silent.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 2009
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death. The story continues in Where She Went.
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. 2007
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.
Keeper of the Night by Kimberly Willis Holt. 2003
Isabel, a thirteen-year-old girl living on the island of Guam, and her family try to cope with the death of Isabel's mother who committed suicide.
The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson. 2004
As three teenaged sisters struggle to cope with their father's sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father.
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork. 2010
Seventeen-year-old Pancho is bent on avenging the senseless death of his sister, but after he meets D.Q, who is dying of cancer, and Marisol, one of D.Q.'s caregivers, both boys find their lives changed by their interactions.
Life As It Comes by Anne-Laure Bondoux. 2007
After their parents are killed in a car accident, sisters Mado, fifteen, and Patty, twenty, try to cope, but when the irresponsible and impulsive Patty gets pregnant and expects Mado to take charge of everything, life becomes increasingly difficult.
Looking for Alaska by John Green. 2005
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
Lost & Found by Shaun Tan. 2011
Three stories explore how we lose and find what matters most to us, as a girl finds a bright spot in a dark world, a boy leads a strange, lost being home, and a group of peaceful creatures loses its home to cruel invaders.
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner. 2010
As she tries to sort out her feelings of love, seventeen-year-old Cass, a spunky math genius with an introverted streak, finds a way to memorialize her dead best friend.
Love You, Hate You, Miss You by Elizabeth Scott. 2009
After coming out of alcohol rehabilitation, sixteen-year-old Amy sorts out conflicting emotions about her best friend Julia's death in a car accident for which she feels responsible.
My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies: a Novel by Allen Zadoff
While working backstage on a high school production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," sixteen-year-old Adam develops feelings for a beautiful actress--which violates an unwritten code--and begins to overcome the grief that has controlled him since his father's death nearly two years earlier.
No More Us for You by David Hernandez. 2009
Isabel and Carlos, both seventeen, find themselves growing closer after an unexpected accident forces them to confront both the harshness and the beauty of life.
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick. 2009
Six months after her mother's death, seventeen-year-old Holly finds some happiness in a secret affair with Paul, a boy she barely knows, but after becoming friends with Paul's girlfriend, Saskia, Holly worries that her best friend, Nils, or Saskia will learn the devastating truth.
November Blues by Sharon M. Draper. 2007
A teenaged boy's death in a hazing accident has lasting effects on his pregnant girlfriend and his guilt-ridden cousin, who gives up a promising music career to play football during his senior year in high school.
One of those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones. 2004
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.
Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray. 2010
After their best friend Ross dies, English teenagers Blake, Kenny, and Sim plan a proper memorial by taking his ashes to Ross, Scotland, an adventure-filled journey that tests their loyalty to each other and forces them to question what friendship means.
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard. 2011
In 1982 Buncombe County, North Carolina, sixteen-year-old Alex Stromm writes of the aftermath of the accidental drowning of a friend, as his English teacher reaches out to him while he and a fellow boarding school student try to cover things up.
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta. 2011
After his favorite uncle's violent death, Tom Mackee watches his family implode, quits school, and turns his back on music and everyone who matters, and while he is in no shape to mend what is broken, he fear that no one else is, either.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. 2010
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.
Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde. 2007
Various people recall aspects of the life of Raquel Falcone, an unpopular, overweight freshman at Quail Run High School, including classmates, her parents, and the driver who struck and killed her as she was walking home from an animated film festival.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. 2010
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen. 2011
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
See What I See by Gloria Whelan. 2010
When eighteen-year-old Kate arrives on the Detroit doorstep of her long-estranged father, a famous painter, she is shocked to learn that he is dying and does not want to support her efforts to attend the local art school.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. 2010
In the months after her sister dies, seventeen-year-old Lennie falls into a love triangle and discovers the strength to follow her dream of becoming a musician.
Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr. 2006
When her sister kills herself, sixteen-year-old Leila goes looking for a reason and, instead, discovers great love, her family's true history, and what her own place in it is.
A Swift, Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd. 2007
Coolbar, Ireland, is a village of secrets and Shell, caretaker to her younger brother and sister after the death of their mother and with the absence of their father, is not about to reveal hers until suspicion falls on the wrong person.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. 2007
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt. 2008
Fourteen-year-old Henry, wishing to honor his brother Franklin's dying wish, sets out to hike Maine's Mount Katahdin with his best friend and dog. But fate adds another companion--the Cambodian refugee accused of fatally injuring Franklin--and reveals troubles that predate the accident.
The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen. 2004
The summer following her father's death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.
Walking Backward by Catherine Austen. 2009
After his mother dies in a phobia-related car crash, twelve-year-old Josh tries to make sense of this grief while he looks after his little brother and watches his father retreat into a fantasy world.
Waves by Sharon Dogar. 2007
Hal feels eerily connected to his comatose older sister as she hovers between life and death in a hospital. Hal believes his sister is trying to communicate with him as he tries to solve the mystery of her accident.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. 2009
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.