When difficult topics arise in a child's life, books can help. Books may not solve problems, but they can help children feel like they are not alone. Books can help a child find words to talk about how they are feeling and what they need.
But how do you find the right book to match the needs of a child? As a children's librarian, I do my best to answer this kind of question every day. Visit or call your local library to ask a children's librarian about finding the right books for your child. If you don't have the opportunity to talk to a librarian one-on-one, we also have lists that can point you to some options. Here are some examples:
Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and other conditions that result in memory loss can be difficult for children to understand and accept, especially when a loved one is affected. Here are some books that may help children and families cope.
Different perspectives and methods of coping with this challenging issue.
Designed to encourage understanding and acceptance, these books also offer opportunities for conversations with children.
This list includes background reading for grown-ups as well as books to share with kids in order to spark conversation about race and racism.
Bibliotherapy means reading books to aid in the healing process. These are beautifully illustrated feel-good books about joy, kindness, overcoming obstacles, and more.
If you have ever browsed the picture book section of your library, you may have noticed a category called Life Issues. This category has books about difficult topics as well as common life experiences that can give kids anxiety, like starting preschool or losing their first baby tooth. We also have a picture book category called Feelings. These books touch on a whole range of emotions from anger and sadness to love and joy.
Adults also have the option of using KCLS BookMatch on behalf of a child who needs help finding the right book.
Books are far from the only way to help children cope, but they can have a meaningful positive impact. For more information, check out the article "Helping Children Cope Through Literature" available for free from ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center).