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October 29, 2019

15 YA Books for Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month

15 YA Books for Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month

By: Erin Weir

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard for everyone. Siblings in particular can often be overlooked in the grieving process. November is Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month and in the spirit of healing, I have compiled a list of newer teen fiction titles that deals directly with this experience. While there are several nonfiction books out there to help with grief, it can be hard to find a book that resonates with teens today. It’s my hope that someone going through the experience of losing a sister or a brother can find a connection with these books and know that they are not alone.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson (2019): After their friend Steph is murdered, Quadir, Jarrell, and Steph’s sister Jasmine promote his music under a new rap name, the Architect, but when his demo catches a music label rep’s attention, the trio must prove his talent from beyond the grave.

Sorry for Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley (2019): Pup Flanagan routinely settles for less and since his brother, the only one who made him think he could be more, dies, he basically sleepwalks through life, until a photography assignment changes his view of things.

This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner (2019): Relates a seriously bad day in the life of Pennsylvania teenager Kirby Burns, in which he faces dangerous classmates, discovers that a friend is hiding a terrible secret, and grapples with the one-year anniversary of his sister’s death.

We Were Beautiful by Heather Hepler (2019): Fifteen-year-old Mia’s scarred face is a constant reminder of the car crash that killed her sister, but a summer at her grandmother’s Manhattan apartment and new friends help her find happiness again.

Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener (2019): Just starting to fall in love, Aggi and Max have their budding relationship shattered when a fatal car accident involving their older siblings takes place leading to a restraining order and forced separation.

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick (2019): After being injured fighting fires caused by German bombing in 1944 London, Harry learns that his soldier brother has been killed and he descends beneath the city on an otherworldly journey inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk (2018): Autumn, Shay, and Logan, whose lives intersect in complicated ways, each lose someone close to them and must work through their grief.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (2018): When Marvin Johnson’s twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (2018): Nearly a year after his brother’s suicide, sixteen-year-old Cliff “Neanderthal” Hubbard gets recruited to make life better at Happy Valley High by the school’s quarterback, who claims he had a vision from God.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (2018): After her sister and songwriting partner, Lea, dies in an automobile accident, seventeen-year-old Rumi is sent to Hawaii with an aunt she barely knows while she and her mother grieve separately.

That Night by Amy Giles (2018): After the shooting in their Queens neighborhood that killed their brothers, Lucas and Jess are struggling to cope with the after-effects on themselves, their families, and the community when they become friends at an after-school job.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (2017): When her sister, considered the perfect Mexican daughter by her parents, dies, Julia tries to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family despite her own grief and her mother’s penchant for pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (2017): As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn’s fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray (2017): Jonny and Neve, both fifteen, bond after her twin brother, in whose shadow she has been living, becomes Jonny’s just-in-time heart donor.

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi (2017): What begins as just a normal Tuesday becomes a day that will shatter sixteen-year-old Kai’s life forever. All it takes is a letter, tucked into a pile of their family’s mail. It’s from Kai’s older sister, Jen, who lives nearby. And it begins, “If you are reading this, I am already gone.” Jen has committed suicide.

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