Double Act                            

by Jacqueline Wilson & illustrated by Nick Sharratt, 1996

Corgi Children’s, ISBN: 978-0440867593 (Also on audiocassette)

Ruby and Garnet are 10-year-old twins. They do everything together, especially since their mum died three years ago. When their dad finds a new partner and they move house, Ruby and Garnet find it hard and get into all sorts of trouble. Eventually, they settle down and learn to live with the changes. A lively and humorous book that deals sensitively with change.


Dustbin Baby                       

By Jacqueline Wilson, 2002

Corgi Children’s, ISBN: 978-0552547963 (Also on audiocassette)

April was abandoned in a dustbin as a baby on the 1st April. Having spent all her life in a children’s home and with different foster parents (one of whom committed suicide), things haven’t been easy and April is struggling. Now she’s fourteen and on her birthday, determined to find out more about her past, sets off to find some important people. This is an emotive book with a great storyline in usual Jacqueline Wilson style. It is open and honest.


Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love

By Earl A. Grollman, 1999

Sagebrush Ed Resources, ISBN: 978-0807025017

This book was written after the author spoke to thousands of teenagers and found they often felt forgotten after someone has died. Written in short, clear sentences that are easy to read, it covers feelings, different types of death and the future. This book gives the reader many options of what can happen, how s/he may feel, giving advice and reassuring readers grief is normal.


The Charlie Barber Treatment

by Carole Lloyd, 1997 Walker Books Ltd

New Edition, ISBN: 978-0744554571

Simon’s Mum died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage and he came home from school to find she had died. With his GCSE coursework piling up and having to help around the house, Simon finds it hard and doesn’t go out much with his friends. He then meets Charlie, who is visiting her Grandma, and believes their meeting was fate. Simon starts to enjoy life again and to re-build relationships with his family and friends. A sensitive and realistic book that conveys some of the thoughts and emotions of a teenage boy.


The Lost Boys’ Appreciation Society          

By Alan Gibbons, 2004 Orion Children’s Books,

ISBN: 978-1842550953

Teenage life is difficult enough for Gary and John, but when their Mum dies in a car accident, things get steadily worse. John struggles to keep the peace as Gary goes off the rails, saying his new mates are now his family. With GCSE exams looming and his Dad going out on dates, things become unbearable for John. A gripping book exploring relationships and how different people react to life events.


The Man who didn’t want to die: From The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales

Retold by Sherab Chodzin & Alexandra Kohn

Illustrated by Marie Cameron, Barefoot Books, ISBN: 1841480096

This short story is based on a Japanese folk tale and approaches death from an unusual angle. When a man decides he doesn’t want to die, he is sent to the Land of Never-ending Life and expects to meet the happiest people in the world. However, the realities of living forever are not as attractive as he thought and he consequently learns an important lesson. This story is very thought provoking and could lead to some interesting discussions.


Before I Die

by Jenny Downham David Fickling Books

ISBN: 978-0385613460

With only months left to live, 16-year-old Tessa makes a list of things she must experience: sex, petty crime, fame, drugs and true love. Downham's wrenching work features a girl desperate for a few thrilling moments before leukaemia takes her away. Although Tessa remains ardently committed to her list, both she and the reader find comfort in the quiet resonance of the natural world. Tessa's soul mate, Adam, gardens next door; a bird benignly rots in grass; psychedelic mushrooms provide escape; an apple tree brings comfort; and her best friend, Zoey, ripens in the final months of pregnancy.

The Spying Game

by Pat Moon, 2003 Politico's Publishing Ltd, Rev.

Ed Edition, ISBN: 9781842750049

Joe’s dad died in a car accident and he feels really angry towards the man who killed his father. He decides to set up a secret ‘Nightmare Plan’ to vent his anger and begins to persecute the man and his family by scratching his car and sending hate mail. This powerful book reveals the difficult emotions Joe faces both at home and at school. A very readable and fast paced book that would appeal to many young people.

Two Weeks with the Queen

by Morris Gleitzman & illustrated by Andy Bacha, 1999

Puffin Books, ISBN: 978-0141303000

Twelve-year-old Colin, an Australian boy, is sent to stay with relatives in England when his brother becomes ill with cancer. He is determined to find a way of curing his brother, which leads him into all sorts of adventures including trying to visit the Queen! Colin finds a friend in an older man named Ted who helps him express his feelings and understand what he has to do. (Also on audiocassette.)


Up on Cloud Nine

by Anne Fine, 2006

Corgi Children's, ISBN: 978-0552554657

Stol falls out of a top floor window and ends up unconscious in hospital with lots of broken bones and no-one knows whether it was attempted suicide or an accident. This book is written from the perspective of his best friend Ian whilst he is sitting by his bedside. He recalls all the fun times they have had together as well as acknowledging the slightly different way Stol sees the world. Ian captures the emotions of his own adoptive parents as well as Stol’s family and the hospital staff in an amusing yet moving way illustrating how Stol has had an inspirational effect on everyone. (Also available in audiocassette)

Vicky Angel                                      

by Jacqueline Wilson & Illustrated by Nick Sharratt, 2001

Corgi Children's, ISBN: 978-0440865896

When Jade’s best friend Vicky, is run over by a car and dies in hospital everyone at home and school starts treating her differently. ‘Vicky Angel’ then starts following Jade around, distracting her and getting her into trouble. This moving but amusing story illustrates how hard it is to carry on with every day life after a tragic accident. (Also available in audiocassette)


Ostrich Boys                                    

by Keith Gray

Definitions 2008, ISBN: 978-0099456575

It's not really kidnapping, is it? He'd have to be alive for it to be proper kidnapping.' Kenny, Sim and Blake are about to embark on a remarkable journey of friendship. Stealing the urn containing the ashes of their best friend Ross, they set out from Cleethorpes on the east coast to travel the 261 miles to the tiny hamlet of Ross in Dumfries and Galloway. After a depressing and dispiriting funeral they feel taking Ross to Ross will be a fitting memorial for a 15 year-old boy who changed all their lives through his friendship. Little do they realise just how much Ross can still affect life for them even though he's now dead. Drawing on personal experience Keith Gray has written an extraordinary novel about friendship, loss and suicide, and about the good things that may be waiting just out of sight around the corner...


Broken Soup                                    

by Jenny Valentine HarperCollins Children's Books 2008

ISBN: 978-0007229659

When the good-looking boy with the American accent presses the dropped negative into Rowan's hand, she's sure it's all a big mistake. But next moment he's gone, lost in the crowd of bustling shoppers. And she can't afford to lose her place in the checkout queue -- after all, if she doesn't take the groceries home, nobody else will. Rowan has more responsibilities than most girls her age. These days, she pretty much looks after her little sister single-handedly -- which doesn't leave much time for friends or fun. So when she finds out that Bee from school saw the whole thing, it piques her curiosity. Who was the boy? Why was he so insistent that the negative belonged to Rowan?