Bibliotherapy and Realistic Fiction


General Bibliotherapy Booklists

Helping Books Literature Database: Author, title, pub. info, reading level, and summary for hundreds of books on about 80 topics, such as bullies (45 books), respect, stress, adoption, citizenship, problem solving, homelessness, moving, poverty violence, death, rituals, beliefs, abuse, all kinds of feelings, family relationships, and many other character traits. Searchable only, not browsable.

Parents' Primer (Allen County Public Library, IN): 'A selection of materials about difficult topics.' Author, title, publication year, and summary for each book. Some topics: All Kinds of Families (Adoption, Foster Families, Multi-Racial, Same-Sex Parents); Birth and Babies; Death; Dental, Medical and Hospital Visits; Divorce; Fears and Feelings; Illnesses (specifically listed); People with Disabilities; Self Esteem; Substance Abuse; Violence and Abuse.

Social Skills (Mary D'Eliso, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Author, title, summary for separate lists of books in these categories: communication (12 books), conflict resolution (about 30), cooperation and community (about 20), courtesy (about 10), diversity (about 50), emotions (about 15), honesty (about 10), patience (about 10), peace (about 20), responsibility (about 12), self-esteem (about 25), sharing and giving (about 45), sportsmanship (7 books), and universal similarities and differences (8 books).

Picture Books to Help Preschoolers with Fears and Worries (Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO): Author and title for each book, listed by issue: Trouble Sleeping (13 books), Making Friends (12), New Baby at Home (12), Nightmares (5), Too Big or Too Small? (5), Afraid of the Dark (4), and Monsters in My Room (5).

Mental/Emotional Challenges (Zuckerman's Barn): Children's fiction about dealing with mental and emotional challenges, such as depression, fears, problems in school, schizophrenia, mental retardation, shyness, learning disabilities, etc. About 100 books, in alpha order by title. Author, title, summary for each.

Books to Help Children Deal with Disasters, Trauma, Violence, War, Prejudice, and Death (Montgomery County Library, MD): Author, title, summary for about 60 books organised by reading level: Picture Books, Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Nonfiction, and Young Adult Fiction.

Bibliotherapy Bookshelf: Books to Help Young Children Cope (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA): Extensive list of topics, though often only a few books on each list. Author, title, webcat link for each book. Topics include: Alcoholism, Appreciating the Elderly, Conflict Resolution, various disabilities, divorce, Feelings, Getting Lost, Illness, Parents in Prison, Security Blankets, Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers, Tolerance, lots more.

Fears, Worries and Insecurities (Naperville PL, IL): 3-page PDF. 'The following list suggests some books to help your child deal with many concerns, such as darkness, storms, monsters, bullies, starting school, fire, and swimming lessons.' Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and summary for about 40 books.


Bullying

See also Picture Books About Bullies

Children's Books About Bullying (Steve Barancik): Lists author and title for about 45 books about bullying that are listed more than once (some four times) among eight different bibliotherapy sources.

Books About Bullying, Grades 3-8 (Lisa Hughes, Santa Clara County Library, CA): Author, title, summary, webcat link, and cover image for 20 books, mostly juvenile fiction and non-fiction, plus a few adult books, on bullying. Also: Bullies and Bullying: Books For Preschoolers And Early School-Age Children, with same details for 22 picture books and easy reader books. Updated Oct. 2006.

Braving Bullying (Vancouver PL, BC, CN): Author, title, pub. info, and summary for books for younger children (45 titles), older children (about 20 books, plus 6 videos), and teens (about 10 books, and 5 videos), as well as for adults.

Stop Bullying! A Booklist for Children and Young People (City of Birmingham, UK): Author, title, summary for 18 fiction titles (from picture books to teenage fiction) and 10 non-fiction titles about bullying. Updated April 2005.

Say No to Bullying (Elmhurst Public Library, IL): 4-pp. PDF. Author, title, page count, and summary for about 40 kids' fiction and 12 kids' non-fiction titles (picture books, beginning readers, grades 2-4 and grades 5-8), plus about 20 books for parents/educators, and a few videos and websites listed. Compiled Nov. 2004.

Bullying and Teasing (Louisville Free PL, KY): Author, title, summary for about 30 picture books and 8 easy readers. Updated May 2002.

Bullies (Hamilton Public Library, Ontario, CANADA): 1-page PDF. Author, title, and book cover image for about 20 kids' books -- fiction and non-fiction -- on bullying and bullies, with fiction from The Berenstain Bears and the Bully to Katherine Peterson's The Field of the Dogs.

Books About Bullying (City of Glendale Library, CA): Author, title, summary for about 20 books for teens, 12 books for younger readers, and a few DVDs.

Books About Bullies (Laurel Indalecio, El Paso Public Library, TX): Author, title, summary for about 30 books on dealing with bullies, including non-fiction, junior fiction, and easy readers. Updated Dec. 2005.

Bulying: A Selective Bibliography of Resources (Teaching Resources Center, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro): PDF. Author, title, pub. year, and summary for about a dozen books about bullying for students in grades K-5.

Books on Bullying (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families, 18 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

Bullies (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 15 books about bullying.

Bullies in Children's Literature (Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site): Narrative discussion of about 10 books featuring bullies, including picture books and juvenile fiction.

Promoting Peace (Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA): 4-page PDF. Author and title (no summaries) for about 75 picture books and junior/YA books about peaceful relationships, bullying, war, etc.

Bullying (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, and webcat link for about 25 picture books, about 30 children's fiction titles, and about 10 junior high fiction titles. Compiled July 2006.


Death, Dying and Illness

See also Picture Books About Death and Illness

Children's Books About Death (Steve Barancik): Lists author and title for about 45 books about death and dying that are listed more than once (some four times) among eight different bibliotherapy sources.

Death of Loved One (Salt Lake City PL, UT): Four separate lists: Family (20 titles), Friend (10 books), General (7 books), and Pets (6 books). Author, title, summary for each book.

Death (ATN Booklists - Nancy Keane): Author, title, publication year, and summaries (for most) for about 95 fiction and non-fiction books dealing with death and dying. Also: Death and Dying Fiction for Grades 4-7, listing author, title, summary (for most) for one picture book, one adult book, about 35 junior fiction titles, and 5 non-fiction books. Fiction titles from The Accident by Carol Carrick to You Hold Me and I'll Hold You by Jo Carson.

Facing Tragedy or Death (Zuckerman's Barn): Children's fiction about dealing with the death of someone close. About 100 books, in alpha order by title. Author, title, summary for each.

Books About Death (Laurel Indalecio, El Paso Public Library, TX): Author, title, summary for about 30 books on death and dying, including non-fiction, junior fiction, and picture books.

Death, Dying and Grieving: books for children and parents (Patricia Williams - Santa Clara County Library, CA): Author, title, summary, and webcat link for about 90 fiction (organised by grade level: picture books, grades 2-5, grades 4-7, grades 6-8) and about 20 non-fiction books about death, dying, and grieving, plus a couple for parents. Compiled Nov. 2004, revised Dec. 2006.

The Grieving Child (Park Ridge PL, IL): Author, title, summary, and identification of dead person or pet for about 65 picture books, 2 Easy Readers, and almost 20 juvenile novels.

Learning to Say Goodbye (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, webcat link, and notation of person/creature who dies, for about 70 picture books and 3 easy readers, plus some parent and teacher resources. Compiled Aug. 2006.

Helping Children Understand Death (Louisville Free PL, KY): Author, title, summary for about 30 books organised by who dies -- Family Member, Friend, Pet, Other -- and by level of reading (picture and easy, chapter and teen). Updated Oct. 2003.

Death and Dying (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 25 books about death and dying.

Books to Help Children Cope with Death (Naperville PL, IL): 2-page PDF. Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and summary for about 25 books. Compiled Oct. 2002.

Books on Death (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families, 18 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

Chronic Illness: Loved Ones (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 15 books about moms, dads, and teachers with a chronic illness (mostly cancer). Also: Chronic Illness: Siblings, with 5 titles.

Death, Grief and Healing (Cynthia Leitich - Children's Literature Resources): Author, title, recommended reading level, and summary for 10 books for ages 4-teens.

Bereavement: A Booklist for Children and Young People (City of Birmingham, UK): Author, title, summary for 9 fiction titles (mostly picture books) and 16 non-fiction titles. Updated Aug. 2004.

Choosing Children's Books: Grief (The Word Pool, UK): Author, title, summary, age level for 8 books about grief. Also: 9 books to help children deal with their feelings when a grandparent dies and 4 books about the death of a pet.

Picture Books Concerning Death and Loss (Penticton Public Library, British Columbia): Provides author and title only for over 35 books on death and loss, from A name on the quilt: a story of remembrance by Jeannine Atkins to Grandad Bill's song by Jane Yolen.

Coping with Death (Logan Library, UT): Author, title, pub. year for about 45 non-fiction and picture books about death, dying, grieving. May 2007.

Young Carers' Stories (Booklist for Children and Young People) (City of Birmingham, UK): Books about children and teens who care for others will illnesses or injuries. Author, title, summary for about 15 fiction titles, from N. Cole's Bring In The Spring to Paul Zindel's A Begonia For Miss Applebaum. Updated Dec. 2004.

The Hospital (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 12 books about being in the hospital.


Doctor and Dentist Visits

Going to the Hospital (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, webcat link, and brief summary for about a dozen picture books and easy readers, and about 20 non-fiction titles. Compiled Oct. 2006.

Hospitals, Doctors, Feeling Sick (Naperville PL, IL): 2-page PDF. Picture books, non-fiction, and videos. Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and summary for about 25 books. Compiled Aug. 2002.

My Tooth Is Loose and Other Books About Teeth (Naperville PL, IL): 2-page PDF. About 35 books about tooth traditions, missing tooth mysteries, the tooth fairy, loose teeth, and tooth care. Author, title, pub. year, and webcat link for each book.

Getting Glasses (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 12 books about getting glasses.

Going to the Doctor (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for 6 books about visiting the doctor.


Dyslexia and Reading/Writing Issues

Dyslexia Booklist for Young People (City of Birmingham, UK): Author, title, summary for six fiction titles, six non-fiction titles; also, a list of 12 biographies of famous people with dyslexia.


Family Issues: Divorce, Stepfamilies, Adoption, Siblings, New Baby

See also Picture Books About The New Baby, and The Family in Fiction for other books about family.

Bibliography: Flipside Families: Portraying People Out of the Mainstream in Children's Books (Wendy E. Betts, Notes from the Windowsill): Cover images, author, title, publication info, suggested reading levels, detailed descriptions for about 100 books, for three reading levels, about unusual families and people. Updated Nov. 2006.

Adoption and Foster Care

Adoption Literature: Juvenile Fiction A-B (William Gage - Reader's Guide to Adoption Related Literature): Huge collection of titles for 'children, teenagers or young adults which address the subject of adoption in some way (often through anthropomorphized animal characters).' Author, title, publication info, page count, cover image (for many), and summary for each title. This link is for the titles beginning with A-B. Other pages: Titles C-D; Titles E-G; Titles H-K; Titles L-M; Titles N-R; Titles S; Titles T-Z. Updated Jan. 2007.

Bibliography: Finding Families: Adoption and 'Orphan' Stories (Wendy E. Betts, Notes from the Windowsill): Detailed descriptions of about 50 books, for three reading levels, about adoption, feeling family-less, feeling like an orphan. Updated June 2006.

Books on Adoption (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families, 18 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

Adoption and Foster Care (Louisville Free PL, KY): Author, title, summary for about 15 fiction books and 10 non-fiction books. Updated June 2002.

Adoption: Books for Children (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, and webcat link for about 30 picture books and easy readers, about 10 children's fiction books, and about 10 non-fiction titles. Updated Dec. 2006.

Adoption In Children's and Young Adult Books (Cynthia Leitich - Children's Literature Resources): Author, title, recommended reading level, publication year, and summary for 12 books about adoption, for ages 4-teens.

Adoption (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 12 books about adoption.

Foster Care (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 10 books about foster care.

Adoption Books (Elmhurst Public Library, IL): 2-pp. PDF. Author and title only for about 20 picture books, and some non-fiction books for adults. Compiled Dec. 2004.

Divorce

Children's Books About Divorce, Separation and Stepfamilies (Steve Barancik): Lists author and title for about 50 books about divorce and separation that are listed more than once (some four times) among eight different bibliotherapy sources.

Books for Children and Young Adults on Divorce (Kids' Turn): Author, title, summary, and Amazon link for more than 50 books -- fiction and non-fiction -- about divorce arranged by age group (ages 4-6, ages 7-9, ages 10-14, and teens).

Divorce (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 25 books about divorce.

Divorce (Houston PL, TX): Author, title, webcat link and summary for about 20 picture books and non-fiction titles about divorce.

Divorce Books (Laurel Indalecio, El Paso Public Library, TX): Author and title only for about 35 books, in title order, including non-fiction, junior fiction, and easy readers/picture books. Updated Jan. 2004.

Divorce - Picture Books (Hamilton Public Library, Ontario, CANADA): 1-page PDF file. Author, title, publication info, summary for more than 15 kids' books on divorce, from Barbara Abercrombie's Charlie Anderson to Brigitte Weninger's Good-bye Daddy.

Divorce, Alcoholic Parents, Custody Battles, Parents Dating: It's not always the end of the world (Jasper County Public Library, IN): Authors, titles, summaries for more than 20 children's fiction titles and over 15 teen fiction titles on these topics, mostly on divorce.

Books on Divorce (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families. About 20 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

New Baby or Sibling

Lots more on the Picture Books page!

New Baby in the House (Houston PL, TX): Author, title, webcat link and summary for about 60 books about adding a new baby to the family, mostly picture books and non-fiction titles.

New Baby at Home (Salt Lake City PL, UT): Author, title, summary for about 35 books, in title order, from And Then There Were Three!...A New Arrival by Jane Seymour to When the Teddy Bears Came by Martin Waddell.

Hi, New Baby! (Park Ridge PL, IL): Author, title, summary for about 55 picture books, about 10 easy fiction, and about a dozen non-fiction books, plus a few from the parents' collection. From Janet Ahlberg's The Baby's Catalogue to Harriet Ziefert's Waiting for Baby.

New Baby in the Family (Timberland Regional Library, WA): Author, title, summary for kids' books on Explaining Pregnancy and Childbirth (9); Big Brothers, Big Sisters (16); and When the Adjustment Isn't Easy (8). Compiled Jan. 2003.

New Addition: A Booklist about Babies, Siblings and Families (Voorheesville PL, NY): Author, title, summary for about 20 easy readers and a few non-fiction titles.

Sibling Rivalry (Madison Public Library, WI): Author, title, and summary for about 15 fiction books about sibling rivalry, organised by reading level: Ages 4-8, Ages 9-12, for parents. Also two videos listed. Updated Nov. 2005.

A New Baby (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for 15 books about a new baby in the family.

A New Baby in the Family (Stonnington Library, Victoria, Australia): Author, title, webcat link for about 20 books about a new baby in the family, from Catherine Anholt's Sophie and the new baby to Jeanne Willis's What did I look like when I was a baby?. (Note: all contractions in the book titles appear as gibberish characters.)

Brothers, Sisters, and New Babies (Laurel Indalecio and Carrie Rankin, El Paso Public Library, TX): Author and title only for about 60 books about new siblings. Updated Jan. 2004.


Moving

Moving (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 20 books about moving.

Books on Moving (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families, 18 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

Books About Moving for Children Ages 2-13 (Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA): PDF. Author and title (no summaries) for about 50 picture books about moving, moving day, old friends and new, and the child left behind, as well another 45 books for older children on the same topics, with grade levels listed for each.

Moving Day (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, and webcat link for about 35 picture books and easy readers, about 30 children's fiction books, and a couple of non-fiction titles. Updated Oct. 2006.


Positive Traits, Character-Building

Book Title Suggestions for Courtesy, Honesty and Self-discipline (Sharon Ossont & Jeanne Sullivan, Fall Creek School, NY): Author, title, summary for 9 books about courtesy, 11 books on honesty, and 9 books on self-discipline. Compiled Jan. 2002.

Fairness and Justice/Responsibility Bibliography (Sharon Ossont & Jeanne Sullivan, Fall Creek School, NY): Author, title, summary for 8 books about fairness and justice and 9 books about responsibility. Compiled May 2002.

Respect for Others and Self (Sharon Ossont & Jeanne Sullivan, Fall Creek School, NY): Author, title, summary for about 15 books about respecting other people. Compiled Nov. 2001. Also: Self-Respect, with summaries for almost 20 books 'to Read Aloud to Elicit Discussion' about respect for self. Compiled Oct. 2001.

Books on Self-Confidence (Seattle Public Library, WA): Fiction (mostly) and non-fiction titles suggested for children and families, 18 books in all, from picture books up. Author, title, summary.

Character Education Books with Themes on Hope, Compassion, Courage, Diligence and Perservance (Edmonton Public Library, Canada): Author, title, webcat link for about 55 books about compassion, 50 books about courage, 25 books about diligence and perseverance, and about 20 books about hope.

Values for Young Children (Naperville PL, IL): 2-page PDF. Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and summary for about 25 books about these values: Forgiveness, Friendship, Generosity, Honesty, Kindness, Patience, Responsibility, Sharing,

Booklists with Character (Elmhurst Public Library, IL): Author, title and page count (except for books for beginning readers and middle schoolers) for books about trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship and heroism. Lists organised by reading level: Picture books (about 160 books), Books for Beginning Readers (about 80), Books for 2nd & 3rd Grade Readers (about 120 books), Books for 4th & 5th Grade Readers (about 100 books), and Books for Middle School Readers (about 120 books).

Books That Illustrate Positive Character Traits (Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO): Fiction about character in general (10 books), and then sections on Caring (4 books), Courage (4 books), Generosity (6 books), and Optimism (7 books).

Building Character (St. Charles Public Library, IL): Author and title for books on caring (9 books), cooperation (5 books), helpfulness (4 books), honesty (9 books), responsibility (4 books), self-discipline (4 books), sharing (8 books). Compiled Sept. 2002.

Courage booklist, for ages 9-12 (Project Liberty, Westchester Libraries, NY): 'These recommendations include books that celebrate courage of all kinds -- from acts of physical bravery and confronting bullies to standing up for one's beliefs. There are stories that demonstrate resilience and fortitude as well as books that deal with why terrible things happen and books about grief and handling loss.' Author, title, publisher, summary for about 115 books.


Sleep Issues, Nightmares, Fear of Dark

Night Fears, Monsters and Bad Dreams (Deschutes PL, OR): Author, title, cover image (for some), and summary for about 65 picture books (the bulk of the list) and easy readers on the topic.

Good Night, Sleep Tight: Books for Bedtime (Naperville PL, IL): 2-page PDF. Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and summary for about 25 books. Compiled Feb. 2006.

Nighttime Fears (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for 15 books about bedtime fears.


Substance Abuse

Children's Books About Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (Steve Barancik): Lists author and title for about 12 books about death and dying that are listed more than once (some four times) among seven different bibliotherapy sources. Most are non-fiction titles.

Substance Abuse: Fiction Books (Wilmette PL, IL): Author, title, webcat link for about 40 titles, most YA but also including about 10 easy reader/children's fiction titles, about smoking, drug abuse, and alcoholism.


Violence, Terrorism, and War

See also Picture Books About Peace and War

Coping with Violence: Books for Children (Sally Driscoll, Book Links, ALA): Compiled Sept. 1999. Over 30 books listed, with authors, titles, publication info, and summaries, by age/genre category: Picture Books, Nonfiction Picture Books, Books for Middle Readers, and Fiction and Nonfiction for Older Readers. Also some adult resources.

Military & War, Patriotism (Cynthia Leitich - Children's Literature Resources): Author, title, recommended reading level, publication year, and summary for about 8 books about the military and war, and 6 books about patriotism.

Books for Military Children (Jan Pye Marry): Four separate lists with author, title, publication info, ISBN, cover image, and summary (for most) for a total of about 50 books 'portraying children with parents in the U.S. military': Picture Books, Middle Grade Books, Teen Books, and Adult Books for Teens.

War and Parents in the Military (Fairfax County PL, VA): Author, title, webcat link and summary for about 25 books, organised by category: War and Military Life (all fiction), Separation Anxiety (mostly fiction), and Books About the Military (all non-fiction). Updated Feb. 2006.

Violence and Tolerance (Cynthia Leitich - Children's Literature Resources): Author, title, recommended reading level, publication year, and summary for about 25 books about violence, tolerance, diversity, and racism.

Peace

Children's Peace Bibliography (Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse): Author, title, publication info, grade level recommendation, and summary for about 170 books, from David A. Adler's Our Golda: The Story of Golda Meir to Charlotte Zolotov's The Hating Book.

Tales of Peace and Resilience (Project Liberty, Westchester Libraries, NY): 'Helping children cope in a post-9/11 world.' Author, title, publisher, summary for more than 20 books.

Peace Be With Us Booklist, K-5 (Berkeley PL, CA): 'These picturebooks have been selected as good read-alouds for grades K-5. They include fantasy, folklore and fiction; most are more suited for older listeners than for the very young.' Author, title, and summary for 10 books. Compiled 2003.

Promoting Peace (Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA): PDF. Author and title (no summaries) for about 50 picture books about peaceful relationships, bullying, war, etc, and another 25 books for older children on the same topics.

Peace Bibliography (Edmonton Public Library, Canada): Author, title, webcat link for books about peace, by age group: Pre-School-Grade 2 (about 35 titles); Fiction For Elementary/Young Adults (about 35 titles); and non-fiction and folk and fairy tales. Compiled 1997.

Images of War and Images of Peace in Books for Children (Harford County Public Library, MD): 'A Selected Bibliography of Books ... That Portray War and the Struggle for Peace.' Author, title, webcat links for about a dozen picture books, almost 20 juvenile fiction titles, about 15 YA titles, and a handful of non-fiction books.


Realistic Fiction

Realistic Fiction (Mt. Vernon Junior High, Mt. Vernon, IN): Author, title, summary for about 75 books, from After the Rain by Norma Fox Mazer to Yolanda's Genius by Carol Fenner.

Books About Real Life (Reading Matters, UK): 'Children behaving badly, bullying, etc., or quite ordinary children caught up in real events which are too big to handle.' Author, title, summary for over 20 books for younger readers and about 45 books for older readers.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction (Monroe County Public Library, IN): These books have 'plots, characters, and settings that might be found in real life. The characters in [these books] are dealing with life's ups and downs.' Author, title, and summary for over 25 books. Includes Marion Dane Bauer's On My Honor, Cynthia Voigt's Bad Girls, Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Anne Fine's The Tulip Touch, EL Konigsburg's The View From Saturday, Walter Dean Myers' Scorpions, and more.