Books for kids that deal with difficult issues

After my kid recently effected a Nazi salute at a party and asked me what “Heil Hitler” meant (she’d been watching The Sound of Music), it got me thinking about when to introduce your kids to difficult subjects. It obviously depends on your child in question and it’s going to happen at different ages but since my 8-year-old started asking a ton of questions about Hitler and the Second World War, I’ve since found some great intro books to WW2 and a great app on the D-Day landings. It got me thinking that it might be useful to signpost where to find some other good “difficult” books for kids.

Books are a great way to introduce difficult issues as by reading together we can discuss things in detail (and pictures help!). If you’re looking for help with grappling some serious issues you could do worse than starting here:

Let me know if you find any others.

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3 thoughts on “Books for kids that deal with difficult issues

  1. Since the horrendous attacks in Paris last weekend, the issue of how to convey terrible news to children has never been more relevant. Here in France, parents have responded in very different ways (some have chosen to not tell their kids at all, but that proved a moot point today as they were all told before the minute’s silence about what had happened as part of a Directive from the Ministry of Education).

    Still, it’s difficult to find the words to support this at home. If you speak French, this looks like a great start. It’s a leaflet for kids with a tearful Eiffel Tower: There is also a good micro-site at Le P’tit Libé here to discuss with kids: Both suggestions came from this Guardian article ( which makes some good suggestions about having lots of conversations, hugs and a little bit of Paddington Bear. Wise words indeed.

  2. Thank you for sharing these book lists! I have definitely found that children can relate to stories and pictures more than trying to have a heavy deep and real discussion. The book “Do you See What I See?” by author Katrina Jane ( needs to be considered for a future list for sure. It is a beautiful picture book that depicts a little girl who is visited by her grandmother who has passed away and speaks to her. This is a very difficult subject to cover and I think the author really does a fantastic job at making it easy to understand and relate to. It’s a valuable resource for parents and children

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