Talking to Kids

Talking to Kids about the Marathon Bombing

Talking to kids about tragic events can be difficult, especially when, as an adult, you are also trying to process the tragedy and deal with your own feelings. Near the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, you may find that kids who remember April 15, 2013, will be upset by their memories, and those who were young and largely unaware a year ago may now be old enough to have questions and to seek understanding.


Books that Heal

Books, for kids and adults, can help you address difficult issues and feelings with kids. The following book lists were developed by libraries and health/social service organizations for this purpose. Many of these books can be found in local public and school libraries in Massachusetts.


There are books for children that address themes of tragedy, loss, and separation in ways that help kids to understand and cope:

Times of Grief and Sadness: Books for Children, Boston Public Library; book list created by Boston Public Library cardholders--see how you can add to this list

Help Kids Cope with Difficult Events, Boston Public Library; book list created by Boston Public Library cardholders--see how you can add to this list

Books on Separation and Loss, Association for Library Service to Children

Recommended Books for Children Coping with Loss or Trauma, National Association of School Psychologists


There are also many books to help adult caregivers talk to kids about tragedy and help them heal:

Books for Parents, Association for Library Service to Children

Books for Teachers, Association for Library Service to Children



The following websites and organizations offer plans, tips, and resources for adults talking to kids about tragedy:

Patriot's Day Project, Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program and The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. Articles and advice specifically geared towards Boston parents at the one-year anniversary of the Marathon bombing

Talking to Kids about Tragic Events, Boston Public Library. Book lists and links to resources from kid-focused organizations. There is also a book list created by Boston Public Library cardholders that you can add to if you are a cardholder 

Talking to Your Child about Tragic Events, Boston Children's Museum. Short tip sheet for parents

Talking to Children After Tragedy, Boston Children's Hospital. Tips for parents and links to other resources

Comforting Kids in the Face of Tragedy, Washington, DC Public Library. Books and web resources for adult caregivers and their children

Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events, Indianapolis Public Library. Links to books, articles, and web resources about coping and volunteer opportunities

Resources to Help Families Deal with Traumatic News, GalleyCat: The First Word on the Book Publishing Industry. Tip sheets for parents and books for kids

Web Sites to Help Children and Adults, Association for Library Services to Children. List of websites created by the American Library Association in response to September 11, 2001

Crisis Response Resources, National Association of School Psychologists. Extensive resources covering school safety/violence prevention, crisis and terrorism response, tip sheets in other languages, and more