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When a Friend Dies 2019

When a Friend Dies

A Book for Teens About Grieving & Healing
(Updated 3rd Edition)


The death of a friend is a wrenching event for anyone at any age and can spark feelings that range from sadness to guilt to anxiety. Teenagers especially need help coping with grief and loss. This sensitive book answers questions grieving teens often have, like “How should I be acting?” “How long will this last?” and “What if I can’t handle my grief on my own?” The book also addresses the complicated emotions that can accompany the death of an acquaintance, as opposed to a close friend. The advice is gentle, non-preachy, and compassionate; recommended for parents and teachers of teens who have experienced a painful loss.

This updated edition of a classic resource includes new quotes from teens as well as insights into losing a friend or an acquaintance in a school shooting or through other violence. The book also features updated resources and recommended reading, including information on suicide hotlines and other support for anyone in crisis.

Part of Self-Help for Teens®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support teens’ social-emotional health.
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Paperback $12.99 84228 Paperback 84228 $12.99

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ISBN: 978-1-63198-422-8
Reading Level: Grade 7 & up
Interest Level: Ages 11 & up
Guided Reading Level: Z
Lexile Measure: 790L
Illustrated: B&W photos
Trim Size: 5" x 7"
Page Count: 136

Praise for When a Friend Dies

“This compassionate book gracefully addresses the unique needs of teen grievers. It is accessible without being patronizing and allows them to work through their experience by building on the stories of others.”—Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition

When a Friend Dies offers a voice of understanding and guidance during the very personal and often lonely experience of loss. Dr. Gootman’s book is a friend who shares our journey of grief, a friend who does not take offense if we just want to be alone, and a friend we can introduce to others who need comfort. I am truly grateful for this book.”—John Bell, singer/guitarist, Widespread Panic

“Makes learning how to grieve as painless and soothing as possible . . . Gootman’s non-preachy and compassionate book gently handles this sensitive topic.”—NEA Today

“A great starting place for young people who are hurting.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

“This compassionate, user-friendly book lists pages of resources and suggested reading, and should be made available to teens.”—School Library Journal

“A tool with compassion and genuine understanding with advice that a grieving teen needs . . . This book should be on the shelf of any parent, teacher, counselor, or youth worker.”—Youthworker

Awards for the Previous Edition of When a Friend Dies
  • Recommended Books for the Reluctant YA Reader, American Library Association
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Quick Pick”

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User Reviews

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October 1, 2019 / Janet Robertson - Georgia
A Beautifully Written Book

Before retiring from the University of Georgia, I bought and kept on hand each academic year five of these beautifully written books to give away to students who had lost a friend through death. Unfortunately, each year that I taught, I might have one left by the end of spring semester, but some students would email me, or stop by my office, to tell me how much insight, blessing, and help they had gained from this book.


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