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A matter of life and death

Butter

It can often be difficult to discuss death and bereavement with teenagers, or even for teenagers to do so with parents/carers.

In the wake of debate and controversy in the media about books for teenagers exploring difficult topics such as terminal illness or suicide, we recommend some books that deal frankly with issues of life and death.

  • Elsewhere

    Author: Gabrielle Zevin

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  • Elsewhere

    Author: Gabrielle Zevin

    Life ends catastrophically suddenly for Elizabeth Hall, in a road accident. Not for her a future filled with love, marriage and ch…

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  • Next

    Author: Various Editor: Keith Gray

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  • Next

    Author: Various Editor: Keith Gray

    Following on from the success of Losing It, Keith Gray has edited a new collection of eight short stories for young people explori…

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  • Undone

    Author: Cat Clarke

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  • Undone

    Author: Cat Clarke

    Jem and Kai have always been best friends - until Kai commits suicide and Jem's world collapses.

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  • Slog's Dad

    Author: David Almond Illustrator: Dave McKean

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  • Slog's Dad

    Author: David Almond Illustrator: Dave McKean

    Slog's dad is in heaven, but Slog is sure he'll see him again some day. David Almond and Dave McKean tell a sensitive story of gri…

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  • Red Ink

    Author: Julie Mayhew

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  • Red Ink

    Author: Julie Mayhew

    This beautifully-written coming of age story interrogates family, identity, memory and the myths and superstitions we create for o…

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  • Long Way Down

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Chris Priestley

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  • Long Way Down

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Chris Priestley

    Written in verse, Long Way Down is breathtakingly gripping and spectacular. You almost read it without breathing; the ac…

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  • Car Wash Wish

    Author: Sita Brahmachari

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  • Car Wash Wish

    Author: Sita Brahmachari

    Fourteen-year-old Hudson has Asperger's Syndrome, and knows his brain works differently. This entertaining and thought-provoking s…

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  • Butter

    Author: Erin Jade Lange

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  • Butter

    Author: Erin Jade Lange

    Bullied at school, and weighing over 400 lbs, Butter feels he has nothing left to live for, and announces he will eat himself to d…

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  • Every Shiny Thing

    Author: Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

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  • Every Shiny Thing

    Author: Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

    Alcohol addiction, non-traditional families, bereavement and social inequality are just some of the themes in this unusual coming-…

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  • Skin Deep

    Author: Laura Jarratt

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  • Skin Deep

    Author: Laura Jarratt

    The car crash that left her best friend dead has left Jenna with scars both emotional and physical. She feels as though her life i…

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  • Ghost Boys

    Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes

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  • Ghost Boys

    Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes

    In Chicago, a white police officer shoots and kills black 12-year-old Jerome, mistaking his toy gun for a real one. As a ghost, yo…

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  • A Monster Calls

    Author: Patrick Ness From an idea by Siobhan Dowd Illustrator: Jim Kay

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  • A Monster Calls

    Author: Patrick Ness From an idea by Siobhan Dowd Illustrator: Jim Kay

    Connor's mum has cancer and life is changing. There is the nightmare, then there is school, where people avoid him, or persecute h…

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