Books on Helping Children through Crisis or Trauma

For Kids

The Hurt by Ted Doleski. When a friend calls Justin a name, he begins to harbor a hurt — “like a big round stone, all cold and hard.” It grows as Justin keeps his feelings to himself and disappears only after he talks to his dad. Only then can he let go of the hurt.

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen. Written in a children’s book format — with simply worded concepts, wonderfully colored pictures, this book talks losing someone (unnamed) and covers the stages of grief.

The Scared Child: Helping Kids Overcome Traumatic Events by Barbara Brooks & Paula M. Siegel. This illustrated book gives detailed instructions, based on professional techniques, to encourage kids of any age — from toddler to teenager — to reveal their feelings through words, drawings, and role playing with step-by-step advice for reassuring them and helping them let go of their fear. This book is an invaluable source for educating professionals and families about helping children regain security in times of trauma.

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes and Sasha J. Mudlaff. This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire.

When Something Terrible Happens: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief, by Marge Heegaard. This book creates ways for children to explore the fright, confusion, and insecurity caused by traumatic events in their lives.

For Adults Helping Kids

Child Trauma Handbook: A Guide for Helping Trauma-Exposed Children and Adolescents by Ricky Greenwald. This no-nonsense manual helps the reader understand how and why kids’ behaviors can be related to their history of trauma while teaching practical hands-on clinical skills and interventions.

Children and Trauma: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Cynthia Monahon. This book teaches parents and professionals about the effects of childhood traumas on children and offers a blueprint for restoring a child’s sense of safety and balance.

Children Changed by Trauma by Debra Whiting Alexander. Shows parents and others what they can do to help children who have witnessed a traumatic event cope with emotions, learn to talk about what happened, and begin to feel safe again.

Does My Child Have PTSD?: What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out by Jolene Philo. This book covers myths and misconceptions, history, current research, anatomy of PTSD, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and other aspects of it. It is written by a mom whose son was diagnosed with PTSD after suffering from it for more than 20 years.

Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma by Susan Farber Straus. Healing Days is designed to be used in therapy for young children and functions as an excellent resource for those who have experienced physical or sexual abuse or other trauma. Readers will follow four children as they learn ways to cope with their own trauma.

The Simple Guide to Child Trauma: What It Is and How to Help, by Betsy de Thiery, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.. What is trauma? How does it affect children? How can adults help? This book is a starting point for working with a child who has experienced trauma. The link is for the Kindle version of the book.

Trauma in the Lives of Children: Crisis and Stress Management Techniques for Counselors, Teachers, and Other Professionals by Kendall Johnson. This book is an invaluable source for educating professionals and families about helping children regain security in times of trauma. Using a solutions-based interdisciplinary approach, this illustrated book explains how children react to specific types of trauma and how to work with a traumatized child.

Trauma Proofing Your Kids: A Parents’ Guide for Instilling Confidence by Peter Levine and Maggie Kline. This book covers the different types of upsets and traumas your child may experience and how to teach them to be resilient, confident, and even joyful.

Treating Trauma and Traumatic Grief in Children and Adolescents by Judith Cohen, Anthony Mannarino and Esther Deblinger. This book covers trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), a systematic, evidence-based treatment for traumatized children and their families.

Annotations were borrowed from Amazon and Google.