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Navigating the Waves of Emotion: Loss and Grief in Middle-Grade Fiction

In the tender years of middle-grade readers, the exploration of loss and grief through fiction can be a guiding light through the murk of complex emotions. The middle-grade adventure series “Aria & Liam” by Coline Monsarrat is a poignant example. Aria, the protagonist, grapples with the profound loss of her mother, a journey that Monsarrat writes from a deeply personal place, having faced a similar bereavement at the age of 13.

Monsarrat reflects, “Writing Aria’s story was like holding up a mirror to my own soul. I wanted to show young readers that it’s okay to feel lost, to mourn, and to find your own path through grief.”

Her narrative resonates with authenticity and provides solace to those who might feel isolated in their sorrow, especially during poignant times of the year like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas when the absence of a loved one is profoundly felt. These stories do more than entertain; they offer a space for healing, understanding, and a reminder that one is never truly alone in their experiences.

Here are some additional middle-grade books that thoughtfully cover the subject of loss and grief:

“The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise” by Dan Gemeinhart – Coyote’s journey alongside her father in an old school bus becomes a metaphor for her emotional journey through grief after losing her mother and sisters.

The Thing About Jellyfish” by Ali Benjamin – This novel follows Suzy’s quest to understand her best friend’s death, which she believes was caused by a jellyfish sting, leading her into a deep exploration of life and death.

“Many Points of Me” by Caroline Gertler – Georgia’s quest to understand her place in her late father’s art and life is a narrative about navigating grief and self-discovery.

“Center of Gravity” by Shaunta Grimes – Tessa deals with anxiety and the loss of her mother, depicting the challenges of coping with grief and the complexities of forming a new family dynamic.

“When Friendship Followed Me Home” by Paul Griffin – A tale of a former foster child, Ben, who finds solace in an abandoned dog and new friendships after experiencing loss.

“Speed of Life” by Carol Weston – Sofia’s story involves dealing with the death of her mother and the complexities of moving on with the help of an advice columnist who becomes an unexpected part of her life.

Lemons by Melissa Savage – Lemonade Liberty Witt’s journey with Tobin Sky in a search for Bigfoot is a heartwarming story of handling life’s “lemons” after losing her mother

“The Line Tender” by Kate Allen – Lucy’s connection to her mother’s research on Great Whites and her father’s struggle with grief provide a backdrop for her own journey through loss.

“Prairie Lotus” by Linda Sue Park – Hanna’s story, set in 1880, is not only about dealing with personal loss but also about overcoming prejudice and finding one’s place in the world.

“Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Willow Chance, a genius girl, faces a sudden tragic loss and finds a new family, showcasing her resilience and the process of healing through grief.

Each book provides a unique perspective on handling grief, offering young readers insights and reflections on this complex emotion.

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Attention Teachers: Embark on an Adventure with 'Aria & Liam'

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Explore the Aria & Liam book series

From the quiet island of Sommetville to the echoing corridors of history, Aria and Liam have faced mysteries spanning eras, civilizations, and legends. Whether it’s outwitting ancient gods, unearthing Roman conspiracies, or sailing to lost civilizations, their adventures always come with a generous sprinkle of humor and a big dash of adventures.