We hope these selections serve to educate and encourage a dialogue on topics surrounding gun violence. This list includes titles to support difficult emotions triggered by gun violence with themes of community strength, loss, and trauma.

Cape by Kevin Johnson

When a child loses the person in his life that he loves more than anything, he uses his cape as protection from his grief. On the day of the funeral, he uses it to block out the pictures and stories people share, refusing to acknowledge the memories that keep bubbling up. He won’t think about them. He doesn’t want to. He avoids the memories, until he no longer can. He remembers then. Their laugh, their smile, the moment they gave him the cape. The cape transforms, becoming a source of comfort and strength as the child navigates the sadness and joy that these memories bring up. In Cape , Kevin Johnson has crafted an achingly beautiful and honest story about processing and redefining grief after the loss of a loved one.

Available formats: Book

The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook

After the Ant Hill School is destroyed, a little boy ant is afraid to go back to school. His mom explains to him that sometimes things happen in life over which we have no control, but we have to find a way to keep living and growing. The Ant Hill Disaster thoughtfully addresses fears associated with both natural and man-caused disasters. It models effective parenting and teaching responses. This book can help assure children that through love, empathetic understanding, preparation, and effective communication, they can stand strong, even in the midst of uncontrollable events.

Available formats: eBook (Hoopla) 

Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee

Frightened by news of angry people around the world, a young girl gets her parents’ help in learning to be compassionate and brave a little at a time.

Available formats: eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

Something Happened in Our Park: Standing Together After Gun Violence by Ann Hazzard

Miles wants to move away after his cousin Keisha is accidentally shot in their neighborhood park, but Keisha and Miles’ father work with others to make their community a safer place.

Available formats: eBook (OverDrive Media on Demand) 

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul

When devastating news rattles a young girl’s community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead … and then another, and another. Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.

Available formats: Book

#Never Again: Preventing Gun Violence by Rachael L Thomas

Readers learn about the #NeverAgain movement, from the history of the right to bear arms to later efforts at gun control, legislation such as the Brady handgun Violence Protection Act and the implementation of background checks, to the school shootings at Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland and the creation of #neveragain.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Hoopla) 

The Lost Things Club by J. S Puller 

Visiting her lovable, younger cousin in Chicago over the summer, twelve-year-old Leah tries to help him recover from the trauma of a school shooting.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

Aftermath by Emily Barth Isler

After her younger brother’s death from a heart defect, twelve-year-old Lucy moves to a town that was devastated by a school shooting four years earlier, where she must navigate different kinds of grief.

Available formats: eAudiobook (Hoopla), eBook (Hoopla) 

When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents & Worried Kids by Abigail H. Gewirtz

In our complicated world, big issues make both parents and children anxious. So how should parents talk to their kids about the things that make both parent and child on edge? Here, an expert child psychologist offers parents scripts for conversations that will help us raise kids who are informed, engaged, and confident.

Available formats: Book 

Big Conversations With Little Children: Addressing Questions, Worries, and Fears by Lauren Starnes

This book is designed to help support adults in having potentially difficult or emotionally charged conversations with young children about world and family events.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Hoopla) 

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