Death can be a difficult topic to discuss with middle schoolers, but according to palliative care specialists, death education is just as essential as Sex Ed.* Orca Book Publishers is proud to present two new books about death for middle readers: After Life: Ways We Think About Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox and Planet Grief by Monique Polak.
After Life: Ways We Think About Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox takes a straightforward look at dying. It examines death myths from different cultures, the science behind dead bodies and the ways people around the world honor their loved ones who have died.
Planet Grief by Monique Polak tells the story of Abby and Christopher, two young teens who are forced to attend a grief retreat. Despite their best efforts to remain aloof, Abby and Christopher find themselves opening up.
In this session Merrie-Ellen and Monique will guide a discussion about how to talk to middle-grade children about death and grief. They will also share the benefits of using fiction and nonfiction books in tandem with each other to explore a common theme. Ultimately, participants will discover that talking about death can help us better understand what it means to be human.
*Dr. Jessica Zitter, a critical and palliative care specialist