Children's Reading Suggestions

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Coping with Trauma & Disaster

on May 5, 2014

Trauma and disaster situations are difficult experiences for children and their families.  Here are some resources to help you help your child during one of these times.


Books at BPL:

I’ll Know What to Do: a kid’s guide to natural disasters by Bonnie Mark-GoldsteinI'll know what to do : a kid's guide to natural disasters

Provides facts about earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and mud slides and discusses how to deal with and survive a natural disaster





Jenny is Scared by Carol ShumanJenny is scared : when sad things happen in the world

When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.




The Mouse Family’s Most Terrifying DayThe Mouse Family's most terrible, terrifying day : helping children cope with terrorism fears by Joan Dunphy

On September 11, 2001, life for the Mouse family changed forever. Malachy and his mother and father were evacuated from their apartment and had to move in with family and the location of Malachy’s school changed. Malachy was afraid and their lives had changed forever.



Why did it happen? by Janice Cohn

With the help of his parents and teacher, a young boy deals with his feelings about the robbery of the neighborhood grocery store. Includes a note to parents.


Every Kid’s Guide to Coping with Childhood Traumas by Joy Berry

Examines different situations that cause varying degrees of emotional or physical trauma and how to deal with each 


Online Resources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Resources for Coping with Disasters and Trauma

Many free, printable booklets and activity books for children, parents, teachers, and mental health professionals on topics such as natural disasters, accidents, September 11, terrorism, war, and school shootings.  Some focus on children who have experienced these traumas personally, some focus on preparation against disasters, some focus on how to talk to kids about disasters and traumas that they hear about but haven’t personally experienced.  The last section contains information about preparing for and dealing with disasters for caregivers of children with special needs.  Some materials are available in Spanish.

National Childhood Stress Network Resources for Community Violence

Provides a definition for and explanation of how community violence impacts young children.  Provides a checklist to determine whether a child is being affected by community violence, and a reading list for professionals and caregivers.

National Childhood Stress Network Resources on Early Childhood Trauma

Articles on what early childhood trauma is and how impactful it is on children.  Printable resources for families, caregivers and professionals for helping victims of early childhood trauma, and information about treatments and therapies.

National Childhood Stress Network Resources on Natural Disasters

Information about Psychological First Aid for field operations and providers.  Links to online/printable stories for children and resources for caregivers for earthquakes, epidemics, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis.

National Childhood Stress Network Resources for School Violence

Resources for school personnel to initiate assistance at their school following a crisis, as well as online/printable information sheets on these topics:

    • Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after Mass Violence
    • Talking to Children about Mass Violence
    • Tips for Parents on Media Coverage

National Childhood Stress Network Resources for Terrorism

Tips for talking to children about terrorist acts from preschool through teen ages, tips for discussing media coverage, and resources for professionals and caregivers caring for children who experienced terrorist acts personally.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Disaster Resource Center

Tips for talking to kids about disasters, how to know if your child is experienced PTSD or normal grief.  Includes a search tool for finding a local child/adolescent psychiatrist.


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