Birds Die and So Do We

So, last week, in my ed note for REaD ALERT #26 (“A Series of Thoughts about Youth Nonfiction Books”), I asked, “Where’s a book like Guess What Happens When We’re Dead? when I need it?” Well, if there’s a topic, there’s a series nonfiction book about it. Readers wrote me with their suggestions, which ranged from the it’s-not-for-kids-but-you-have-to-read-it Stiff, by Mary Roach to I Found a Dead Bird, by Jan Thornhill.

Other suggestions included The Dead Bird, by Margaret Wise Brown (which I had never even heard of) and What Happens When We Die? by Carolyn Nystrom. One correspondent even wondered whether my note had inspired “a five-part hit on death books for kids on the school librarian’s listserv.”

And then there was this book from Sweet Juniper’s “Collection of Terrifying Nixon-Era Children’s Books,” which was sent to me by an anonymous Books for Youth editor.  If only we had the title and author for this one–it looks quite useful.

Looks to me as though there’s a lot of interest in the topic, but not too many current titles. A publishing opportunity? (Maybe exploring death through non-bird animals?) I’m half tempted to take a crack at it myself. I have the morbidly minded offspring, which is a start.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

1 Comment on "Birds Die and So Do We"

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  1. sweetjuniper@gmail.com' jdg says:

    it’s called “On Dying.” author’s name is Stein, I think.

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