Faculty members co-write book on coping with death, grief

March 15, 2013 | Research, UToday, Library
By Casey Cheap

Eventually, most people have to deal with the grief associated with death, but it is especially hard for children.

Rajinder Garcha, left, and Alice Crosetto posed for a photo with their books.

Rajinder Garcha, left, and Alice Crosetto posed for a photo with their books.

That is why Alice Crosetto’s and Rajinder Garcha’s most recent book, Death, Loss and Grief in Literature for Youth, has something for everyone, although the topic is geared toward children.

Crosetto is associate professor of library administration and the acquisitions librarian and coordinator of collection development for UT Libraries, and Garcha, former interim dean of University Libraries, was named UT professor emerita when she retired in 2007.

The book, which is meant to be a resource for teachers trying to help school-aged children cope with grief, covers a variety of deaths — including deaths caused in school shootings.

“This topic is very invaluable,” Crosetto said. “Studies have shown that young people are really impacted by death, even that of their pets.”

Their second co-authored book, this annotated bibliography shares an extensive collection of recommended titles children in kindergarten through grade 12 should read when coping with death.

According to both Crosetto and Garcha, the book’s index leads the reader to the right chapter for students, based on their age and specific type of death.

“It is a very selective bibliography,” Garcha said. “Since there are so many books on this topic, we needed to set guidelines, such as the majority of the titles have been published between 1995 and present day, and most of the books are in English, with a few bilingual resources in Spanish.”

Crosetto said that some of the sources listed in the book include insights on Children’s Grief Awareness Day and how families cope with having loved ones overseas when a parent or close relative is enlisted in the U.S. military.

Although their aim is to provide support to grief-stricken children on death, the authors also wanted to make the subject of the book as readable as possible.

“There are good books by psychologists and counselors as well,” Garcha said.

In their first book co-written together in 2009, Disabilities and Disorders in Literature and Youth, Crosetto, Garcha and Mark Horan, UT associate professor and education librarian, wanted to explain to children the range of human disabilities.

“When writing a book, the idea has to be different,” Garcha said. “If there is another book like yours these days, publishers will not publish it.”

With Death, Loss and Grief in Literature for Youth, the authors similarly came up with a unique idea.

“We want to let children of all ages and adults know there are resources that can help when you are experiencing a loss,” Crosetto said.

Students, faculty and staff interested in the book can check it out at Carlson Library.

Click to access the login or register cheese