I think adults sometimes forget that children process and internalize natural disasters differently but very personally, and books are one of the best way to help children explore big, difficult to understand events that end in grief and sorrow.
The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck is a book that left a deep mark on my childhood. Much like Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, The Big Wave gave me a safe place to experience death and what comes after for the living.
Although I think I read it in elementary school (always a reading overachiever), it might be more appropriate for middle schoolers.
The famous book tells the story of a Japanese boy who must face life after escaping the tidal wave destruction of his family and village. It won the 1948 Children’s Book Award. Pearl S. Buck also won the Pulitzer Prize for The Good Earth and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.
I highly recommend reading The Big Wave with your children if they are of age. Anybody else have childhood books that helped them make their way through difficult personal or world events?