Bethlehem Specialist Street Library

Welcome to our online Street Library Catalogue where you can browse our collection, suggest a book, 

or leave a review. This Library will continue to grow over time and with it the number of reviews and information that will feature on this page.

All visitors are encouraged to submit reviews of the books they have read and are invited to send suggestions of other books for us to consider adding to the collection.

Please note: you cannot reserve books in our street library.  Books are borrowed and returned by community members as they need them.  There is no borrowing system, no loan period, and no fines!  Simply visit our Street Library at 152 Como Parade West Parkdale, borrow what interests you, and return when you’re done.

Please visit your local library or bookshop if you are after a specific book.

If you want to donate or suggest a book for the library, you can do so here.
To submit a review please visit our review page here.


Library Catalogue

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Life is Like the Wind – By Shona Innes

Description: a gentle book with simple explanations about what happens when a life goes, where a life goes, and what you might do.

Genre: children’s book

Book Reading:

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When your grandparent dies: by Victoria Ryan – A Child’s Guide to Good Grief

Description: Losing a grandparent is often a child’s first experience with grief. The ordeal can be as bewildering as it is painful. Explaining what happens from a child’s-eye view, the little elves in this book depict the difficult days before, after, and beyond a grandparent’s death.

Genre: children’s book


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Help Me Say Goodbye:  by Janis L Silverman  – Activities for helping kids cope when a special person dies


Description:  An art therapy and activity book for children coping with death. Sensitive exercises address all the questions children may have during this emotional and troubling crisis. Children are encouraged to express in pictures what they are often incapable of expressing in words

Genre: children’s book

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Lifetimes – The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children: Bryan Mellonie & Robert Ingpen

Description: “Lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born.

Genre: children’s book

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Badger’s Parting Gifts : By Susan Varley

Description: “The gentle message holds particular validity for children and is conveyed in a tender-hearted manner.” —Booklist   “Warm and sensitive.” —Publishers Weekly

All the woodland creatures—Mole, Frog, Fox, and Rabbit—love old Badger, who is their confidante, advisor, and friend. When he dies, they are overwhelmed by their loss.

Genre: children’s book

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The Tenth Good Thing about Barney: by Judith Viorst

Description: “My cat Barney died this Friday. I was very sad. My mother said we could have a funeral for him, and I should think of ten good things about Barney so I could tell them.”..
But the small boy who loved Barney can only think of nine. Later, while talking with his father, he discovers the tenth — and begins to understand.

In simple phrases narrated by a child whose cat, Barney, has just died, the author succinctly and honestly handles both the emotions stemming from the loss of a beloved pet and the questions about the finality of death which naturally arise in such a situation. . .

Genre: children’s book

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Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children: Doris Stickney – a colouring book

Description: The Pilgrim Press introduces its perennial bestseller “Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children” by Doris Stickney in coloring book format.

Genre: children’s book

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When Someone Very Special Dies: Children can cope with grief. By Marge Heegaard

Description: A workbook to help children work out feelings about death. Heegaard provides a practical format for allowing children to understand the concept of death and develop coping skills for life. Children, with the supervision of an adult, are invited to illustrate and personalise their loss through art. .

Genre: children’s book

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Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge – Mem Fox & Julie Vivas

Description: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a small boy who has a big name – and that’s why he likes Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has too. So when he finds Miss Nancy has lost her memory, Wilfrid determines to discover what memories are so he can find it for her. This is a perennial classic, perfect for reading aloud.

Genre: children’s book

When Breath Becomes Air – By Paul Kalanithi

Description: a personal reflection on life, death and medical school by a doctor who is diagnosed with incurable illness

Genre: memoir

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Best Death Possible: A guide to Dying in Australia: Sarah Winch PhD

Description: Just before Christmas 2007, Lincoln Winch received the worse news possible. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer that had spread throughout his body. He died four months later at 48 years of age. By his side was his wife Sarah, an experienced nurse, ethicist and sociologist who had been managing, teaching and researching many aspects of end-of-life care for three decades. In that sense Lincoln was, as he acknowledged, fortunate. This is their story. It shares with everyday Australians, who get similar catastrophic news, how to use the Australian healthcare system to get the best death possible. This book will tell you how to: Understand and believe bad news including diagnosis and prognosis Develop you own end-of-life plan Get the support you need professionally and personally to make your plan happen Identify the legal documents that you may need Understand the dying process Troubleshoot care issues

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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Life After: Evonne Madden

Description: Life After shares the raw, intimate and inspiring stories of how more than 60 ordinary and well-known Australians have recovered from heart-breaking loss and have rebounded to live fuller lives than they once thought possible.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book: Michael Rosen

Description: Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a 2004 non-fiction book by English children’s author Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Quentin Blake, the book deals with the topic of grief. Although it is marketed as a children’s book, Rosen explicitly mentions on the inside book jacket that it is for everyone.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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Sometimes Life Sucks: Molly Carlile

Description: A great book for parents and teachers to use with teens struggling with grief and loss.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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The Bright Hour: Lila Riggs

Description: In 2015 poet and writer Nina Riggs was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it metastasised later that year. She was thirty-eight years old, married to the love of her life and the mother of two small boys; her mother had died only a few months earlier from multiple myeloma.

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying is Nina’s intimate, unflinching account of ‘living with death in the room’. She tells her story in a series of absurd, poignant and often hilarious vignettes drawn from a life that has ‘no real future or arc left to it, yet still goes on as if it does’.

This unforgettable memoir leads the reader into the innermost chambers of the writer’s life: into the mind and heart, the work and home and family, of a young woman alternately seeking to make peace with and raging against the reality of her approaching death.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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The Compassion Project: Dr Julian Abel & Lindsay Clarke

Description: Across the country, general hospital admissions are on the rise. But in a small town in rural England, thanks to the simple introduction of kindness and compassion, that trend has been reversed. And what this town achieved, we can all adopt in our own lives to powerful effect. Through daily mindful acts of care we are capable of changing things for the better, both inside ourselves and for the world around us.

Frome in Somerset isn’t special. It could be any town; it could be your town. And yet the people who live there have a story to tell about the simple, ground-shaking power of compassion. If it came in tablet form, it would be hailed as a wonder of modern medicine. By contrast, it’s entirely free but offers heartening evidence that when human beings make time for each other, the beneficial effects go far beyond the reach of naive optimism.

‘A culture in which compassion is a prevailing value allows individuals to flourish and bring their talents and gifts to the communities in which they live. Unanticipated possibilities emerge, presenting fresh ways of addressing what previously appeared to be insoluble problems. Hearts are lifted. The case for hope is more strongly made. And as the people who work in this way begin to change the world immediately around them, so too, the wider world beyond begins to change.’ Dr Julian Abel & Lindsay Clarke

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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The Dreamers.  Life. Death. Dreams: Pippa Wischer

Description:  Palliative Care Victoria and Pippa Wischer interviewed and photographed people in palliative care. In their words, they reveal the meaning of life, how to cope with a life-limiting illness, fears surround dying, thoughts about what happens after we die, and the dreams and visions that can be life changing. …

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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The Top Five Regrets of Dying: Bronnie Ware

Description: After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or previous experience in the field, she found herself working in palliative care. During the time she spent tending to those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog post, outlining the most common regrets that the people she had cared for had expressed. The post gained so much momentum that it was viewed by more than three million readers worldwide in its first year. At the request of many, Bronnie subsequently wrote a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, to share her story.

Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse life. By applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for everyone, if we make the right choices, to die with peace of mind.

In this revised edition of the best-selling memoir that has been read by over a million people worldwide, with translations in 29 languages, Bronnie expresses how significant these regrets are and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a courageous, life-changing book that will leave you feeling more compassionate and inspired to live the life you are truly here to live.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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Tuesdays with Morrie: By Mitch Albom

Description: Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS – or motor neurone disease – MItch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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We’re All Going to Die: A Joyful Book about Death:  by Dr Leah Kamninsky

Description: “We’re All Going to Die” is brought to life through Leah Kaminsky’s journey with her anxiety about death as a family physician, daughter, mother, and friend, and expanded through interviews with a range of carefully selected and not always predictable experts and individuals.

Genre: Memoir/Personal reflection

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Dying to Know – Bringing Death to Life:

Description: Aims to cut through the taboos and place death firmly in the circle of life. This book covers subjects such as: planning a personalised funeral; ways to help people who are terminally ill; making an emotional will; organ donation; creating online memorials; opening the conversation with children; things to do before you die; and, other topics.

Genre: Practical Guide

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My Grieving Journey: Donna Shavatt, ‎Eve Shavatt

Description: Giving Comfort to Every Child Children from all belief systems and all family situations can use this proven manual for working through the pain of loss. Unlike most other titles, this is neither story nor didactic text; it’s a hands-on activity book so children can work their way through the process of grief to find healing. Ideal for both personal and professional use, this much-needed book: –pulls kids in at once with its engaging and nonthreatening design. –provides concrete ways to work positively through negative emotions. –shows how to handle fears, crying, bad dreams, acting out, etc. –has been child-tested in bereavement centers. –includes recommendations for parents and caregivers. –can be used with non-readers as young as five, as well as older children through adolescence. –embraces children of every faith and every family situation. +

Genre: Practical Guide

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The Art of Dying Well by Katie Butler

Description: This handbook of step by step preparations—practical, communal, physical, and sometimes spiritual—will help you make the most of your remaining time, be it decades, years, or months.

Genre: Practical Guide

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The Patient Advocate Handbook – How to find and use your voice in Health Care by Liz Crocker and Claire Crocker

Description: Are you suddenly facing a health challenge and feel fear? Are you overwhelmed and insecure? In The Patient Advocate Handbook, authors Liz Crocker and Claire Crocker offer a practical guide to help you remain calm, focused, and stable while you or a loved one are experiencing a health crisis. Combining Liz’s experiences as a psychologist and Claire’s legal and crisis management skills, they present a blueprint for progressing through the health care system. Knowing how to handle a health emergency and make good decisions is essential if you are to achieve the best possible health outcome. It’s not about creating conflict or being the loudest voice in the room—it’s about knowing your rights, having a plan, finding your voice, and working with people in the health system to get a good result. The Patient Advocate Handbook helps you become an effective patient advocate for someone you love while he or she experiences a health challenge. If you are the patient, it will help you feel more confident and assured in your own health choices.

  • donated by Bethlehem Volunteer Fiona Nolan

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Survival of The Kindest (weekly 60min episode) (March 2020 – present)


Parental as Anything (single episode) (Sept 2020)


The Pineapple Project: Death (8 part series) (Feb – April 2020)



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When you want to turn on Netflix and relax, it’s hard if the loss of a loved one is on your mind. As you are flipping through available titles, does everything feel too shallow for your current emotions?

Watching death movies might be timely for this chapter in life. You can relate to the characters and storyline since the movies about grief tie in with your current experiences.

This curated list of movies about dying depicts the various emotional struggles we all face around the topics of grief, dying, and loss. Watching the films can be a light way to work through the heavy feelings you are processing.

So, grab some popcorn, a box of tissues, and your favorite soda. Here are our top picks of movies about death:


Romance Movies about Death

Not every love story ends with happily ever after. Some movies about dying build up the emotions of love and connection, then leave a lasting impression with the death of a character. These romance movies will warm your heart and make you cry every time:


Ghost (1990)

This thriller focuses on the story of a young woman in danger, while the ghost of her murdered husband recruits a psychic to help him save her.

“It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.” -Sam


A Walk to Remember (2002)

Jamie is unlike other high school girls because she is battling Leukemia. She unexpectedly falls in love with Landon, and they blast off on a whirlwind romance.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.” -Landon


Meet Joe Black (1998)

Bill is about to turn 65 when Death visits him in the form of a young man named Joe Black. They make a deal to let Bill live a few extra days while Death gets to discover what it’s like to be alive.

“I can’t believe you people. I come for you, and you want to stay, I let you stay and you want to go.” -Joe Black


P.S. I Love You (2007)

A husband dies, leaving behind letters for his wife starting on her 30th birthday. Each letter helps to ease her mourning and encourages her to move on with life. (Pictured at top of article)


Charlie St. Cloud (2010)

A senior’s plans come to a halt after his little brother passes away. He meets with his brother’s ghost every morning to play catch. Finally, he has to decide if he wants to move on or be stuck in the past.


Elizabethtown (2005)

A young man returns to Kentucky for his father’s memorial service and amid family hijinx, falls for a beautiful, quirky flight attendant.


The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Two young teens with cancer meet and fall in love. They adventure together and achieve their dreams. Life can be short, but these lovebirds make the most of it.

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” – Hazel Grace


Heaven Can Wait (1978)

A star quarterback dies in a car accident and finds out in heaven that the accident was a mistake… he has many more years to live. He goes back to earth in another man’s body and learns what’s really important in his second chance at life.


We Bought a Zoo (2011)

After his wife’s sudden death, a man moves his family to a wildlife park. He and the caretaker form a bond as they rebuild the zoo.


Drama Movies about Death

Death fits well in a dramatic plot, adding to the intensity of the other story lines in the movie. These are some of the top drama movies that will tie in the emotional story lines from start the finish:


Marley and Me (2008)

John and Jenny adopt a puppy to try their hand at caretaking before having children. The dog, Marley, is a cherished member of the family through ups and downs. The family stays by Marley’s side when he eventually reaches the end of his life.

“You know how we’re always saying what a pain you are, you’re the world’s worst dog, don’t believe it, don’t believe it for one minute because you know we couldn’t find a better dog, I love you, more than anything, you’re a great dog, I love you.” – John Grogan


Field of Dreams (1989)

A man, inspired by his late father, turns his cornfield into a baseball field. In the process, he feels closer to the memories of his father. The movie about grief is a remarkable ode to America’s favorite pastime: baseball.

“You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.” – Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham


Me and Earl and The Dying Girl (2015)

Greg and Earl are high schoolers who make parodies of classic films. Their lives change forever when they meet a new friend who has a recent cancer diagnosis.


The Lovely Bones (2009)

A teenage girl, who was murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends navigate life and move past her death.

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.” -Susie


The Descendants (2011)

Matt and his family live in Hawaii when his wife is in a coma after a terrible accident. Matt struggles with the decision on whether to end his wife’s life support, while raising his daughters and juggling family demands.


Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Two young friends create an imaginary kingdom for themselves, using the forest they access by swinging on a rope as their inspiration. When Leslie dies in an accident, Jesse is left to grapple with her death.

“She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there–like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.” -Katherine Paterson


The Bucket List (2007)

Two men nearing the end of their lives find themselves in the same hospital room. After creating a list of things to achieve before death, they leave the hospital against the doctor’s orders and set out to fulfil the items on their bucket lists.


My Sister’s Keeper (2009)

Anna was born for the purpose of being a bone marrow donor for her terminally ill sister. While her sister’s life is undoubtedly prolonged because of Anna, the countless surgeries and treatments lead Anna to seek emancipation from the family.

“Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Kate had been healthy, I’d probably still be up in heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body down here on earth, but coincidence or not, I’m here.” – Anna Fitzgerald


The Sixth Sense (1999)

This psychological thriller tells the story of a child psychologist who works with a young boy patient who can see the dead. They form a bond and work together to help each other.

“I know what I want: I want to be able to talk to my wife again. The way we used to talk to each other. Like there’s no one else in the world except us.” – Dr. Malcolm Crowe


Steel Magnolias (1989)

Shelby prepares her wedding, surrounded by her mother and family friends. Shelby’s illness takes them through ups and downs together. Their world shatters as Shelby’s illness leads to death.

“I just sat there. I just held Shelby’s hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.” – M’Lynn


Stand By Me (1986)

Four boys travel to look for the dead body of a stranger who was in an accident nearby. Along the way, they encounter danger and setbacks that bond them together, helping them re-evaluate their individual lives.


Now and Then (1995)

Four women reunite as adults and reminisce on a pivotal summer in their friendship. That summer, the girls helped Roberta overcome her mother’s death, and they also set off to uncover the mystery of an unsolved death in the town.


My Girl (1991)

11-year-old Vada has an obsession with death, and for good reasons – her mother died during childbirth, and her father runs a funeral service from their home. After her best friend Thomas J dies suddenly, Vada works through her fascination with death in a healthy way.

“I’m not asking you to stop caring for those people. But life isn’t just death, Harry. Don’t ignore the living… especially your daughter…” – Shelly


The Big Chill (1983)

A group of long-time friends meets together for the funeral after a friend commits suicide. They discuss unresolved issues with one another and the deceased.


This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

After their father’s death, four siblings come together and stay with their mother for a week. They analyse all of their failed relationships, reminisce, and learn about each other more deeply.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

After his father dies in the September 11th attacks, a 9-year-old boy discovers his father’s key. He goes on a journey through New York to find closure concerning his father’s death.

“So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!” – Mr. Black


Final Destination (2000)

After receiving a premonition they will die in a mass-casualty event, a teenager changes their course to avoid the event. The main character and other people who avoided the accident still die anyway, in random, unrelated ways.


Funny Movies about Death

Lighten the mood by infusing a bit of comedy into a story of loss. These funny movies about death bring perspective to the grief by adding a few chuckles into your movie watching experience.


Beetlejuice (1988)

A couple who recently died in a car accident is unable to leave their home, and they try to scare off the new tenants. Their hijinks attract Beetlejuice, a lively spirit who tries to help.


Funny People (2009)

A comic, George, receives a fatal disease diagnosis and chooses to mentor a struggling comedian. When George’s illness goes into remission, he has a chance to evaluate what’s really important in life.


Death at a Funeral (2010)

A series of mishaps occur as a son tries to plan the funeral of his deceased father. Family drama and a stranger with a big secret threaten to ruin the funeral altogether.


Children Movies about Death

Children’s movies can teach important principles about death, using bright colors and fun music that keep people of all ages engaged in the story. Adults and children can enjoy these children’s movies about death:


Soul (2020)

After landing the gig of a lifetime, a New York jazz pianist suddenly finds himself trapped in a strange land between Earth and the afterlife.

“You know, lost souls are not that different from those in the zone. The zone is enjoyable, but when that joy becomes an obsession, one becomes disconnected from life.” – Moonwind


Coco (2017)

Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead to seek permission to break his family’s generations-long ban on music. In this creative musical, he meets Hector, and together they help each other achieve their goals.


“Know that I’m with you

The only way that I can be

Until you’re in my arms again

Remember me” – Hector



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*This list comes from ‘My Farewelling’, an online American end-of-life and funeral planning platform.