Joie’s Branch Library

Joie's Branch Library

Joie’s Branch Library is named to honor Joie Amber Kallison. Joie died in March 1998 at the age of 24 while serving in the Peace Corps in Namibia, Africa. This branch of Willow House services, which contains books and educational material intended to support, educate and enlighten, is named Joie’s Branch in her honor.

Joie’s Branch is a lending library of publications and audio-visual materials made available to group participants. The materials are educational, supportive, and cover issues and topics of interest to grieving children, teens, parents, young widowed, and those parenting and caring for bereaved children and teens. Joie’s Branch resources are also used by mental health professionals, clergy, educators, and all volunteers who facilitate groups and assist in Willow House programs.

Willow House group members also have access to a cart of Joie’s Library publications at each monthly meeting. These are available at all Willow House group locations.

Why Bibliotherapy?

Especially for those dealing with grief, feelings are often whirling around with no direction. Learning about how other children, teens or adults have dealt with and experienced their grief can offer hope, knowledge, and direction through one’s own grief process.

Many of the books for children serve as helpful vehicles for discussions and sharing of feelings, particularly with children who may otherwise find it difficult to identify or verbalize what they are feeling or to address these feelings with their parents or other caregivers.

These unique books may also offer means for identifying with others who are grieving, learning more about the grieving process and to “normalize” the experience.

Books for professionals assist group facilitators and others who care for and /or work with grieving children, teens and families.

Borrow a Book

To inquire about borrowing a book, send an email to [email protected] or call (847)236-9300

Willow House
2231 Lakeside Drive
Bannockburn, IL 60015

A Sampling of Books Available

Emily’s Sadhappy Season

by Stephanie Golightly Lowden

This is a story of a young girl’s feelings and experiences after the death of her father. Emily is very sad, and then learns that her mother is going through the same thing that she is. They decide together to be “sadhappy” that is when you are sad and happy at the same time. “When we think about daddy we’ll feel happy remembering the fun times we had together. We’ll feel sad because he’s not with us. We’re going to have a sadhappy season for a while!”


The Moon Balloon – A Journey of Hope and Discovery for Children and Families

by Joan Drescher

This is a GREAT book for a child!  A book about feelings. This book talks about going on a balloon ride using the hot air balloon to “spark your imagination”. “In order to go up, you need to be light, dropping your sandbags one by one, dropping your fear, worry, and anxious feelings out with the sand.”


A Garden of Love and Healing – Living Tributes to Those We Have Loved and Lost

by Marsha Olsen

The idea of planting a garden in memory of a loved one is symbolic of the loved one’s infinite presence in life. This book gives symbolism of plants, themes, preparation and installation ideas. Throughout this book there are touching stories that show that the planting of a garden is both healing and therapeutic.


Birds of a Feather – A Children’s Story of Love, Loss, and What Came Next

by Tom Crice

Birds of a Feather front cover

Parents seeking ways to discuss a loved one’s death with their children should find this touching tale, with its analogy of lost birds, useful in grappling with a difficult topic. Crice captures the complexity of a child’s feelings with expert precision. The soft-colored pencil and acrylic images match the story’s gentle tone perfectly.

Additional Resources for Books

Compassion Books

Exceptional Resources to Help People Through Loss & Grief:

Centering Corporation

Grief Resources