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Children's Fiction Death & Dying

Planet Grief

by (author) Monique Polak

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


What a crappy way to spend a weekend. The always-sarcastic Abby would rather be playing soccer, and the cagily quiet Christopher thinks a grief retreat is a waste of time. Neither of them wants to spend two days talking about their feelings. But despite their best efforts to stay aloof, Abby and Christopher are drawn into the lives of the other kids at the retreat. Maybe their stories will make them rethink how they are dealing with their own losses.

About the author



MONIQUE POLAK is the author of 26 novels for young readers, as well as two non-fiction titles and a board book. Her books Hate Mail, Room for One More, and the historical novel What World is Left, which was inspired by her mother’s experience during the Holocaust, were all winners of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and YA Literature.



Her books have also been nominated for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Arthur Ellis Award, and several have been selected as Best Books for Children and Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.



She is also a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Macleans, and Postmedia newspapers across the country, and is a columnist on ICI Radio-Canada’s Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! Monique lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she teaches English and Humanities at Marianopolis College.


Monique Polak's profile page


  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection

Editorial Reviews

"Dramas keep the plot of Planet Grief rolling along…Never one to skirt difficult issues, Monique Polak has given us a book that speaks to the people around us of any age who are struggling with the loss of a loved one."

Montreal Review of Books

&quotIt allows the reader to understand that going through the grieving process may be as individual as the person…The story is compelling and one is drawn into the emotions experienced by the kids and their parents who have suffered the death of a parent or sibling.&quot

Resource Links

&quotA compelling narrative…might prove useful to someone struggling to deal with a death.&quot

Kirkus Reviews

&quotThe characters are realistic and relatable…A good general addition to large library collections.&quot

School Library Journal

"Offers a helpful model to readers struggling with loss and healing in their own lives, particularly the messages that they are not alone and there are many ways to grieve. This is a good choice for readers in need of a quick-moving but informative novel, and, perhaps, a little reassurance."


"Good bibliotherapy…Middle school students will enjoy and benefit from this book. The writing is engaging, the topic is important, and the message is well-delivered."

School Library Connection

&quotThe story is engagingly told from the changing perspective of two narrators. It makes for an intimate and sometimes moving view.&quot

January Magazine

Other titles by Monique Polak

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