22 Best Kids' Books About Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

A Doll for Grandma: A Story About Alzheimer's Disease

 Kiera and her grandmother share a special bond. There are endless activities they enjoy doing together, like knitting, baking, painting nails, and playing dress up. As time passes, Kiera notices some changes in her grandma. She can no longer take care of herself and eventually forgets Kiera's name. When the time comes to move her grandmother into a memory care facility, Kiera wonders how she will stay connected. She decides to give her grandma a doll. This special gift sparks a memory and rekindles a connection between Kiera and her grandmother.

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 Children's Books About Alzheimer's Disease 

Watching a beloved grandparent or other relative slip away is devastating for young grandchildren. A person may look exactly the same on the outside, but the mind is quickly deteriorating into a state of forgetfulness. What may begin as a state of minor confusion or a loss of a word or name can progess into full-blown dementia. Someone with a sweet disposition can turn angry and even violent. This sudden change can be particularly bewildering and upsetting for kids who don't understand what is happening.

Reading children's books about Alzheimer's disease and dementia is a good strategy to help little ones cope. Each of the characters in the book displays the telltale signs of memory loss that kids will recognize in their own loved ones.

Sharing these stories will open up a conversation with your children and help answer their questions. Follow up reading might include the children's books about the death of a grandparent to help kids process grief when a beloved grandmother or grandfather passes away.


Weeds in Nana's Garden

A touching book that draws a striking analogy between the weeds in a garden and Alzheimer's Disease. Nana has always taken great pride in her beautiful flower garden, a special place where she bonds with her granddaughter. But one day, the little girl notices that the garden has become overrun by weeds. She also has observed that Nana's thoughts have become twisted and confused. Sadly, Nana must move into a home with a caretaker, so the girl assumes responsibility of the garden. A sad story that emphasizes empathy, acceptance, and responsibility for loved ones afflicted by memory loss.


Grandma Forgets

A tender book for young children mourning the memory loss of a grandparent. In this sweet story, a little girl feels sad that her grandmother is forgetful. She reflects on all of the things they use to enjoy doing together, like baking apple pies and taking trips to the beach. Although Grandma doesn't remember any of these special moments, her granddaughter still reflects on those times and looks for ways to form new connections. This story gently introduces the topic of dementia in a way that is just right for preschoolers. 

 Singing with Mama Lou

Every single Sunday, Tamika and her parents visit Mama Lou at the nursing home. Although she loves her grandmother dearly, Tamika finds it difficult to see Mama Lou suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Every single time, Tamika has to introduce herself as if they had never met before. Then one day, the little girl discovers a photo album which triggers some memories and a short period of lucidity in Mama Lou. Tamika cherishes these special moments as they are the last she shares with her precious grandmother.  A very realistic portrayal of dementia that does not sugarcoat the devastating effects of memory loss.



Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

A wonderful story about memory loss highlights the special relationship between a little boy, Wilfrid, and an old lady, Nancy. Suffering from dementia, or memory loss, Wilfrid is determined to find out exactly what happened to it. He searches high and low for Nancy's missing memory, and even offers his own favorite treasures in exchange for what she has lost. A heartwrenching story of love, loss, and friendship between an unlikely pair.


My Singing Nana

 A little boy is sad to see his nana changing. She is very forgetful and can't remember the memories they created together. When the doctor diagnosis Nana with Alzheimer's Disease, the family realizes they have to find new ways to connect with her. The story reminds readers the importance of loving your family no matter what obstacles stand in the way.


Please Explain Alzheimer's Disease to Me

This extremely helpful book, which is part of the Please Explain to Me  series, introduces young children to the Alzheimer's disease in an age-appropriate, accessible manner. Written by a board-certified child psychologist, the disease is explained in a very gentle yet matter-of-fact tone. Kids will learn about the biology of the brain and the changes that are happening when someone they love suffers from Alzheimer's disease. They will also have a better understanding of why grandparents or other afflicted family member experience behavioral abonormalities, and how they can help as caregivers to their loved ones.




The Remember Balloons

The author/illustrator duo effectively applies the use of balloons to symbolize all the important memories in a grandfather's life. Each color represents an important event, person, or object in his life. As he recounts stories about camping, Aunt Nelle's cow, and a special fishing trip, a different balloon is released. James, his grandson, scrambles to catch the balloons that are floating away, in an attempt to restore these memories. When the final balloon is released, the little boy comes to understand that his grandfather's memories will not be restored. But the bunch of balloons captured in his own small hands represent the memories that have been passed down for him to safeguard. A beautiful picture book that delivers a powerful message through simple storytelling.




Will Grammy Remember Me?: A Story About Alzheimer's Disease for Young Children

When Alzheimer's disease steals a grandmother's memories, a little granddaughter is left wondering what to do. Every day, her special Grammy picked her up from school and they would spend the afternoon together. But one day Grammy does not come and the sad girl is left all alone waiting. When her parents explain what is happening, the darling girl with a very big heart understands that it is now her turn to be the caregiver. 


Dad's Camera

In addition to losing memories, people suffering from Alzheimer's disease develop some odd habits that are hard to explain. The focal point of this story is an old-school camera that uses film to capture images. A father who is in the grips of this disease begins taking pictures of ordinary, everyday objects, like car keys, coffee mugs and other things around the house. He also puts things in the wrong places, like cold foods in the cupboard and non-food items in the refrigerator. This touching story shows the progression of the disease through the lens of a camera. But more importantly, it captures all the loving family members surrounding this special father.


Grandma and Me: A Kid's Guide for Alzheimer's and Dementia

This picture book will appeal to a wide age range of children who are struggling to understand Alzheimer's disease. The whimsical illustrations add a tender touch to this difficult topic. The love between a grandmother and graddaughter shines through during the quiet moments they spend together. But when the grandmother's memory loss sets in, the young child is left feeling lonely and confused. The pages are filled with a in-depth look explanation of the disease and the behaviors that come along with it.



Really and Truly: A Story About Dementia

A little boy always cherished the stories his grandfather shared with him. He enjoyed listening to all of his adventures, momentous events, and fond memories over and over again. Then things started to change and his grandfather struggled with the details of these stories that had seemed forever imprinted in his mind. In a loving reversal of roles, the grandson becomes storyteller and recounts all of the tender stories his grandfather had shared with him. A story perfect for any grandchild learning to cope with a grandparent's dementia.



Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story About Alzheimer's Disease for Young Children

Libby and Nana enjoy spending lots of quality time together. They color pictures, feed the birds, and tend to the garden. One day Libby notices some changes in Nana. She forgets the words in books she reads to Libby, mixes up the names of the birds, and starts wearing clothes that do not match. When Libby's parents finally explain to her that Nana has Alzheimer's disease, Libby figures out how to still enjoy their special moments with each other.




My Grandma Has Dementia

 An award-winning book that is part of a best-selling series explaining the dementia in terms that young children will understand. When a beloved grandmother exhibits early signs of forgetfulness, grandchildren may not take notice. But when dementia progresses, kids can feel scared and confused by their loved one's personality change and extreme memory loss. Bouncy rhymes and uplifting illustrations add a touch of lightheartedness to this sad subject. This book is full of valuable information geared toward kids in the 4-8 age range.


Chapter Books About Alzheimer's Disease for Tweens and Teens

Tweens are already dealing with a variety of challenges as they navigate their transition into adulthood. Hormonal changes, social dynamics, academic pressures, and all kinds of other forces can be overwhelming. Oftentimes, the special relationship with a beloved grandparent provides the emotional support kids need during these tumultuous years.

But when a grandparents enters a new phase in their lives defined by confusion and memory loss, tweens are left behind feeling lonely and devastated. These chapter books for tweens about Alzheimer's disease and dementia capture the heartache. But, more importantly, they celebrate the lasting effects of a relationship even after memories fade.

This Last Adventure

Archie is an eighth grader who is grappling with his grandfather's memory loss. This man, who has been the boy's hero, led an epic life full of adventure. Fearful that his grandfather's fascinating history will be lost, Archie helps him re-create his past through role play. Although the progression of memory loss cannot be stopped, the two manage to relive some special memories one last time. A moving story about a young boy forced to grow up and face the loss of a beloved family member.




The Memory Keeper

Lulu is an adolescent girl who lives with a rare and sometimes debilitating disorder. She suffers from a condition, called HSAM, in which she remembers every single moment of her life. The only person who truly understands Lulu is her precious Gram. But when Gram starts to suffer from memory loss, Lulu is afraid she is losing the only person who really knows her. Instead of accepting her grandmother's condition as ordinary dementia, Lulu is convinced her amnesia is related to a traumatic event. So she sets out on a mission to get to the bottom of it and soon discovers that her grandmother's deep, dark secret may be best left buried. 




Roll With It

 Ellie is a spunky, bright, driven girl who just happens to be in a wheelchair. She dreams of becoming a professional baker one day. So she spends her free time experimenting in the kitchen and corresponding with famous celebrity chefs. When her overworked mother decides it's time to move to a new town, Ellie is less than thrilled. On top of dealing with living in a trailer on the wrong side of the tracks, Ellie has to cope with helping care for her grandfather who is suffering from dementia. A fast-paced middle grade novel about overcoming obstacles and making the best of new situations. 



 Merci Suárez Changes Gears

A Newbery Medal winner, this page-turner is about a girl, Merci, who is struggling to find her place in an elite, private school. She's a bright sixth-grader who earned a much-deserved scholarship, but she doesn't have much in common with the other students. Normal middle-school social dilemmas are exacerbated by her differences. To make matters worse, her grandfather, the one person who she leans on the most, is behaving differently. Her Lolo is losing everyday objects, falling down, forgetting important things, and having angry outbursts. This important novel highlights the struggles of a tween who is trying to balance struggles both at school and at home.



Just Like Jackie

A moving middle-grade novel about a girl, Robbie, whose only caregiver is her beloved grandpa. She cannot remember a time when there was anyone else who was a part of their small family. And until recently, that was just. Grandpa taught Robbie everything he knew, from baseball to cars, and they spent all of their free time together. When Grandpa starts to lose his memory, Robbie's stress leads her to get into frequent fights at school. Sent to counseling to deal with her anger, Robbie knows she cannot reveal her problems at home. For then, they may take her away from her grandfather, the only family she has ever known.



Rule of Threes

A touching coming-of-age novel about Maggie, a precocious 12 year old with a talent for interior design. She spends hours drawing and accessorizing picture-perfect dream homes. Yet no matter how beautiful her pictures, Maggie learns some painful lessons about what a real house with real problems really is all about. For one, a half-brother appears out of nowhere looking for a new home. His mother has an opioid addiction, so no now he needs his father's support more than ever before. To make matters worse, her grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Throughout all of these experiences, Maggie comes to understand that an open heart is what makes a home, even if it is never as perfect as her pictures.




The Space Between Lost and Found

A tender look at the devastating effect of early-onset Alzheimer's told from the perspective of a young girl. Cassie and her mother shared a common love for experiencing all the adventures life offers. Together they maintained a long bucket list of all the things they wanted to see and do. But when her mother's memories slip away, Cassie finds herself taking on the role of caregiver while watching their dreams slip away. In order to cope, Cassie gets lost in mathematics and art, her two passions, and fantasizes of a life without loss. When she finally accepts the fact that her mother's old memories are gone for good, Cassie devises a plan to create a brand new experience they can enjoy.



Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry

A compelling middle grade novel about a feud between Grandma Beans and Avadelle Richardson that began in the 1960s during the Meredith Riot. The rift has affected the friendship of their grandchildren, Dani and Mac, and seems to be based on a dark, hidden secret. With Grandma Beans' mind quickly sleeping away due to Alzheimer's disease, Dani is on a desperate mission to discover everything she can about what happened on the campus of Ole Miss and how those events continue to overshadow these two women presently.


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grandmother and grandchild 


Best Children's Books About Dementia

One of the hardest things for kids to understand is the loss of a loved one who is still very much alive. Even though the brains of people afflicted by Alzheimer's Disease or dementia have changed, everything on the outside may look exactly the same. So when a grandparent or other relative no longer remembers the children's names or even recognizes them, kids feel sad, heartbroken, and confused.

Children's books about dementia cover the wide range of experiences and emotions of loved ones left in the wake. They will validate a child's feelings while providing age-appropriate information about the disease. Most importantly, these children's books about memory loss will facilitate a conversation, create an opening for questions, allow a little ones to talk about their feelings.


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