Why Should Kids Read Obituaries?

The obituary may be the most nutrient-dense informational text a child can read: it’s a miniature biography, history lesson, and work of literature, all in one. Obituaries are interesting, informative, and inspirational. Importantly –  they’re about life, not death! (Death is merely the detail that gets them published.) When children read obituaries, they not only build their knowledge — they see new possibilities for their own lives.


Obituaries teach us about how people live and help us better understand those we share the planet with.

– Jen King, obituarist, Guardian

What is an obituary?

An obituary is a newspaper article about someone who has died. It recounts the person’s life and accomplishments, often with historical context. The obituaries presented here are works of objective journalism: they are news stories, assigned by editors, and written by journalists with no connection to the deceased.

An obituary should not be confused with a:

– Death Announcement: a classified ad, usually written and paid for by family members

– Tribute: an appreciation written by a family member, colleague, or friend

– Eulogy: a speech given at a memorial service


Look in today’s newspaper. Chances are you’ll read an obit about someone who held a job, took care of family and still had time to help someone else. Learn from that person’s example. Be inspired. Go out and make a difference in the world. Do something wonderful for which you’ll be remembered. Something that one day might be included in your obituary.

– Alana Baranick, obituarist, The Plain Dealer