The Most Heartbreaking Children's Books Quiz

By: Bambi Turner

The Most Heartbreaking Children's Books Quiz
Image: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

About This Quiz

Many classic kids' books are more likely to bring tears than a smile, leaving kids down in the dumps bemoaning the fate of yet another dog. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of some of the saddest books in the history of children's literature.
Which of these gut-wrenching books was written by E.B. White?
"The Yearling"
"Charlotte's Web"
E.B. White released "Charlotte's Web" in 1952, and it went on to become one of the best-selling children's books of all time.
"Shiloh"

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Which character dies at the end of "Charlotte's Web"?
Fern
Wilbur
Charlotte
Young readers are given a glimpse at death when Charlotte, the clever spider, dies at the end of the book.

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What year was "The Giving Tree" released?
1954
Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" was released in 1954 and centered around a boy who kept taking and taking from a magnanimous tree until the tree was just a stump.
1964
1974

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True or false: "Love You Forever" was written about dead babies.
true
The Robert Munsch book started as a song the author penned about his two stillborn babies. It went on to become a much-loved picture book.
false

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Who are Old Dan and Little Ann?
coonhounds
Old Dan and Little Ann are two beloved coonhounds that both loose their lives after a tussle with a mountain lion in "Where the Red Fern Grows."
pigs
kittens

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Who chooses mortal life over immortality in "Tuck Everlasting"?
Wendy
Winnie
Given the choice between immortality and a normal life span, Winnie chooses death in this Natalie Babbitt classic.
Wilma

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Who is the main character in "The Witches"?
Brian
Bruno
Bruno Jenkins stars in Roald Dahl's "The Witches," which came out in 1983.
Brandon

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What happens to Bruno at the end of "The Witches"?
turns into a frog
dies
turns into a mouse
The Grand High Witch of All the World transforms Bruno into a mouse — forever. But that's OK, because mice have short lives, so he won't outlive his aging grandma.

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What sad children's book was written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings?
"Old Yeller"
"Shiloh"
"The Yearling"
In Rawlings' "The Yearling," Jody Baxter takes a fawn named Flag as his pet.

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What happens to Flag at the end of "The Yearling"?
Jody kills him.
At the conclusion of "The Yearling," Jody is forced to shoot his own pet in the neck to prevent the deer from nibbling on the family's crops.
He dies of natural causes.
He's hit by a car.

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What tear-jerker is also known as "How Toys Become Real"?
"The Happy Prince"
"The Velveteen Rabbit"
Margery Williams' 1922 classic "The Velveteen Rabbit" is also known as "How Toys Become Real."
"Sylvester and the Magic Pebble"

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What disease kills the rabbit's owner in "The Velveteen Rabbit"?
measles
chicken pox
scarlet fever
After its owner dies of scarlet fever, the Velveteen Rabbit is sent out to be burned.

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What 10-year-old boy went to Birmingham in 1963?
Keith
Carl
Kenny
Kenny Watson and his family faced horrific racism in "The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963."

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What traumatic children's classic was penned by Fred Gipson?
"Shiloh"
"Old Yeller"
Gipson's "Old Yeller" ranks among the saddest pet stories ever written.
"Bridge to Terabithia"

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What disease befalls Old Yeller?
cancer
Lyme disease
rabies
The Coates family is forced to kill Old Yeller after he is bitten by a rabid wolf while protecting the family.

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Who wrote "The Happy Prince"?
Dr. Seuss
Oscar Wilde
In Oscar Wilde's 1888 tale "The Happy Prince," a decidedly unhappy statue of a boy befriends a swallow.
Lois Lowry

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What year was "The Giver" published?
1993
Lois Lowry's "The Giver" came out in 1993 and earned a Newbery Medal for its thought-provoking tale.
1998
2003

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Who is given the job of Receiver of Memory in "The Giver"?
Jenny
Jeremy
Jonas
Young Jonas is given the most senior position, Receiver of Memory, in his community in the dystopian tale.

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Who does Jonas take with him when he flees the community?
Gabriel
Jonas flees with the baby Gabriel, and the reader is left to wonder whether the pair died or found a new community to call home.
his mother
Hannah

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What depressing children's book features 11-year-old Marty Preston?
"Tuck Everlasting"
"Shiloh"
"Shiloh" tells the story of a young boy named Marty and his quest to rescue an abused and neglected beagle named Shiloh.
"The Happy Prince"

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What year was "Bridge to Terabithia" released?
1957
1967
1977
Katherine Paterson's "Bridge to Terabithia" came out in 1977 and later won the Newbery Medal for its contribution to children's literature.

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What happens to new kid Leslie in "Bridge to Terabithia"?
She drowns.
Jess loses his best friend when Leslie drowns in the creek on the way to Terabithia.
She lives a long, happy life.
She becomes ill but recovers.

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Who speaks for the trees in a 1971 Dr. Seuss book?
the Lorax
After the Once-ler ruins the environment, the Lorax is not longer around to speak for the trees and protect the planet.
the Once-ler
the Giving Tree

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Which character dies in "Little Women"?
Jo
Amy
Beth
Drawing inspiration from the death of her own sister, Louisa May Alcott kills off the beloved Beth in "Little Women."

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What year was "The Secret Garden" released?
1909
Frances Hodgson Burnett published "The Secret Garden" in 1909, and it's been making young readers tear up ever since.
1929
1949

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What is the name of the young girl who comes to live with Mr. Craven in "The Secret Garden"?
Jane
Mary
After losing her entire family to cholera, Mary Lennox is shipped off to live with her uncle, who proceeds to ignore her throughout the book.
Sarah

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Who wrote "Tiger Eyes"?
Madeleine L'Engle
Judy Blume
Judy Blume's "Tiger Eyes" has everything a child could want to read about. A dead dad, cancer and alcoholism are just some of the problems plaguing Davey Wexler.
Laura Ingalls Wilder

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What killed "The Little Prince"?
dehydration
car accident
snake bite
After wandering the desert, a snake bite dropped "The Little Prince" dead in his tracks.

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What animal changes into a rock in "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble"?
cat
bird
"Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" is the story of a happy donkey who gets changed into a rock and can't change back or let his family know where he is.
donkey

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Whose father gets kidnapped to another planet in "A Wrinkle in Time"?
Meg
Meg Murry goes searching for her kidnapped father and is forced to fight true evil to rescue him in "A Wrinkle in Time."
Maya
Martin

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You Got:
/30
Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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