Whether a child sees a loved one going through treatment or if they have been diagnosed with cancer themselves, dealing with cancer can be a scary experience. Click on one of the following topics to find books that can help your child cope.
My Book About Cancer
[My Book About Cancer] Developed by Rebecca C. Schmidt, M.Ed.
Oncology Nursing Society, 2003, 54 pages
ISBN: 1890504335: Mother
ISBN: 189050436X: Father
Ages 3 to 8
This workbook for children, created by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), is available in two versions - one for the child whose mother has cancer and one for the child whose father has the disease. It provides an avenue for young people to explore their thoughts and feelings about the cancer of a parent. Children are supported to create and discuss their own book of experiences. With the help of parents, grandparents and other loved ones, children can identify their feelings, apprehensions, fears and concerns as the family progresses through diagnosis and treatment. Developed as well for use by helping professionals.
For more information: www.ons.org
Snowman on the Pitcher's Mound
[Snowman On The Pitcher's Mound] By Jamie Reno
Fulcrum Publishing, 2010, 129 Pages
A new, realistic and poignant middle school-aged novel that tells the story of how a 10-year-old boy copes when his mother is diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the book, the boy, who loves baseball and his family, talks about his life, his friends, his school and all the anger, fear, sadness and confusion prompted by his mom's unexpected illness. This touching story offers the boy's emotional changes in the child's own voice and in an accessible way. The author wanted to help young readers as well as their parents understand and appreciate a child's natural course of anger, frustration, sadness and fear. The book is for both children and grown-ups, but particularly reaches out to boys.
My Blood Brother: A Story About Childhood Leukemia
[My Blood Brother: A Story About Childhood Leukemia] By Elizabeth Murphy-Melas and Mary Kate Wright (Illustrator)
Health Press NA Inc., 2010, 32 pages
This touching book explores the dynamics of a family dealing with childhood leukemia. Sam and his older brother, Stefan, learn together that Sam has leukemia. The story shows the emotional turmoil a family endures while coping with a diagnosis of childhood cancer. Although Sam is only seven years old, he learns about how the disease affects his body and the terminology related to his illness. My Blood Brother provides support for the patient, siblings, parents, friends and extended family. The illustrations are done by an award-winning medical illustrator who uses colour and technique to provide comfortable, soothing illustrations in contrast with the emotionally charged story line. Parents and young children may benefit from this book.
Why, Charlie Brown, Why: A Story About What Happens When a Friend Is Very Ill
[Why, Charlie Brown, Why: A Story About What Happens When a Friend Is Very Ill] By Charles M. Schulz, Forward by Paul Newman
Ballantine Books, 1990, 64 pages
Ages 4 to 8
When Janice, Linus' 8-year-old friend, is diagnosed with leukemia, the Peanuts characters respond with compassion. Charles Schulz tells of the effects that Janice's illness has on her family, her classmates and her friends. With simplicity and honesty, the story dispels myths and can be used to help the child return to class following cancer treatment.
Video and DVD in English and Spanish is available free. To order, call an information specialist at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at (800) 955-4572.
The Hope Tree: Kids Talk about Breast Cancer
[The Hope Tree: Kids Talk about Breast Cancer] By Laura Joffe Numeroff and Wendy Schlessel Harpham, M.D.
Simon & Schuster Children's; 2001, 32 pages
Ages 5 to 10
The serious illness of a parent is challenging to children and families. Based on real situations, the authors have created a fictional support group. The group members are animals of different ages who talk about many universal issues that include: 'finding out,' family meetings, and looking for the good amidst the bad. Beautiful illustrations bring these themes to life and support children to blend disappointment with hope. The vignettes offer tools and practical tips that will help children deal with frightening emotions and give them something positive to do to support their mother and the family as a whole.
For more information: www.wendyharpham.com
[Mira's Month] By Deborah Weinstein; Illustrated by Beth Roy
Blood and Marrow Transplantation Information Network, 1994, 34 pages
Ages: 4 to 9
A colourfully illustrated book designed for use with young children who have a parent with cancer who will be hospitalized for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Mira's Month discusses the questions children have and the feelings they often experience during this time. Woven into the story are tips for coping with their sadness and practical information about what to expect a parent to look like during and after treatment.
The Amazing Hannah: Look at Everything I Can Do!
[The Amazing Hannah: Look at Everything I Can Do!] By Amy Klett
Friends of Hannah Klett and Growing Hope, 2001, 25 pages
Ages 1 to 6
A photo story created for a preschooler with leukemia, to help her adapt to doctor visits and treatments. Using the word "tubies" to describe the central line, its function and care, this book can be read and shown to children as young as 1 year.
Obtain a free copy (includes shipping and handling) by contacting the American Childhood Cancer Organization.
For more information: www.candle.org
Stevie's New Blood
[Stevie's New Blood] By Kathryn Ulberg Lilleby and Chad Chronick (Illustrator)
Oncology Nursing Press, 2000, 43 pages
Ages 6 to 10; adapted and read by both older and younger children
Stevie is undergoing bone marrow transplant (BMT) in the hopes that it will cure his leukemia. Anna, his sister - and donor - will learn what it is like to give her bone marrow. The story explains bone marrow and/or stem cell transplantation from a child's point of view and can be adapted for children of various ages. The book also can be adapted for the child whose parent is having a transplant or for the friend of a child undergoing BMT.
Henry and the White Wolf
[Henry and the White Wolf] By Tyler Karu and Tim Karu
Workman Publishing, 2000, 31 pages
Ages 4 to 8
Written and illustrated by a teenage brother and sister, this is an allegory about a sick hedgehog that is healed by the feared white wolf. Geared to help children cope with the physical discomforts and fears of prolonged medical treatment, this book can also be used with children whose parents and/or friends are ill. Included with the book is a stone for children to hold onto in hard times, a symbol, which parallels the story.
Chemo, Craziness & Comfort: My Book About Childhood Cancer
[Chemo, Craziness & Comfort: My Book About Childhood Cancer] By Nancy Keene and Trevor Romain
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, 2002, 185 pages
Ages 6 to 12
A resource book that provides practical advice for children diagnosed with cancer between 6 and 12 years of age. Warm and funny illustrations and easy-to-read text help the child (and parents) make sense of cancer. Themes address medical tests, hospitalization and treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplantation and their side effects. Offers tools and journal space to help children deal with the physical and emotional impact of both the cancer and the treatment.
For more information: www.candle.org
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
[The Fall of Freddie the Leaf] By Leo Buscaglia
Henry Holt & Company Inc., 2002, 30 pages
Ages: 4 to 8
Originally published in the fall of 1982, the wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story of a leaf named Freddie is one of the most popular books of our times. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons and fall to the ground with a winter's snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.
Don't Despair on Thursdays
[Don't Despair on Thursdays] By Adolf Moser, David Melton (Illustrator)
Landmark Editions, Inc., 1996, 61 pages
Examines, in simple text, how to deal with feelings of grief when people or pets die or when friends move away.
For more information: (800)-970-4220 FREE or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jester Has Lost His Jingle
[The Jester Has Lost His Jingle] By David Saltzman
Jester Company, 1995, 64 pages
Ages: 6 to 9
This is an illustrated tale, told in rhyme, about a jester who awakens one morning to find laughter missing in his kingdom. He and his helpmate, Pharley, set off on a quest to find it. They ultimately discover that not only can laughter redeem a weary world, it can also provide the best tonic for anyone facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including childhood hospitalization and illness.