Books for Kids with Cancer

Chemo Girl: Saving the World One Treatment at a Time    (Christina Richmond)

Chemo Girl is the fictional tale of a superhero created by Christina Richmond, who was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of muscle cancer, when she was in the seventh grade. She was only 12 years old. During her many hospitalizations, she developed the concept of Chemo Girl to help her cope with the chemotherapy treatments. 
 

Let's Talk About When Kids Have Cancer     (Melanie Apel Gorden)

Another Bestseller from the "Let's Talk Library". Melanie Apel Gordon discusses what cancer is, its treatment and side

effects, and how it affects the lives of its victims and their families. 

 

Chemo to the Rescue: A Children's Book About Leukemia     (Mary Brent)

When my daughter, Caitlin, was diagnosed with leukemia, she was five years old. Our life changed dramatically, and it was hard to answer the questions she had about her illness and explain why she must go through chemotherapy for such a long time. At one point she began to rebel against the treatment, not understanding that the medicine that was making her feel bad was actually saving her life. Creating this book with Caitlin helped her to come to terms with her illness and accept the treatment. It gave her the power she needed to fight and be strong during the difficult times.

 

Dear Bruno          (Alice Trillin)

Trillin, who in 1976 discovered she had lung cancer, shares here healing experience with Bruno, a 12 year old, in an attempt to cheer him up with impromptu humor and to install courage, a matter-of-fact attitude toward one's illness, even a touch of irreverence. 

 

The Kissing Hand       (Audry Penn)

Audry Penn's "The Kissing Hand" is just the right book for any child who is temporarily separated from home or loved ones.

 

The Famous Hat         (Kate Gaynor)

This book has been designed to help children with leukemia or other forms of cancer prepare for treatment, namely chemotherapy, and a stay in hospital. 
 

Angels and Monsters         (American Cancer Society)

A child's view of Cancer.

 

Little Tree         (Joyce C. Mills)

Fictional story provides hope and inspiration for children facing serious illness. Includes a "Note to Parents" section, written by a child psychologist, providing guidance for parents and describes relaxation exercises they may teach their children.  

 

A Day With Dr. Waddle

Center for Basic Cancer Research. Children, just like adults, often have questions about cancer, particularly when the illness is in their own family. A Day With Dr. Waddle was written and illustrated by staff memember of the Cancer Center at Kansas to help children understand cancer. 

 

Kathy's Hats          (Trudy Krisher, Nadine Bernard Westcott)

A biographical sketch of a young girl's experience with cancer and chemotherapy. This adequately written book by the child's mother is simple yet strong, and will no doubt we welcomed by other children in this situation.  

 

Books for Children with a Parent/Relative who has Cancer

 

Cancer Hates Kisses              (Jessica Reid Sliwerski)

An encouraging tool for having cancer conversations—a lovingly upbeat book that is also refreshingly authentic and straightforward. With its simple text and heartwarming illustrations, Cancer Hates Kisses is relatable to any type of cancer.

Because Someone I Love has Cancer      (American Cancer Society)

A kid's activity book. Someone I love has Cancer offers your child support, encouragement, and opportunity for imagnative personal expression. This inspired publication is designed to address the basic goals of therapeutic support for children who have a loved one with cancer.  

When Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Guide to Help Kids Cope     (Alaric Lewis)

Child-friendly language and illustrations to explain what cancer is, the terminology surrounding its treatment, and the potential consequences of the disease, as well as the healthy emotional reactions children may have when someone in their life has cancer.

Nowhere Hair: Explain cancer and chemo to your kids        (Sue Glader)    

This book, written in rhyme, explains hats, scarves, wigs, going bald in public, and the idea of being nice to people who may look a little different than you. For any parent or grandparent, Nowhere Hair offers a comfortable platform to explain something that is inherently very difficult. Now available in SPANISH under the title "Y EL PELO?" 

 

Sammy's Mommy Has Cancer       (Sherry Kohlenberg)

When Kohlenberg was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wrote this book for her young son, to help him understand what was happening to her. In spare simple language against rich backdrop of Crow's pastels, this is a comforting guide for children facing a difficult time.  

 

Promises          (Elizabeth Mahony Winthrop)

Preschool 4 year old Sarah, a young girl whose parent is undergoing treatment for cancer, describes her day-to-day life, expressing a wide range of emotions. Her happiness that her mother is well enough to take a walk turns to fury as a classmate they meet asks why the woman doesn't have any hair.  

 

Once Upon a Hopeful Night          (Risa Sacks Vaffe)

This book is a unique story that helps parents with cancer talk to their young children about their disease and treatment. It touches on many issues facing children who have a parent with cancer, such as anger, sadness, fear and hope.  

 

Our Family Has Cancer, Too!          (Christine Clifford)

Providing comfort through the knowledge that "you are not alone," Our Family has Cancer, Too! is an ideal gift for children whose families haven been touched to cancer.  

 

Please Don't Go         (Mary Jo Valley)

I'm a preteen and I love my mother. My story is for every daughter who loves her mother.  

 

 

Books for Siblings of Kids with Cancer

 

Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling        (Sharon Wozny)

Part story, part journal, Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling helps siblings of pediatric cancer patients cope with intense feelings and anxiety.

My Sister Got Cancer: A Workbook for Siblings of Cancer Patients     (Emmett B. Kelly)

My Sister Got Cancer is filled with information and exercises designed to help siblings of patients. This practical, easy-to-read workbook contains definitions of common terms associated with cancer treatment, questions about subjects important to children, and exercises designed to help children process events and emotions.

Hi, My Name is Jack          (Christina Beall-Sullivan)

This is a children's book specifically for the healthy siblings of chronically ill, disabled or dying children. This book addresses and focuses upon some of the feelings that may be experienced by healthy siblings.

What About Me?  When Brothers and Sisters get Sick      (Allan Peterkin)

What about me? This question, usually unspoken, lies at the heart of this poignant story, as a young girl attempts to cope with her brother's being ill. Beautifully written and illustrated, this story deals with the many complicated feelings the well child experiences in such a situation: guilt about having somehow caused the illness, fear that the sibling will die, anger over being left out, anxiety about catching the sickness, and longing for life to return to the way it was.

 

When Molly Was in the Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children     (Debbie Duncan)

A Book for Brothers & Sisters of Hospitalized Children. Anna's little sister, Molly, has been very ill and had to have an operation. Anna tells us all about the experience from her point of view. Sensitive, insightful, heartwarming story. A support and comfort for siblings and those who love them.

 

Why, Charlie Brown, Why?: A Story About What Happens When a Friend Is Very Ill  (Charles Schulz)

In this timeless classic, the Peanuts gang faces the serious sickness of a good friend with all the sensitivity, caring, and warmth that is the trademark of Charles Schultz’s work. Why, Charlie Brown, Why? is a heartwarming story of a child dealing with great challenges and profound questions.