When someone has cancer, no one likes to talk about it with their kids. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do it. It’s hard to find the right words. You don’t want to make promises that aren’t true or gloss over how bad the disease is. At the same time, you don’t want your child to worry.
Best Children’s Books About Childhood Cancer
Here is a list of books about childhood cancer that you can read. For some of them, they are written for kids who have the disease. Others are good for kids who know someone who has the disease to read to.
Amazing Annabelle: A Story for Kids Fighting Cancer by Dylan Fox
Amazing Annabelle was written by a mother after her three-year-old daughter was told she had cancer. A portion of the money from the sales of this book goes to research on cancer in children.
During this book, the main character, Annabelle, has a lot of sickness. To get through the treatment, she imagines what it would be like to be healthy again. Toward the back, there are extra pages. It’s OK for kids to fill these out while they’re waiting for a doctor at the office. You can give this to children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses as a good-luck gift.
How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? by Vanessa Bayer
In How Do You Take Care of a Sick Bear? A young bear’s friend has a very bad disease. The author of this book is a person who has had childhood cancer, and he wrote this book. She wrote this book based on what she had done.
If you have cancer, don’t just buy this book to help you understand what it means. The message is broad. So it could also be used to talk about other diseases that could kill you.
The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer by Elizabeth A. Billups
People who have cancer, like Gracie and Roo, have to deal with side effects. In The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer, they talk about them. Elizabeth Billups, Gracie’s real-life mother, wrote the book, and she did it herself.
A lot of Billups’ writing talks about surgery, chemo, and radiation. Even more than that, she talks about how many people help kids like Gracie fight the disease. The book is very real and detailed. It has a glossary at the back of the book so that you can quickly look up words. Journaling pages are also in the book. Kids can write about what happened to them while they were getting treatment.
Goodnight Hospital Room by Marilyn Luce Robertson
She wrote Goodnight Hospital Room as a tribute to Goodnight Moon, and it’s a good book. Children who have read Margaret Wise Brown’s book will enjoy this version. Most of the time, though, if they spend time in hospital rooms.
People who buy Goodnight Hospital Room get a share of the money. Some of it goes to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The Berenstain Bears’ Hospital Friends by Mike Berenstain
We all know how much kids love the Berenstain Bears. They visit a hospital in Hospital Friends. This book is not about how to treat cancer. But it teaches young children about the staff they will encounter on their visit to a hospital.
The Stan and Jan Berenstain Healthy Kids Foundation gets a share of the money from this book.
Chemo to the Rescue: A Children’s Book About Leukemia by Mary Brent and Caitlin Knutsson
It was about Mary Brent’s daughter Caitlin having cancer. She wrote Chemo to the Rescue about it. Caitlin couldn’t figure out why she had to have chemotherapy. Caitlin didn’t understand why her treatment made her feel sick, and she didn’t know what to do about it.
Brent wrote this book to help kids understand how their treatment will go, so he made it. When they’re going through treatment, we want to help them stay strong and keep going.
The Famous Hat by Kate Gaynor
People of all ages find it hard to understand that children can get cancer at a young age. I find it very unfair that this disease comes to attack. When young children are the victims, it’s even more difficult to deal with.
The Famous Hat tries to explain what a person with cancer might go through. This is what the author talks about when he talks about things like hospital stays, injections, tubes, and hair loss: He goes through chemotherapy and loses his hair. Harry is the main character in this story. To help a child understand what might happen during treatment, read this book to him or her. Then, when you die, the people who love you will be able to think about what’s most important. Creating a free Cake end-of-life planning profile is easy, and you can share your preferences right away.
Best Children’s Books About Adults Having Cancer
Some things are hard to talk about with kids. But as adults, we have to learn how to deal with sensitive issues head-on, so we don’t avoid them. When a friend or family member dies, we’ve had to learn how to say sorry. We’ve learned that it’s important to talk to kids about death. We may also have to learn how to tell our kids that someone they love has cancer.
Because children’s authors are here to help, There are a lot of books for kids about death, and there are also a lot of books about cancer. Some things to think about when you have to tell your child bad news.
Nowhere Hair: Explains Your Cancer and Chemo to Kids by Sue Glader and Edith Buenen
Mom lost her hair in Nowhere Hair. She and her child have a lot of fun looking for it, and they enjoy it very much.
This book, even though it’s lighthearted, still talks about important things. Some people lose their hair while they are getting cancer treatment, and this is what this text is about. Tells kids that even though their mom is tired, she’s still the same person she has always been. It will show kids how important it is to be kind to people, even if they look different from you.
Cancer Party! by Sara Olsher
Cancer Party! breaks down the subject of cancer, even though it has a fun name. Kids can understand everything Olsher says because he talks in simple terms. illustrations are used to show how cells work inside our bodies in the book. Illustrations show how cancer starts in the body and how to stop it.
Sara Olsher, the author of this book, is a person who has had cancer in the past. She had a hard time telling her child about her illness. There were no books that could help her. So, she wrote a book. People can now use it to show their kids.
Cancer Hates Kisses by Jessica Reid Silwerski
Cancer Hates Kisses is about a family whose mother is having cancer treatment. In this story, cancer doesn’t like kisses or dancing at all. The family does these things in the hope that they will help get rid of the disease.
It’s been hard for Silwerski to tell her family that she has cancer. When a child has a parent who has cancer, this is a great story to tell them.
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings by Ellen McVicker
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings is a good book for a mother who needs help telling her kids that she has cancer. The message is told through the eyes of a child.
Throughout the book, there is a sense of hope and happiness. This is not the right book to help a young child deal with the death of a person with cancer.
Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Child’s Guide to Understanding by Robin Martin Duttmann
An author who has had cancer wrote “Someone You Love Has Cancer.” It explains what cancer is for kids. There is also a description of what it means when a friend or family member is sick. As a bonus, the book also comes with a glossary in the back.
To give kids something to think about, the book has fundraising ideas in it. It also tells you how to make a Memory Box.
When Your Teacher Has Cancer: Helping Children Cope in the Classroom and Beyond by Maryann Makekau
To explain her condition to her class, a grade-school teacher should look at this book or video first. During When Your Teacher Has Cancer, kids might wonder if they can get cancer, or if they can get it from their teacher.
Mom Goes to War by Irene Martin
Mom Goes to War is a story about a queen going to war with the help of her best friends. In this story, the queen is a mother, and the fight is against cancer. A lot of text is in this book. It might be better for older kids to read this book. It takes more time to pay attention. If you read this book, you won’t hear about chemo or radiation. Maybe it would go well with one of the more scientific books on this list.
When Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Guide to Help Kids Cope by Alaric Lewis
It hurts when someone you love has an accident. Cancer is a more general guide to cancer, and it talks about cancer in general. It talks about how the disease works and what could happen if it doesn’t get better. It also talks about how children might feel after hearing the news.
Everybody doesn’t want to tell children about cancer, and no one wants to do that. And it can be hard to know what to say. These children’s authors have given us tools that we can use to help us have the conversation. When you have a conversation that isn’t going to be any easier, you won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing. To help your child understand this difficult issue, you’ll instead be able to focus on how you can help them. If you want more ideas, check out our list of the best books about cancer.