Supportive Care at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center
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Suggested Book List

No matter what your prognosis, it is natural for children to ask questions about death. They may also feel a strong sense of grief and loss about the illness and the impact it has upon you and your family.

If you would like additional information to talk with your children about the grief and loss they experience related to the cancer journey, you may find the following books helpful:

  • 35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child by the Dougy Center for Grieving Children
  • Guiding Your Child Through Grief by James P. Emswiler and Mary Ann Emswiler
  • Talking About Death: A Dialogue between Parent and Child by Earl Grollman
  • Sad Isn't Bad: A Good Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss by Michaelene Mundy
  • How Do We Tell the Children? A Step-by-Step Guide for Helping Children Two to Teen

Reading a story or sharing a book with your child may be a helpful tool for encouraging a discussion about concerns and feelings. The following books are written for children and address important issues about diagnosis, treatment and life:

  • I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia

For Younger Children:

  • Our Mom Has Cancer by Abigail and Adrienne Ackerman
  • Because Someone I Love Has Cancer: Kids Activity Book
    by The American Cancer Society
  • Talking with My Treehouse Friends About Cancer: Interactive Workbook by Peter Van Derhoot
  • In Mommy's Garden: A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children by Neyal Ammary
  • The Paper Chain by Claire Blake, Eliza Blanchard and Kathy Parkinson
  • My Mommy Has Cancer by Carolyn Stearns-Parkinson
  • The Rainbow Feeling of Cancer by Carrie Martin and Chia Martin

For pre-teens and teenagers:

  • Less than Perfect by Louis Albert

For parents:

  • When a Parent has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children by Wendy S. Harpham MD
  • Cancer in the Family: Helping Children Cope with a Parent's Illness by Katherine Bruss, Joy Fincannon, Sue Heiney, and Joan Hermann
  • Helping your Children Cope with Cancer: A Guide for Parents and Families by Peter Van Derhoot


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