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Coping with Illness

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. Browse the list below for books that can help your child cope.

Chris Crushes Cancer

Suggested Reading-Chris Crushes Cancer

Chris Crushes Cancer by Michele Wulff
Ingram Spark/Amazon, 2023, 40 pages
ISBN 979-8-3507-1502-6

Chris idolizes superheroes and their adventures. His favorite hero, the Crimson Crusader, displays the superpowers of strength, courage and determination. When Chris is diagnosed with leukemia, he uses his imagination to emerge as a new superhero, the Cancer Crusher. He applies his strength, courage, and determination to complete his treatment successfully and crush cancer!

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Paisley’s Pay it Forward Adventure

Suggested Reading-Paisley’s Pay it Forward Adventure

Paisley’s Pay it Forward Adventure by Gail D. Nussbaum
Bookbaby, 2023, 33 Pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9798218076085

Paisley is a teddy bear excited to find a new home full of adventure and is surprised to end up in a hospital. Though not where Paisley expected to land, Paisley finds purpose through helping Ahna, a young girl battling cancer (Leukemia). Paisley soon finds his journey doesn’t end with Ahna- instead he finds himself traveling from child to child. Paisley learns what it means to pay it forward and the power of small acts of kindness - the story is one of love and giving back to those who need it most.

All proceeds from the book go directly to pediatric charities, including Ronald McDonald House, Brent’s Place, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

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Stars Will Twinkle, The Sun Will Shine

Suggested Reading-Stars Will Twinkle

Stars Will Twinkle, The Sun Will Shine: The Story of Olivia’s Leukemia
By Teresita Blake Kellenyi, Illustrated by Angie Jones
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2022 Each book is between 28 and 32 pages
ISBN 979-8-9850032-6-0
Ages 4-11
Available in English and Spanish

Written and illustrated to explain the cancer journey to young children. Follow Olivia and her family in this 3-book series as Olivia is diagnosed with leukemia, goes to the hospital for treatment and returns to school.  Book one Under the Weather In this first story, Olivia is diagnosed with leukemia.  Book two Stars Will Twinkle, in this second story Olivia goes to the hospital for treatment of her leukemia.  Book three Home Sweet Home, in the third story Olivia is back home after her hospital stay, has a relapse that sends her back to hospital. Before long she is better, back home, and back at school.

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You Are So Much More: An Inspiration for Children Healing From Illness or Injury

Suggested Reading You Are So Much More

You Are So Much More: An Inspiration for Children Healing From Illness or Injury by Serena Tejpar
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
June 1, 2022, Paperback/Hardcover (44 Pages) and Kindle
ISBN: 978-1615996322
Ages 5 to 7
Research has shown that building resilience in the face of adversity or challenges helps children and young people develop effective coping strategies and improve long-term outcomes across a spectrum of illnesses. You Are So Much More reminds children who have gone through or are going through an illness or injury, that they are indeed so much more. Trauma survivor and medical student Serena Tejpar shares a story of inspiration, reflection, and encouragement that can be read over and over again.

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What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer

Suggested Reading-What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer

What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer By Sara Olsher
Mighty + Bright, 2020, 34 pages
ISBN 9781734864168
Ages 4-10

Join Mia and her stuffed giraffe Stuart as they explain the science of cancer and how a child’s diagnosis and treatment affects their day-to-day life. With the help of both experts and families who have been through pediatric cancer, author and illustrator Sara Olsher explains the science of cancer (in an age-appropriate, totally non-scary way) and uses an illustrated calendar to show how various treatments affect a child's day-to-day. The book uses bright and fun illustrations to show how cells can turn into cancer, and helps reduce confusion about how cancer treatment affects a kid’s life.

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The Invisible String

Suggested Reading - The Invisible String

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018, 40 Pages, Hardcover/Paperback/Audiobook
ISBN: 978-0316486231
Available in English, Spanish, and multiple other languages

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief.  In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but still they want to know more: "What kind of string?" The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.

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Samson's Tale

Samson's Tale

Samson's Tale By Carla Mooney, Illustrated by Kathleen Spale
Publisher: Story Pie Press, 2011, 32 Pages
ISBN-10: 098421827 ISBN-13: 978-0984217823
Ages 4 to 8

Samson's Tale is a wonderfully written and warmly illustrated picture book that tells the story of a young boy with leukemia from his pet perspective. This wonderful story chronicles the boy's experience with chemotherapy and his illness. It may help young readers as well as their parents understand and appreciate a child's experience of coping with a blood cancer in a hopeful manner with the help of his loyal pet.

Henry and the White Wolf

Henry and the White Wolf

Henry and the White Wolf By Tyler Karu and Tim Karu
Workman Publishing, 2000, 31 pages
ISBN: 0761121358
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.

Stevie's New Blood

Stevie's New Blood

Stevie's New Blood By Kathryn Ulberg; Lilleby and Chad Chronick (Illustrator)
Oncology Nursing Press, 2000, 43 pages
ISBN: 1890504173
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.