Skip to main content

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.

Suggested Reading - 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.

The Year My Dad Went Bald


The Year My Dad Went Bald: A Tale of Cancer, Chemo and Coping with a Cold Head
By Brian Kraft
Bang Press, 2010, 36 pages
ISBN 9780615421544
Ages 6-12

A cancer diagnosis is always shocking, but the sickness of a parent is an especially scary time for kids.  A heartwarming and informative story of how a young boy copes with his father's cancer diagnosis and treatment. Written and illustrated by a lymphoma survivor, and told from the perspective of his 9-year-old sports-loving son, this book will help any family facing the fear and challenges of cancer better understand how the disease will impact their children.  Perfect for kids 6-12 years old, with easy-to-understand explanations of conditions and treatments, a resource guide, and even famous people who have faced cancer.

For more information:

Suggested Reading - 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.

Suggested Reading - 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.