Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chemo Girl

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. She wrote Chemo Girl, not only to help herself, but to help other children in similar situations. The idea was to teach a positive, non-threatening side of chemotherapy and to realize there’s always hope.

Let My Colors Out

This is an award-winning children’s book that is helping children whose parent or relative has been diagnosed with cancer. It chronicles the story of a young boy as his mother undergoes cancer treatment. The boy uses colors to express his emotions. Sometimes he is sad/blue, angry/red, scared/purple, jealous/green, or even in denial/orange. Throughout his journey, the boy begins to realize that its okay to have all these emotions and letting them out through coloring is healthy. Eventually, he is happy/yellow and learns to cope with his mother’s diagnosis by accepting his emotions as normal.

The Hope Tree

A comforting picture book written to help younger children cope with a mother's breast cancer. The authors have created 10 "testimonials" by animal characters in an imaginary support group, allowing each of them to talk about issues they are facing. 

The Rainbow Feelings of Cancer

This beautiful, heartwarming book features daughter Carrie's art and writing about the emotions evoked by her mother's illness. Describing her own fears, difficulties and hopes, Carrie doesn't tell her readers what to feel; rather, she gently invites them into her world, offering them an opportunity to speak, draw, or consider their own feelings. Children need to share their feelings and ask questions, especially in stressful times -- and this book subtly and warmly encourages conversation between children and those who love them. 

Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy

Told through the eyes of it's title character, Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy uses candor and comic reality to dispel stereotypes and acknowledge some moody truths faced by families LIVING with cancer.

Paper Chain

This is a story about Marcus and Ben, whose mother undergoes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Mom loses her hair and must rest a lot during her treatments. Sometimes the boys feel sad and cross because she can't enjoy the activities she once did, and their parents help them understand their emotions. In time, the woman regains her strength and her hair grows back, and the children are delighted, but she will be closely monitored by her doctor to check for signs of the disease's return. The book, which is factual but not frightening, would be very helpful for families dealing with other forms of cancer and serious illnesses in general. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am posting several books for children about cancer. Some deal specifically with breast cancer; all can be used to teach coping skills and help kids express their feelings if they or a loved one is dealing with a cancer diagnosis.