Books for Children Coping with an Illness

Sometimes it can helpful for children to know they aren’t alone, and having a book that reflects their unique experiences may provide comfort. If a child you love is coping with illness, consider one of these resources.

  • The Amazing Hannah: Look at Everything I Can Do!
  • Amy Klett
  • Friends of Hannah Klett and Growing Hope, 2001, 25 pages
  • Ages 1-6

A photo story created for a preschooler with leukemia, to help her adapt to doctor visits and treatments. Using the word "tubies" to describe the central line, its function and care, this book can be read and shown to children as young as one year. Obtain a free copy (includes shipping and handling) by contacting the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation at www.candlelighters.org or email info@candlelighters.org.

  • Chemo, Craziness & Comfort: My Book About Childhood Cancer
  • By Nancy Keene and Trevor Romain
  • Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, 2002, 185 pages
  • ISBN: 0972404309
  • Ages 6-12

A resource book that provides practical advice for children diagnosed with cancer between 6 and 12 years of age. Warm and funny illustrations and easy-to-read text help the child (and parents) make sense of cancer. Themes address medical tests, hospitalization, and treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplantation and their side effects. Offers tools and journal space to help children deal with the physical and emotional impact of both the cancer and the treatment.
Order at www.candlelighters.org .

  • Henry and the White Wolf
  • Tyler Karu and Tim Karu
  • Workman Publishing, 2000, 31 pages
  • ISBN: 0761121358
  • Ages 4-8

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
  • Kathryn Ulberg Lilleby and Chad Chronick (Illustrator)
  • Oncology Nursing Press, 2000, 43 pages
  • ISBN 1890504173
  • Ages 6-10; 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.

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