Published: Mar. 28, 2007
Updated: Aug. 22, 2011
An Exceptional View of Life: The Easter Seal Story
by Children with disabilities
A Child’s Point of View Publication, Easter Seals
Phone: (800) 221-6837
This is a book written by children with various disabilities. The words and drawings tell of struggles and triumphs for these children. The book can help children to appreciate life after seeing how these children with disabilities deal with the difficulties in their lives.
This book is appropriate for all children who need to feel as though they are not the only ones with a disability. The book takes about 30 minutes to read. This book is especially suitable for children ages 11 to 16.
Fuzzy and Frankie
by Susan Murray
Goetz Printing Co.
Dept. of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20010-2970
Phone (202) 745-2140
1991, ISBN 91-60256
In this beautifully illustrated story, Fuzzy, a teddy bear who belongs to a sick boy, Frankie, tells you his point of view. Frankie is going to the hospital with Fuzzy, and Fuzzy realizes from the grim faces around him that something is very wrong with Frankie. Frankie must undergo a series of tests, and Fuzzy wishes that he could do something to make Frankie feel better. Frankie, however, becomes weaker, and he misses his friends. When Frankie sees his parents crying, Fuzzy explains why his parents are worried about him. Slowly he gets visitors, and he notices that the other children in the hospital were fat or had lost their hair because of their medicines. Soon, Frankie gets well again, and he is able to go home.
This book is appropriate for children suffering from a serious illness and dealing with medical treatment. It takes about three to five minutes to read, and it is in simple language that eight- to 11-year-olds can read and understand.
by Matthew Lancaster
997 Macarthur Blvd., Mahway, NJ 07430
1983, ISBN 0-8091-2696-6
Matthew, a cancer patient, wrote this book. In his own writing and his own words, he speaks to everyone with cancer with advice on how to get through the doctors, pills and the pain. His positive attitude about hanging “tough” and praying to God to get through the suffering helps children to see that they are not alone. Some of his drawings are very graphic and may be disturbing to young or easily frightened children.
This book is appropriate for children of all ages suffering with cancer, or another terminal illness that limits their activity and involves hospitalization and treatments. Matthew explores a Bible story and praying to God to get through the pain. Therefore, this book is especially appropriate for children who follow Judeo-Christian religions. This book takes about 10 to 15 minutes to read, and children age 10 and older can read it independently.
My Book for Kids with Cansur: A Child’s Autobiography of Hope
by Jason Gaes
$11.95 in hardcover
Melius & Peterson Publishing Corp.
524 Citizens Building, Aberdeen, SD 57401
1987, ISBN 0-937603-04-X
This is a very moving book written by a cancer patient, Jason Gaes, who encourages kids to have a positive attitude, and that not all kids with cancer die! He gives advice on how to get through injections, nightmares, and treatments of all sorts. He describes both how his uncle discovered Jason’s “cansur” and the entire process of cancer treatment. He gives his opinions on the different types of treatment and medicines that he took over the duration of his cancer. Also, he tells kids the positive side of having cancer and having no hair! The illustrations in the book are reflections of Jason’s feelings, and they further explain Jason’s many messages.
An expert wrote this book -- a kid who has had cancer and survived. The book is appropriate for children suffering from cancer, ages seven to 14, and are afraid and have many difficult questions. While he does speak about the Lord and His help to get through the days, it also has a general message to which a child of any religion can relate. The book takes about 10 minutes to read.
Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same
by Fred Rogers
Phone: The American Cancer Society, 1-800-ACS-2345
This book reassures children with cancer that they are still children with feelings that are OK to express as their lives change. The book lets children know that some of the changes that they experience will be hard to deal with and that sometimes they will need to cry or hold a loved one’s hand. They may be unable to do many of the things that they used to do, and that is all part of having cancer. However, this book shows children that they may become used to their surroundings in a hospital, with their new friends and caring doctors and nurses. Most of all, this book lets children know that they are still children with favorite things to do, and there are people who love them a lot.
This book is appropriate for children with cancer, ages seven to 12, who are scared and upset. It takes five to 10 minutes to read, and it is best if the child reads the book with an adult to help answer questions that may come up during the reading.
Teenagers Face to Face with Cancer
by Karen Gravelle and Bertram A. John
Julian Messner, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Simon & Schuster Bldg, Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
1986, ISBN 0-671-54549-3
This is a book by 16 teenagers with cancer. They describe their experiences with the disease, and how they deal with family, friends, and school while coping with their illness. These teenagers describe how they felt when they first found out they had cancer and then how they felt with various forms of treatment -- ranging from chemotherapy to amputation of a limb. Each child tells you how they feel about their plans for the future and coming to terms with the fact that they might die. These children feel that their bout with cancer has left them stronger in various ways.
This book is appropriate for all teenagers, both those with cancer and their friends who have a lot of questions -- what to expect when a friend gets cancer, how to help, and that it is all right to ask questions. The book takes about two hours to read.
There Is a Rainbow Behind Every Dark Cloud
by Children Who Have a Life Threatening Illness
P.O. Box 7327, Berkeley, CA 94707
1978, ISBN 0-89087-253-8
This is a book about 11 children, ages eight to 19, who are sick with cancer and other sicknesses and are scared they might die. The children share their experiences with a terminal illness and try to help each other cope with the idea of their own death.
Each chapter describes some experience of the children with their illness and dying. The book is illustrated with drawings by the children. The children heal by letting go of the past and letting the past completely disappear and not hanging on to it. In this way, they overcame their fears. There is a section on choosing to heal yourself, including praying for help. These children believe that when you have total faith, you are connected to each other in love. Then you will "find a rainbow on the other side of any dark cloud."
This book is appropriate for any child who is sick with cancer or any other sickness where the child is afraid of dying. By working in a group, these children helped each other, and also helped themselves. The book takes only a few minutes to read, but the child needs time to discuss and express their fears.
When You Have an Operation on Your Head or Back
by Henrietta Egleston Hospital Nursing Staff
1405 Clifton Rd., NE, Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: (404) 325-6000, ext. 6156
This is a good activity book for children about to undergo an operation on their head and back. It goes through, step-by-step, everything that your child may experience in a hospital, as well as providing pictures and opportunities for your child to draw and fill in the blanks. The book states all of the possible procedures -- how they are carried out, how your child will feel during and after the procedures are performed.
This activity book is appropriate for children, ages six to 16, about to undergo an operation on their head and back. An adult should read the book to the child. The child will have many questions about the tests spoken about in this book, as well as, many other questions that the book could not have answered. This book takes 20 to 35 minutes to read if your child colors the pictures and fills in the blanks.
Why, Charlie Brown, Why?
by Charles M. Schulz
$7.95 in paperback and ALSO available for viewing on video in the Patient Family Resource Center
200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166
1990, ISBN 0-88687-600-1
In this touching story about the infamous Peanuts Gang, Linus must deal with the illness of his new friend, Janice. Janice has leukemia, and she misses school for several weeks at a time. When she returns to school, she is wearing a new hat because she has no hair. The class bully pulls off her hat and makes fun of her. Linus, however, jumps in to defend his friend. This situation is just one example of several reactions to a person with leukemia. Linus shows the reader how she or he should behave towards a friend who has cancer. Later on in the story, Janice again must return to the hospital. When she returns to school, however, she has a surprise -- all her hair has grown back. The ending provides a positive outlook for any child with cancer.
This story is appropriate for friends or siblings of children with cancer, for ages six to 14. The book addresses the strong feelings children often have toward the child with the disease, and it does an excellent job of showing children how to treat, and act, around a child with cancer. This book takes 10 to 15 minutes to read; the video takes close to 25 minutes to view. Parents should read this book with their child so that the child can clarify any questions that they have while reading the book.