Published: Mar. 28, 2007
Updated: Aug. 22, 2011
Afraid to Ask: A Book for Families to Share About Cancer
by Judylaine Fine
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, Div. of William Morrow & Co., Inc.
105 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
1986, ISBN 0-688-06196-6 (Paperback)
This book is an easy-to-read manual to help teenagers and their mothers and fathers understand what cancer is, who gets it, prevention, treatment and dying with cancer.
The book deals with the physical and emotional problems involved in having or knowing someone who has cancer. Cancer creates stress for the entire family and this book helps the family understand the disease and share with each other. The book is divided into two parts: the first part explains generally what cancer is and then in part two covers specific common types of cancer. The book is organized so the reader can skip sections or use the index to look up specific topics.
This book is appropriate for teenagers and their parents or caregivers. The book answers basic questions about cancer in a scientific manner. There are sections on treatment and living with cancer, and also on dying with cancer.
How Do We Tell the Children: A Step-by-Step Guide for Helping Children Two to Teen Cope When Someone Dies
by Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons
18 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017
1993, ISBN 1-55704-181-4 (Paperback)
This book tells adults what children aged two and up already know and are capable of understanding about death.
The book tells you what words to use when explaining death and how to help the child deal with grief. The book covers topics such as AIDS, the loss of an animal and talking with the mentally handicapped. The book gives advice for talking to children of all ages about death, separation and loss and how the adult can help them cope with feelings of grief, fear and loss. The book covers the stages of grief and the path to a healthy recovery, and gives a list of support groups and information sources. There is a special crisis section in outline form of key questions and messages.
This book is appropriate for parents and caregivers of any child two to teen. It is a guide to help understand and cope with loss and achieve a healthy recovery. There are step by step instructions to help you.
How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness
by Kathleen McCue with Ron Bonn
St. Martin’s Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
1994, ISBN 0-312-11350-1
This book is an easy-to-read manual to help guide a mother or father through the many turns of a child in responding to a parent’s serious illness. However, the book is not only for a mom or dad; rather it explains the special needs of children.
The book helps an adult face the child’s mental and emotional stress. It is a help to any adult to help children through this frightening time. The book contains real-life situations along with advice and guidelines. Some of the topics include: what to tell a child, and how someone can recognize early warning signs in play, sleep, eating habits and schoolwork. The book is organized so the reader can easily find particular topics if they have a specific problem. Each chapter contains a summary page at the end along with page numbers so you can easily find that topic. In addition, there is advice on when and where to get professional help. There is advice on preparing children for hospital visits or when the sick parent is coming home. Also the book covers dying and living, plus dealing with special needs such as the single parent and AIDS.
This book is appropriate for parents, caregivers and teachers of children whose parent is suffering from a serious illness. The book is a guide to help children develop healthy and safe ways to cope with the parent’s illness and emerge whole and ready for the rest of their lives. This is a manual an adult can use through months or years of a parent’s treatment.
Learning to Say Goodbye ... When a Parent Dies
by Eda LeShan
Avon Books, Div. of Hearst Corp.
1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019
1988, ISBN 0-380-40105-3
This book is about the states of grief all people need to go through -- disbelief, fear, anger, guilt and resentment -- when they experience a loss.
The book deals frankly with the things people experience when someone they love dies. The book applies to any death, any process of mourning, not just to the death of a parent. The lesson to be learned is that the pain never completely goes away; there will always be moments of grief. We need to use memory to hold on to what was most special and lovable about the person who is gone. The living parent and other grownups need to give young children memories to hold on to.
This book is appropriate for a parent, caregiver, and teachers of children who are mourning the loss of someone they love, especially a parent. The book is a guide to help children develop healthy and safe ways to cope with the parent’s death and emerge whole and ready for the rest of their lives. While there are many parts of the book that can be read together with an older child, there may be parts that each person would rather keep to themselves. Therefore, the adult should read the book before reading it with the child.
Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss
by Hope Edelman
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.
1994, ISBN 0-201-63288-8
This is a book that relates the feelings of women whose mothers were lost through death or emotional detachment when the women were girls.
The death of a mother changed every woman forever. A daughter’s relationship with her father and siblings changes too. As adults, there are problems in relationships based on a feeling of abandonment. At various transition points, such as leaving home, getting married, having a child, the daughter yearns for guidance of her mother. Each woman in the book is still affected by growing up without a mother and realizes she will mourn for her mother the rest of her life. The book examines the effects of this loss on a woman’s identity, personality, family and life choices.
This book is appropriate for a teenager whose mother has died and all adults who are trying to help a girl understand and cope with the loss of her mother through death. The book is useful as a guide to understand the effect a mother’s death has on daughters at different ages.
On Children and Death
by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Co.
866 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022
1985, ISBN 0-02-076670-X (Paperback.)
This is a book about surviving the loss of a child; it offers help and hope to the families.
The author speaks to your fears, doubts, anger, confusion and anguish. Also, there are insights into the emotional need of a terminally ill child. The book covers topics such as "letting go," the funeral, and the child’s understanding of their death. Other topics include missing and murdered children and childhood suicide.
This book is appropriate for anyone who experienced the loss of a child. It is a resource to help and understand how children and their parents can and do cope with death. This is not a book to read in one sitting, but rather, you can pick it up, and read any topic as needed.
Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
by Earl A. Grollman
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2800
1990, ISBN 0-8070-2363-9
This is an excellent resource for any parent or guardian that is helping a child get through a death of any sort.
The book discusses every aspect of death -- the questions that a child may have about their dead loved one, and the child’s life in the years to come. There is a section for a parent and child to read together. First though, the parent or guardian should read this book by themselves. There is a section to help honestly explain the death and not cloud the child’s mind with fantasies. Another section helps the adult to understand all of the child’s different emotions, and how the parent’s emotions may reflect the child’s recovery from the loss. Another section helps explain to the child what happens to the person who died. It specifically discusses funerals. Other sections address how children react to specific kinds of death and how to seek professional help. There is a specific section for the adult on coping with their own grief. At the end of the book, there is an extensive resource collection that links the reader to further support groups and readings. The readings deal specifically with the kinds of death, as well as the age group of the child that is dealing with that death.
This book is appropriate for anyone and everyone who has a loved one that has died. The book is especially valuable for a parent or guardian of a child who has a loved one that has died. It takes about one to two hours to read. There is a special section written in simple language that the child should read to the parent or adult. Children, age seven and up, will be able to read this special section without the help of the parent or another adult. However, adults should read this book so that they can help the children.
The Grieving Child: A Parent’s Guide
by Helen Fitzgerald
A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
1992, ISBN 0-671-76762-3
The book is about explaining death to a child. The book offers practical advice to adults for helping a child cope with the death of a parent or loved one.
Parents of children of preschool age to teenagers can find guidance to cover many difficult topics such as visiting the seriously ill, using language appropriate to the child’s age level, handling difficult situations and deciding whether a child should attend a funeral. The book offers suggestions for dealing with a child’s emotional responses and helping the child adjust to a new life. Most importantly the child must be allowed to go through the painful but therapeutic process of grief.
This book is appropriate for any adult who is trying to help a child through the process of grief or preparing the child for the grief process. The book is especially valuable for a parent or guardian of a child who has a loved one that has died. It takes about one to two hours to read, but is a guide to be used over and over as the need arises. (There is a special section on handling difficult situations such murder and suicide.)
The Kids’ Book About Death and Dying: By and For Kids
by Eric Rofes and the Unit at Fayerweather Street School
Little, Brown and Company, Boston, MA
1985, ISBN 0-316-75390-4
This is a book by a group of children, ranging in ages from 11 to 14, written as a school project to explore the subject of death and dying.
The project aim is to help children know about death in an open manner and overcome their fears. The children describe their experiences with death, the death rituals, and their fears. The children interviewed other children and adults to collect information for the book. They cover topics such as the medical definition of death, euthanasia, funerals, cremation, causes of death and violent deaths. The book helps a child understand death and how they might help the dying and bereaved.
This book is appropriate for parents and teachers to use as a guide in broaching the subject of death with children. It takes about 1.5 to two hours to read the book. While the book’s title claims that the book is by and for children, an adult should read and use it as a discussion guide. Also, the book lists other books on death and dying.
The Last Day of April
by Nancy Roach
Printed and distributed by the American Cancer Society, 1974
This is the story of a family who lived through and helped their daughter adjust to life with leukemia and eventually to die peacefully with acceptance.
This is the story of a parent who has lived the experiences and tells you about the day-to-day disappointments, the surges of hope, the silent fears, and feelings of helplessness. They also tell you of the joys of life that are so sharply focused. This mother describes her feelings to you. This personal account is not a "how to" book, but rather how they did it. Hopefully, this book is a starting point for developing a way of facing the present and preparing for the future.
This book is appropriate for the parents and family of a child with a malignant and potentially fatal disease. The book takes about one to two hours to read. Although all the actions of these parents will not apply to other parents, there are many helpful applications of their experiences.