Cancer is something even adults sometimes have a hard time fully comprehending, so it's totally understandable for kids to have difficulty dealing with this disease. One way to clear up confusion and help your child with cancer cope is with books designed with this purpose in mind. Here are four worth considering.
1. 'My Cancer Days'
This book by Courtney Filigenzi uses the story of a young girl who expresses a wide range of emotions when as she is diagnosed with cancer and treated. It can help your child understand that it's perfectly normally to have several different feelings when faced with this type of illness.
2. 'The Hare Who Lost Her Hair'
While this book by Amy Leonard and Tom Paul Fox alludes to issues with chemotherapy children may face, such as the loss of their hair, it doesn't directly use cancer-related words. This tale of a rabbit that loses her hair after she finds a "magical healing stream" that could help her get better is meant to serve as a starting point for a conversation with your child about their treatment.
If your child is ready for a more direct conversation about cancer and related treatments, consider "Chemo to the Rescue." Written by Mary Brent and Caitlin Knutsson, it presents an honest -- but not scary -- discussion of why things like chemotherapy, blood tests, and hospital stays are sometimes necessary for kids living with cancer.
3. 'Draw It Out'
Credited to Art with Heart, this book was created under the guidance of more than two dozen mental health experts. It's designed to help elementary school and middle school children express their feelings with pictures. The drawings your child makes can serve as a springboard for conversations that address the concerns they visualized.
4. 'The Famous Hat'
The most common type of childhood cancer is leukemia, which is what this book by Kate Gaynor and Ruth Keating is about. This book can be helpful if your child is at a point where they have to routinely visit the hospital for treatment. It tells the story of a boy who has a positive attitude while being treated for cancer.
Books of this nature address all phases of the cancer process, from diagnosis to treatment and remission. However, cancer doesn't always directly affect children. There are also books you can borrow from your local library or purchase online to help a child with a friend, sibling, classmate, or adult family member with cancer.