Books & Other Resources

Children's Books About Cancer


 Genetic Counseling - Books - Our Mom Has Cancer     Our Mom Has Cancer
By Adrienne Ackermann and Abigail Ackermann

An illustrated children's book that is appropriate for children ages four to eight. Written by two sisters who struggled in understanding their mother's cancer and, as a result, explains cancer in a method children readily comprehend. This book is a good way to open up conversation about a parent's cancer and offer truth and hope to younger children.

 Genetic Counseling - Books - The Three Birds     The Three Birds: A Story for Children about the Loss of a Loved One
By Marinus Van Den Berg

This is an illustrated children's book appropriate for preschool and elementary children. It is a simple and honest depiction of the illness and death of mother bird. This book is a good introduction for young children about the possibility of losing a loved one because of illness.

 Genetic Counseling - Books - When Mommy has a Mastectomy     When Mommy Had a Mastectomy
By Nancy R. Greenfield

An illustrated children's book that is best for children ages four to eight. It explains to young children in a simple and straight-forward manner why mom is sick, the concept of a mastectomy, and mom's recovery. A beautiful book for a mother to share with her children as they endure the stressful times of breast cancer.

 Genetic Counseling - Books - Coping When a Parent has Cancer     Coping When A Parent Has Cancer
By Linda L. Strauss

An insightful book for teenage children that discusses the challenges of having a parent who is suffering from cancer. This book provides an age appropriate explanation of cancer and discusses the concerns a teen might have, including family finances and taking on more responsibility at home. It is an excellent resource for teens to understand their emotions as they struggle with a change in family dynamics.

 Image     In Mommy's Garden
By Neyal J. Ammary, MPH, MCHES

A cancer diagnosis is a difficult and frightening experience for anyone. "In Mommy's Garden" can be used to help discuss a parent's diagnosis of cancer with their child. The story revolves around a little girl whose mother has cancer. She talks about how her mom explained cancer to her by comparing weeds in a garden to cancer cells in the human body. The book also touches upon various concerns of children including fear of it being contagious and the child's emotions when the mother's weakness from her medical treatments makes her unable to play with her daughter.

Genetic Counseling - Books  

VHL Handbook Kids' Edition

By Melissa Kruger, Alison Eckerman, Christina Doyle, and Gayun Chan Smutko

This book is intended to be a resource for families with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Disease.  It is designed to help parents share information about VHL with their child at a child's level of comprehension.  It presents the signs and symptoms of the disease honestly and with simple and non-threatening explanations, without dwelling on the negative.  The price is reduced for members of the VHL Family Alliance.           

Genetic Counseling - Books - Kids Cope  


The mission of this organization is to help children and families understand the effects of cancer or chemotherapy on a loved one, to provide suggestions for coping, and to develop innovative programs and materials that communicate a message of hope to diverse families coping with this crisis.  They provide educational materials, including KemoShark (a comic book to help children understand cancer treatment) and an educational DVD.         
Genetic Counseling - Books - NF Buddies   NF Buddies
This book is written for children, and is part of a program in which the book and a teddy bear "Buddy" is sent around the world to spend a week with a child with Neurofibromatosis. The NF Buddies book teaches children about Neurofibromatosis in a way they can understand. The book is also available for purchase through the Neurofibromatosis, Inc. California website.