A new cancer diagnosis is stressful for an entire family, especially at the beginning. Pink Lemonade Project has curated a list of books to help parents discuss a new breast cancer diagnosis with children of all ages. The collection includes books for very young children to adolescents.  You can purchase the books through Amazon Smiles on our website. We are currently expanding this list to include titles in Spanish and Russian.

This program is generously funded by a bequest from the estate of former Vancouver Public Schools’ elementary school teacher, Jill Garrow.

Book reading photo for Jill's Book Bank
Dr. Nathalie Johnson and friends of Pink Lemonade Project at a book reading in September 2019. She read from her own book, Mommy Found a Lump, at the Pink Lemonade Project Give More 24! kick off event at Barnes & Noble in Vancouver, WA.

Current Book Selection

Can I Still Kiss You?  Answering Children’s Questions About Cancer. By Neil Russell.

ISBN-10: 1558749284

A question and answer book written by a cancer patient who journaled the questions he was asked by his children during his cancer experience. Appropriate for all ages.

Chemo Cat by Cathy Nilon.

ISBN-10: 0979192145

Written by a cancer survivor in the voice of her 4 year old child.  It is meant to open a dialog with children without scaring them.  It explains the changes mom will go through with chemotherapy.

Our Family Has Cancer, Too by Christine Clifford.

ISBN-10: 1-57025-144-4.

A cartoon illustrated book that describes a family’s experience with cancer and how they coped. Appropriate for ages 3 to 16.

Once Upon a Hopeful Night by Risa S. Yaffe

ISBN-10: 1890504106

A bedtime tale to help comfort kids who are struggling with their parent’s cancer. Appropriate for ages 3 to 10.

For the Women We Love by Marc Heyison, Matthew Loscalzo.

ISBN-10: 0910155712

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is vital that the men in their life move beyond traditional roles, adding new responsibilities like that of caregiver and nurturer. They can be crucially helpful with treatment, recovery, and dealing with myriad issues that are sure to arise.

Mommy Found a Lump by Nathalie Johnson.

ISBN-10: 0981479812

This is a delightful children’s book that helps parents share information with their children in a non threatening way, and provides art therapy for the children and families.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst.

ISBN-10: 031648623X

Specifically written to address children’s fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today’s uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

ISBN-10: 0763660655

The monster in Conor’s backyard is not the one he’s been expecting — the one from the nightmare he’s had every night since his mother started her treatments. This monster is ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

A Tiny Boat At Sea by Izetta Smith, MA.

ISBN-10: 097242413X

This insightful book teaches us how to help children who have had a parent or family member who has been diagnosed with cancer. When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, the illness and treatment can be stressful for the whole family. Parents almost always express the concern for the well-being of their children. This booklet is easy to use and touches on how to support children without burying the information in pages of explanations.

A Volcano In My Tummy.  Eliane Whitehouse and Warwick Pudney.

ISBN-10: 0-86571-349-9

This presents a clear and effective approach to helping children and adults alike understand and deal constructively with children’s anger. Using easy to understand yet rarely taught skills for anger management, including how to teach communication of emotions, A Volcano in My Tummy offers engaging, well-organized activities which help to overcome the fear of children’s anger which many adult care-givers experience.

Cancer in Our Family:  Helping Children Cope with a Parent’s Illness by Sue Heiney, PhD, RN; Joan Hermann, MSW, LSW; Katherine Bruss, PsyD; Joy Fincannon, RN, MS.

ISBN-10: 0944235956

An excellent resource that outlines the steps parents can take to help their children understand what happens when a parent has been diagnosed with cancer.  Includes a special workbook designed for children to record their thoughts and feelings.

How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness by Kathleen McCue, M.A., C.C.L.S.

ISBN-10: 0312697686

A very comprehensive, yet practical, handbook which helps parents to address their children’s fears in an honest, compassionate, and age-appropriate manner.

When a Parent Has Cancer:  A Guide to Caring for Your Children by Wendy Schlessel Harpham, M.D.

ISBN-10: 0060740817

A sensitive, well-written guide designed to help children through the upheaval of a parent’s diagnosis, treatment, remission and recovery from cancer.

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.

ISBN-10: 9780553386691

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J Siegel, MD.

ISBN-10: 0399168834

Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.

Stronger Than Cancer by Lyn Cikara

ISBN-10: 1548256412

Through stories of remarkable people and by sharing her own learning, Lyn offers practical ways for readers to get their minds back and become stronger again after a cancer diagnosis. She shows readers how to take control of life-influencing decisions, empowering them again and instilling hope. She offers simple, practical ways to get the best out of daily opportunities to improve the body’s resources to fight back and beat cancer.

How Do You Care For a Very Sick Bear? By Vanessa Bayer

ISBN-10: 1250298431

When someone dear is dealing with illness, it’s difficult to know what to do or say. The actor Vanessa Bayer experienced this firsthand when she was treated for childhood leukemia. In her first children’s book, she offers gentle, reassuring advice that people of all ages will appreciate.

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