Recommended reading list

Here are some suggestions for reading. Many will be available to borrow from your local Cancer Society’s lending library. Your local library may have others you may find helpful.


Books for parents

Heiney, Sue P et al. (2001). Cancer in the Family – helping children cope with a parent’s illness. USA: American Cancer Society.

Kohlenburg, Sherry. (1993). Sammy’s Mommy has Cancer. Washington: Magination Press.

McCue, Kathleen and Bonn, Ron. (1996). How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness. USA: Universal Press Syndicate.

Rauch, Paula K and Muriel, Anna C. (2005). Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent is Sick. USA: McGraw-Hill.

Russell, Neil. (2001). Can I Still Kiss You? Answering your children’s questions about cancer. Florida: Health Communications Inc.

Schlessel Harpham, Wendy. (2004) When a Parent has Cancer – a guide to caring for your children. USA: HarperCollins.

Van Dernoot, Peter. (2006) Helping your Children Cope with your Cancer : A guide for parents and families. USA: Hatherleigh Press.

Books for younger children

Buckley, Colleen. (2007). Grandma Kathy has Cancer. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing.

Carney, Karen. (1999) What is Cancer Anyway? USA: Dragonfly Press.

Garden-Bachop, Sue. (2006). Who Will Tuck Me In? Wellington: Sue Garden-Bachop.

Blunt, Lucy. (2009). My Mum’s got Cancer. Australia: Jane Curry Publishing.

McVicker, Ellen. (2006). Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings.

Sachedina, Shenin. (2007) Metu and Lee Learn About Breast Cancer. USA: Dr. Shenin Sachedina Medical Educational Products.

Silver, Alex, Emily and Anna Rose. (2007). Our Dad is Getting Better. American Cancer Society.

Silver, Alex, Emily and Anna Rose. (2007). Our Mum is Getting Better. USA: McGraw-Hill.

Skylight. (2000) When something has happened. NZ :Skylight (reprinted 2010).

Varley, S. (1992). Badger’s Parting Gifts. UK: Picture Lions Collins.

Boritzer, Etan. (2000) What is Death? Los Angeles: Veronica Lane Books.

Books for older children

Cancer Council Queensland. What About Me? 

Couldrick Anne (1991) When Your Mum or Dad has Cancer. UK: Sobell Publications.

Hyman Fead, Beverley and Hamermesh, Tessa Mae. (2009). Nana, What’s Cancer? USA: American Cancer Society.

Krementz, J. (2001) How It Feels When A Parent Dies. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Skylight (2009) The journey through: Ideas for getting through tough times. NZ: Skylight.

Skylight (2010) “Getting Stronger” (a board game). NZ: Skylight.

Skylight (2001) When tough stuff happens. NZ: Skylight.

Speltz, Ann. (2003) The Year My Mother Was Bald. United States: Magination Press.

Stokes, Julie A. (2000). The Secret C – straight talking about cancer. UK: Winston’s Wish.

Websites (suitable for teenagers)


CanTeen (NZ) 

My Parents Cancer 

Rip Rap

Now What 

A National Cancer Institute online booklet: When a Parent has Cancer: A guide for teens 

Websites for parents

Bear Essentials Includes suggestions for kids’ activities to aid discussion.

Cancer Council NSW online booklet When a parent has cancer: how to talk to your kids? 

Websites for the family

Kids Konnected 

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