Chronic Illness

When Eric's Mom Fought Cancer; Judith Vigna; 1993; ages 4 to 8; fiction. A sensitive, beautiful story about a mother who has breast cancer, including some of the child's predictable feelings of anger, sadness, and loneliness.

A Pillow For My Mom; Charissa Sgouros; 1998; ages 4 to 7; fiction. A description of common feelings of a child dealing with a parent's illness.

Beautiful; Susi Gregg Fowler; 1998; ages 7 to 10; fiction. A lovely and sensitive story about a boy and his uncle, whose relationship transcends illness as the uncle passes on his love of gardening.

Busy Days; Dawn Hart; 1985; ages 6 to 8; fiction. A story describing the lives of children who have a sibling who has a chronic condition.

Straight from the Siblings: Another Look at the Rainbow; Gloria Murray and Gerald Jampolsky; 1983; ages 6 to adult; nonfiction. Poems, short essays, and drawings by siblings of children who have life-threatening illnesses.

Ribbons For Her Hair; Jane Carroll and Janna Taylor; out of print; ages 8 to 12; fiction. A 10-year-old girl who has leukemia and her best friend react to her illness. Although focusing on leukemia, the book describes some general reactions of children to their friends' illnesses.

How It Feels To Fight For Your Life; Jill Krementz; 1989; ages 8 to 16; nonfiction. Essays in which 14 children describe their experiences with chronic conditions. Striking photographs.

A Night Without Stars; James Howe; 1985; ages 9 to 12; fiction. A novel about a girl who is about to have heart surgery and a boy who has had many operations for burns.

The Barn; Avi; 1996; ages 10 to 14; fiction. Outstanding novel describing a 10-year-old boy who finds a way to communicate with his father after he has a stroke.

Young People and Chronic Illness; Kelly Huegel; 1998; ages 12 to 18; nonfiction. Appealing and moving essays by teenagers who have various nonterminal illnesses. Provides a lot of information about conditions; resources for children to get more information; and advice about school, medical care, friends, and families.

From Darkness To Light; Landsman; 1994; ages 13 to adult; nonfiction. Essays written by teenagers about various concerns, including depression, physical illness, and disabilities.

I Will Sing Life: Voices From The Hole-In-The-Wall-Gang Camp; Larry Berger; 1992; teens; nonfiction. Essays by seven children who have life-threatening illnesses.

How To Help Children Through A Parent's Serious Illness; Cathleen McCue; 1996; adults; nonfiction. Practical, sensible advice for parents.

After The Tears; Robin Simons; 1987; adults; nonfiction. Parents who have a child who has a chronic health condition describe their successful adaptation and give hints for dealing with the predictable issues and feelings.

Adapted from: Ellen C. Perrin, MD Susan Starr, MEd Addressing Common Pediatric Concerns Through Children's Books. Pediatrics in Review. 2000;21:130-138. © 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics

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