Books for Kids

Books are a great way to start a conversation with your children and answer many of the questions they have about breast cancer. Living Beyond Breast Cancer is pleased to provide the Reading for Reassurance program to share books tailored for children with a parent who has been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 6 months. If you are a healthcare provider, please read on below for ways you can promote and support the program. If you are a young parent with children, complete our simple online form and we will select and ship you 1-2 books free of charge.

How It WorksThis program is intended for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 6 months, and have children between ages 4 and 17. 

We help take the guesswork out of finding a good book. Complete our online form and we will mail you 1-2 books at no cost, within four weeks. You have the option to select your preferred books from those listed below, or LBBC can select them on your behalf. Currently, books can only be shipped to addresses in the United States and the U.S. Territories. 

Get Your Free Books

Book descriptions: For children (Ages 4-12)

Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings
Written by Ellen McVicker and Illustrated by Nanci Hersh
Recommended for children ages 5-10

This award winning children's book is a beautifully illustrated resource that can be used to educate and support any child who is facing the cancer of a loved one. The story, as told through the eyes of a little boy as he explains his mom's cancer to other children, lends itself to a simple and clear understanding of cancer. Although the characters are a mother and son, hundreds of children around the world have been able to transcend this book to their own personal situation. Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings teaches children to realize the power they have to be an active and integral part of a loved one's experience with cancer. (Also available in Spanish.)

In Mommy's Garden
Written by Neyal J. Ammary-Risch and Illustrated by Christopher Risch
Recommended for children ages 4-8

A cancer diagnosis is a difficult and frightening experience for people of all ages. When a parent or family member is diagnosed, the anxiety they feel about knowing what to tell their children can be overwhelming because they are at a loss about what to say and how much information to give. This book is intended to help parents, family members, and healthcare professionals talk about cancer with children and help alleviate misconceptions children often have. (Also available in Spanish.)


Maggie Lives with Breast Cancer: A Family Tale of New Beginnings
Written and Illustrated by Laura Vidal
Recommended for children ages 9-12

As a mom, how do you deal with your breast cancer diagnosis? How do you talk to family about it? What can you control, and what do you just learn to live with? For a woman who receives a diagnosis of breast cancer, these questions and more are a big part of the struggle. In this book, Maggie - a mom and wife who happens to be a monkey - deals with and answers these life-altering challenges without flinching. It's a tale to read with your kids, but there are helpful lessons for you and your partner, too.


My Mommy Has Breast Cancer, But She Is Ok!
Written by Kerri M. Conner and Illustrated by Roc Upchurch and Maureek Graham
Recommended for children ages 4-10

My Mommy Has Breast Cancer, But She is OK! was written by a first-time author and breast cancer survivor. It is a tool for discussing a difficult topic with young children and a source of inspiration and hope for all. Join young Maddie and her Mommy along their motivational journey of love, hope and recovery.




Mommy, What's Cancer?
Written and Illustrated by Dr. Gwendolyn Kollmorgen
Recommended for children ages 4-10

This book was designed for parents to help explain cancer to their children and why it is such a difficult disease to cure. Combining simple language with cartoon-like illustrations to help children get a grip on this disease, this book is an excellent resource for helping parents with young children have a meaningful dialogue about cancer.

Where’s Mom’s Hair?
Written by Debbie Watters, with Haydn and Emmett Watters and Photographs by Sophie Hogan
Recommended for children ages 6-10

A family faces cancer and medical treatments with a huge hair-shaving party. Touching and humorous photographs follow Mom (Debbie) as she and her family go through each step of fighting cancer. In a way that provides clear and non-frightening answers, this personal journey highlights the kinds of questions children have when a loved one gets cancer. A perfect book to help parents, family, friends, teachers, and others to assist children in understanding what is happening during treatments.


When Mommy Had a Mastectomy
Written by Nancy Reuben Greenfield and Illustrated by Ralph M. Butler
Recommended for children ages 6-10

How can a child understand what a mastectomy and reconstruction are all about? When Mommy Had a Mastectomy is a children's book that explains why mom is sick and what she does after she feels better to return to normalcy. It tells the story of a mother and daughter discovering new ways to show they care despite the painful illness of breast cancer and subsequent breast reconstruction surgery. Pairing enchanting illustrations and an engaging story, When Mommy Had a Mastectomy is sure to help children and their parents through a difficult time.


Okay Mommy, I Will Help You: Oh No! My Mom Has Breast Cancer
Written by M.N.L.
Recommended for children ages 5-10

A unique perspective from a youth's point-of-view on how to deal with a parent's cancer diagnosis. The author provides a candid, but inspiring message for kids who may be faced with a similar circumstance. It's an extremely refreshing story that highlights the strength and bravery of a young girl who has to tackle such a heavy burden head on.

The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away: A story for kids about metastatic cancer
Written by Hadassa Field
Reccomended for children ages 4-8
The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away is a groundbreaking book, written especially for the child whose parent is living with metastatic cancer. This sensitively written tale uses a gentle, yet realistic approach to help children ages 4-8 face the unique uncertainties of life with incurable cancer. Unlike stories about early-stage cancer, after which the parent is cured and life goes back to normal, for the family in this story, life has irrevocably changed. The future is uncertain. But love and laughter remain constant, as they take life one day at a time. 

Book descriptions: For teens (Ages 13-17)

My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks
Written by Maya Silver and Marc Silver
Recommended for teenagers

My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks allows teens to see that they are not alone. Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She and her dad, Marc, have combined their family's personal experience with advice from dozens of medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens―all going through the same thing Maya did. This book shows teens that no matter how rough things get, they will get through this difficult time and that everything they're feeling is ok.


Making It Mine: Stories of Teens Who Found Themselves in Their Parents’ Cancer
Written by Brie Bernhardt
Recommended for teenagers

Making It Mine is a combination of stories, interviews, quotes, poems, and pages for reflection that allow the reader to process their own journey as they hear honest accounts from other teens who have been there. The book features a lookback from adults who were teens at the time their parents had cancer, offering unique insight about the ways their experience impacted them later in life. Also featured is the story from the author, Brie Bernhardt, who writes with firsthand experience about her own dealings with not one, but two parents diagnosed with cancer during her teen years. Through this interactive book, Making It Mine provides a place for teens that is completely their own, allowing them to define their experience with purpose and meaning.


Discussion Guides

The purpose of these guides is to offer recommendations about talking with your child and questions for discussion when sharing books.

Ages 4-7

Ages 8-12

Ages 13-17

Healthcare Providers

At this time, we are unable to fulfill requests for sample books for your waiting area or office. We have created a flyer and encourage you to download, print and hang it in your office or waiting area to promote the program to young parents. 


About the Program

Reading for Reassurance was started by Margaret Zuccotti, MS Ed, who turned to her experience as an elementary school teacher as she considered how to talk with her young kids about her diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. She knew that reading books was a good way to explain change to kids. Margaret started the Louise Safe Mauran Book Fund, a program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia that provides free children’s books for families. She then started Reading for Reassurance for Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Margaret has reviewed all of the books included in the program.