The power of books in pediatric cancer

The power of books in pediatric cancer

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hands" - Neil Gaiman

Child reading book sitting against a treeNo one ever wants to hear the words “your child has cancer.” Although reality can feel like anything but normal, it’s important for your families and child to keep a sense of normalcy. As a child, we all remember the magic of a new world inside a good book. It may seem like a small thing, but books can be a great source of comfort, learning, and escape for kids facing cancer. Certain books can even help boost your child’s confidence and courage to face the journey ahead.

The importance of reading for children with cancer

Dad reading a book with his sonReading is a key part of any child’s development and is especially important for those kids facing cancer. Since their days are compounded with treatments and doctors’ appointments, they can often miss out on some of the learning they would get in a full school week. However, reading is a magical learning experience that can happen anywhere–from hospitals to playrooms to classrooms.

Reading aloud to children helps support the parent-child relationship, and while helping develop their literacy skills and a love for reading. This is an opportunity to bond and create a safe space and emotional support during a hard time.

What books are best for children with cancer

When it comes to children with cancer, books that focus on hope, positivity, and resilience can be particularly effective. Look for stories about kids who have faced challenges similar to what your child is dealing with, as well as those devoted to illness or cancer awareness. For younger readers, look for picture books about facing fears with courage and bravery; for older readers, biographies of inspirational figures are great options. With the right book choice, even reading can become an opportunity for growth during treatment.

A young girl reading an interesting bookThe American Childhood Cancer Organization has FREE BOOKS for families who are dealing with childhood cancer. They have free resources and books with a wide range of topics that are curated for both parents and children.

Reading can do so much more than provide entertainment – it can help instill hope in a time when things may seem uncertain. Most importantly though, reading offers an escape from reality – something which all children with cancer deserve.

Embrace your local library

Libraries across the country offer a special service to children with cancer, including customized programs designed to create positive, safe experiences for these brave kids. Many librarians grant book requests and organize activities that cater to their unique needs–like access to quiet spaces or introductions to other families going through similar experiences. Libraries can be havens of hope, inclusivity and understanding during times when these children need it most.

Read more about Here to Serve!

Here to Serve can help you find books beyond the ones mentioned in this blog, or point you to other resources that can help your family along the cancer journey. In addition to curating resources and services, Here to Serve can assist with home needs coordination and provides online Care communities to help families find the financial support they need. Enduring a cancer diagnosis for you or your child can feel unmanageable and isolating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, Get Help today!

All information on this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. Always consult a medical provider in your particular area of need before making significant changes in your medical decisions or lifestyle.