The best books for helping children handle a family crisis.



When a parent is suffering from a serious illness, children need special support. To help, we compiled a list of resources aimed at both adults and children. All books listed are available at Barnes & Noble.

Books for Parents

How to Help Children through a Parent's Serious Illness by Kathleen McCue and Ron Bonn

Parenting through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change by Barbara Coloroso

Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss by Claudia Jew Jarratt

Books for Children

Mommy's in the Hospital Again and My Mommy Has Cancer by Carolyn Stearns Parkinson. These picture books boast gentle text and sweet illustrations.

When Mommy Is Sick by Ferne Sherkin-Langer and Christy Grant. The illness is unspecified in this comforting illustrated book about coping with a mother's periodic hospitalization.

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When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness by Marge Heegaard. Presented in coloring book/workbook form, this paperback is designed to help kids understand their feelings when a parent is ill.

Our Family Has Cancer, Too! by Christine Clifford. This hopeful, humorous picture book describes how a family coped with cancer.

The Paper Chain by Claire Blake, Eliza Blanchard, Kathy Parkinson, and Elizabeth Murphy-Melas. This is yet another illustrated story of how one family dealt with the mother's hospitalization for cancer.

Gilda's Club

Founded in honor of the late comedian Gilda Radner, Gilda's Club provides workshops, social events, and support groups for people with cancer and their families and friends in a non-residential, homelike setting.

Gilda's Club Worldwide

322 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1402

New York, NY 10001


Wonders & Worries, Inc.

This nonprofit organization provides psychological support for children, youth, and families coping with chronic life-threatening illness.

Wonders & Worries, Inc.

923 Westbank Drive

Suite C

Austin, TX 78746


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