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Article date: July 14, 2011

Graphic Novels Tackle Cancer Topics

The newest graphic novel in a series designed to explain cancer to children depicts superhero medical experts and cartoon cancer cells. In the book, What’s Up With Tiffany’s Dad?, skin cells begin behaving badly and turn into melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer that grows and spreads quickly. 


Five superheroes called the Medikidz swoop in to explain to Tiffany in clear and simple language what is wrong with her father and what the doctors are doing to treat his cancer. After he recovers,Tiffany uses her new knowledge to remind him to wear sunscreen and get regular skin checks from the dermatologist. 

The series is geared toward teens and tweens, although younger children and adults may also appreciate the use of appropriate humor, colorful comic-book style and easy-to-understand language. Storylines include children like Tiffany, coping with parents who have cancer, and children who have cancer themselves.  

Titles include: 


• What’s up with Bridget’s Mom? Medikidz Explain Breast Cancer

• ¿Qué le pasa a la mamá de Bridget? Los Medikidz explican el cáncer de seno

• What’s up with Jo? Medikidz Explain Brain Tumors

• What’s up with Lyndon? Medikidz Explain Osteosarcoma

• What’s up with Richard? Medikidz Explain Leukemia

• ¿Qué le pasa a Richard? Los Medikidz explican la leucemia

• What’s up with Tiffany’s Dad? Medikidz Explain Melanoma

More books are being planned for the series, and all will be produced in both English and Spanish. The American Cancer Society is co-publishing the books with Medikidz, Ltd.

The Medikidz company was started by two pediatricians in England who saw the need for more child-friendly information to explain complicated medical information to their young patients. A former Marvel comic book writer and illustrator designs the books, and doctors and nurses make sure the content is medically accurate.

The American Cancer Society’s books for children are written for various ages, to help reduce some of the fear surrounding diagnosis, treatment and side-effects of cancer. The Medikidz books and other children’s books are available through the American Cancer Society’s online bookstore.

Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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