Bang! Zap! Pow!
Article date: December 16, 2015
Graphic Novels Tackle Cancer Topics
By Stacy Simon
Understanding cancer can be tough for anyone, but this complicated disease can be even harder to explain to children and teenagers. The American Cancer Society Medikidz series of graphic novels uses superhero medical experts and cartoon cancer cells to help young readers understand what causes cancer and how it is diagnosed and treated.
For example, in one of the books in the series, What’s Up with Tiffany’s Dad? Medikidz Explain Melanoma, 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 who are coping with parents who have cancer, and children who have cancer themselves. Titles are produced in both English and Spanish.
Medikidz books for children with cancer
- What’s Up with Richard? Medikidz Explain Leukemia
- ¿Qué le pasa a Richard? Los Medikidz explican la leucemia
- What’s Up with Jo? Medikidz Explain Brain Tumors
- ¿Qué le pasa a Jo? Los Medikidz explican los tumores cerebrales
- What’s Up with Lyndon? Medikidz Explain Osteosarcoma
- ¿Qué le pasa a Lyndon? Los Medikidz explican el osteosarcoma
Medikidz books for children whose family member has cancer
- 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 Tiffany’s Dad? Medikidz Explain Melanoma
- ¿Qué le pasa al papá de Tiffany? Los Medikidz explican el melanoma
- What’s Up with Sam’s Grandma? Medikidz Explain Lung Cancer
- ¿Qué le pasa a la abuela de Sam? Los Medikidz explican el cáncer de pulmón
- What’s Up with Jerome’s Grandad? Medikidz Explain Prostate Cancer
- ¿Qué le pasa al abuelo de Jerome? Los Medikidz explican el cáncer de próstata
- What’s Up with Our Dad? Medikidz Explain Colorectal Cancer
- ¿Qué le pasa a nuestro papá? Los Medikidz explican el cancer de colon y rectol
The American Cancer Society co-published 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
Thank you for your feedback.