Book Helps Children With Cancer Cope With Hair Loss
Article date: August 12, 2011
In The Long and the Short of It, a new children’s book published by the American Cancer Society, two little girls give some serious thought to their hair.
Emma is in Kindergarten when she’s diagnosed with cancer. As a side-effect from chemotherapy, her hair begins to fall out. Of course she misses it. But with love and support from her parents, she learns to cope with the loss and with a negative comment from a girl at school. She tries out hats, scarves, and a wig before settling on a head covering that’s just right for her, until her own hair eventually grows back.
Isabel doesn’t have cancer or hair loss, but is impatient for her hair to grow as long as her older cousins’. Then one day, Isabel’s friend donates her long hair to a group that makes wigs for children who’ve lost their hair. Isabel is inspired to do the same thing, and when she succeeds, feels proud of her accomplishment.
Through their separate hair journeys, Emma and Isabel both mature and grow. They learn about courage, generosity, patience, and problem-solving. The book includes a reading and discussion guide for parents and teachers, and a list of learning activities for children.
The authors, Barbara Meyers, EdD, and Lydia Criss Mays, PhD, based Emma and Isabel on two real girls. The book’s award-winning illustrator, Shennen Bersani, is herself a cancer survivor.
The Long and the Short of It is one of several books published by the American Cancer Society to teach children about cancer and help them cope with their own cancer diagnosis and treatment, or with that of a parent or other loved one. Other new titles include the Medikidz series, which depicts superhero medical experts in a graphic novel format, geared toward teens and tweens.
The Long and the Short of It, the Medikidz books, and other books published by the American Cancer Society for and about children and cancer are available for purchase through the American Cancer Society online bookstore. To learn more about cancer in children, and children coping with cancer in their family, visit our section on children and cancer.
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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