Book List

I’m a researcher and bibliophile.  The following books helped me during and after our cancer journey.  I have heard it called “bibliotherapy.”  The topics are: Inspirational, Eating, Books About – or – For Bereaved Children, Finances and Guides for Dying.  I provided links to Amazon only so you may see the book and read more reviews. 


  • Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do, by Greg Anderson – “This book changed our lives, and gave us our fight back.  GET THIS BOOK.”
  • Love, Medicine & Miracles, by Bernie S. Siegel,M.D. – “This book is a support group in itself.”
  • A Cancer Battle Plan, by Anne E. Frahm with David J. Frahm – “This book is extreme, but when you are told you are going to die – you’ll listen to and try anything.”
  • It’s not About the Bike, by Lance Armstrong – “This book is a good, easy read, but he still talks a lot about the bike.”
  • When Life Becomes Precious, by Elise NeeDell Babcock – “This book is for the family and friends of the loved one diagnosed with cancer.  It explains how to understand, interact with and help.  Stupid things can be said, but if they are said with good intentions and love – it’s ok.  It’s the sudden silence that is much more painful.”


  • The Hallelujah Diet, by George Malkmus – “When my esophagus stopped working a few years ago, we bought a juicer and I think it saved my life, so I know how juicing can make your body feel so much better.  The Hallelujah Diet is pretty extreme, but a lot of it makes sense.  They have great recipes and a good, very supportive website too.”
  • The Maker’s Diet, by Jordan S. Rubin –


It has been hardest to find a book, on how to live a life with cancer, where the author had infants/young children.  However, I finally found a wonderful book, Why did Daddy Die?, with recommended resources in the back.  I will list those below.  Also, the author of the above mentioned A Cancer Battle Plan did have school aged children at the time she was diagnosed.

About Children:

  • Why Did Daddy Die? Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Parent, by Linda Alderman – “This is head and shoulders above anything else I have found on parental death involving a young family.  For us, the ages and cause of death parallel what happened in our little family.  I have had many of the same thoughts the author had which was incredibly validating.  I also feel as if I may have an idea of what questions may be asked in the future.
  • Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years, by Jim Fay and Charles Fay – “While nothing in this book deals with death, it’s ideas on parenting have helped me immensely.  I feel my daughter (between years 1 -2.5) instinctively knew we couldn’t handle her testing boundaries while we dealt with her daddy’s cancer.  But, about five months after he died, she really started testing me to see what her new limits were.  This book helped save both of us.”

For Children:

  • Rosita y Conchita, by Erich Haeger – “I have not read this book (will request from library this week), but it was recommended on one of the widow sites.  One of the reviews I read said it was for 5 yrs. + because the subject matter was “heavy.”  (One of the sisters is dead.)  But, I think that reviewer was just reading it for “fun” and not to help a child dealing with death.”
  • When People Die, by Joanne E. Bernstein and Stephen V. Gullo – Ages 5 and up,
  • The Dead Bird, by Margaret Wise Brown – Ages 4-8, “It is not as simple as Goodnight Moon, and uses a different artist.  If you could read it prior to someone’s (or a pet’s) death it would lay a good foundation for the concept of death, and how to be respectful.”
  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, by Leo Buscaglia – Ages 5 and up, “Lots of real pictures of leaves and trees.  It’s a good idea, but there are many pages, and it’s rather slow-moving.  Child needs to be able to imagine the leaves talking to each other.
  • The Accident, by Carol Carrick – Ages 5-8,
  • Everett Anderson’s Goodbye, by Lucille Clifton – Ages 3 and up, “Only known book on parental (father) death for very young children.  It is very good, nice and simple.  But, the child might should be closer to the age of 4.  The last line of the book, said by the child, is timeless and wise: …love doesn’t stop, and neither will I.
  • Talking about Death; A Dialogue between Parent and Child, by Earl A. Grollman – Ages 6-12,
  • When My Mommy Died and When My Daddy Died, by Janice M. Hammond – Ages 5-10,
  • Why Did He Die?, by Audrey Harris – Ages 4-8,
  • Maggie and the Pirate, by Ezra Jack Keats – Ages 3-8, “A little girl’s pet cricket is stolen, and in the tussle to get her back, the cricket drowns.  It is more a story about coveting, attempted redemption and forgiveness.  Human death parallels may be: dying from friendly fire or an accidental death.
  • Annie and the Old One, by Miska Miles – Ages 6-10,
  • About Dying: An Open Family Book for Parents and Children Together, by Sara Bonnett Stein – Ages 4 and up
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst – Ages 5-9,
  • My Grandson Lew, by Charlotte Zoltow – Ages 3 and up,
  • How it Feels When a Parent Dies, by Jill Krementz – older elem. through high school,
  • Learning to Say Good-by: When a Parent Dies, by Eda LeShan – older elem. through high school,


(I will review the following books in the very near future.  I just wanted to go ahead and put the list out there.)


I don’t how I could have read these books, but it probably would have been a good idea.  I would have been more prepared because I would have had to think through the difficult issues.

  • Sacred Dying, by Megory Anderson – “This is a spiritual book.  It is gentle in its approach.  Focuses on the needs of the dying person.”
  • Affairs in Order, by Patricia Anderson – ” This is a large,  informational book.  The impersonal writing style makes it easier to read.”
  1. October 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    After I originally left a comment I seem to
    have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails
    with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me
    from that service? Cheers!

    • October 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      I don’t know how right now, but I will certainly try.

    • October 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I either block everyone or no one. I can’t pick and choose. See if you can block me by going to So very sorry I can’t fix it from my end.

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