This week is National Storytelling Week. In this blog, information materials researcher Sue reflects on the importance of storytelling, especially during a difficult time. 

Writing about your experience of cancer can be cathartic; reading about someone else’s experience can help you reflect on your own experience, make sense of challenging times, and realise that your reactions and feelings are normal, and shared by others.

Here’s what volunteers have said about reading books about someone else’s experience of cancer:

Review of Love light and mermaid tales

Review of F*** you cancer

Review of Tommy v cancer

Review of Probably nothing

Review of With the end in mind

A diagnosis of cancer in the family is a challenging time for any child or young person. Some parents might feel that by not telling a child or teenager about a cancer diagnosis, they are protecting them. This is a normal response. But not explaining what’s happening may make some children feel more vulnerable. Speaking about it can also help to give children the chance to talk openly about their fears and worries.

Review of Because someone I love has cancer

There is no right or wrong way to feel and we have information about talking to children and teenagers about cancer that you may find helpful.  You may also find our booklet Talking to children and adults when an adult has cancer helpful.

Story books for children can help start a conversation when someone they love is having treatment and not themselves, or someone they are close to has died. Reading a good book on their own or with a parent, trusted family member or carer can help children understand and manage their feelings and worries.

Review of The memory tree

Review of Milo and the restart button

Review of Life on the refrigerator door

You can find reviews of over 400 books in the Macmillan web directory of information materials. You can search for a book by title or author or you can find all the reviews by searching for 'Book reviews'. Click on the title of the book to see the full record, where you can find a link to download the reviews.

You can also download the Macmillan Core Book List which is a list of suggested books about cancer for public libraries.

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