My Book For Kids With Cansur: A Child’s Autobiography Of Hope, by Jason Gaes
This book, which really was written by a child dealing with metastatic cancer, is a good example of what happens when you find a need for books that are not in existence and so you go about writing them yourself. The author, who as a small child was diagnosed with cancer, was upset that the books about juvenile cancer he was reading had the children die at the end, and he wanted a story where the children survived, so he wrote one himself. Not only does the author provide an honest and somewhat tough-minded example of how young people deal with cancer, with the medical treatment, and with the way that others respond to those with cancer, but the author even manages to present himself as being filled with a desire to grow up and become a doctor who is able to help other people who are struggling with cancer just as he did. This book strikes the right tone of openness and honesty as well as optimism about cancer and even manages to talk about death in a way that is age-appropriate and touching, even if not exactly according to my own religious beliefs.
Those who wish to write about difficult subjects for children would do well to read this book and look at its illustrations and ponder the way that children are simultaneously tougher than they are often given credit for but also far less interested in many of the details that fascinate adult readers. Over and over again the author is bluntspoken about how he found out he had cancer and what treatments were involved in it, and how it was that cancer and matters related to cancer were explained to him. He shows himself to be appreciative of the help of others and fierce towards those who would make fun of someone who had lost their hair. The fact that this book is written by a kid for other kids is something that will gain the goodwill of many readers, whether or not they are part of the target audience. Children with cancer will find it inspirational to see someone else writing with courage and optimism and success, and almost everyone else will likely find this book to be adorable. This is a book that is easy to appreciate and certainly one that I enjoyed reading myself.