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World Cancer Day

The Honest Truth

4 February is World Cancer Day, which aims to raise awareness, urge governments to take action, and educate us all about the disease and its impact.

We've put together a booklist for readers aged 9+ full of novels that explore the effects of cancer, so if you and your family want to do some wider reading, take a look at our recommendations below.

  • Lola Rose

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Random House

    Jacqueline Wilson demonstrates her skill by capturing the experiences of a young carer, fearful about what the cancer will do to her mother.

  • Two Weeks with the Queen

    Author: Morris Gleitzman
    Publisher: Penguin

    When his brother becomes seriously ill with leukaemia, Colin is sent to stay with relatives in England. Determined to get the best help possible, he decides to approach the Queen.

  • Artichoke Hearts

    Author: Sita Brahmachari
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

    This empathetic account of the process of bereavement, a month’s diary, reassures readers that we grow from our experiences, however painful they are.

  • The Look

    Author: Sophia Bennett
    Publisher: Chicken House

    Ted is an awkward, gangly teenager constantly following in her older sister Ava’s confident footsteps...

  • 32C, That’s Me

    Author: Chris Higgins
    Publisher: Hodder

    Jess seems to have it all. She has a gorgeous boyfriend, Muggs, landed the lead in the school play and her best friend Ali will always stick by her. She even gets on well with her older sister! Then her mum is diagnosed with breast cancer and Jess's world is turned upside down.

  • Anthem for Jackson Dawes

    Author: Celia Bryce
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Megan would never have met Jackson Dawes if she hadn't had cancer.  But as the only teenagers on the children's ward, they soon form a powerful and unconventional bond.

  • The Best Medicine

    Author: Christine Hamill
    Publisher: Little Island

    Twelve-year old Philip Wright is a comedian in the making. Then one day, he tells his mother a joke, and she breaks down in tears. It's a brave challenge to unite the themes of cancer and comedy - but this is an entertaining and light-hearted read.

  • A Monster Calls

    Author: Patrick Ness From an idea by Siobhan Dowd Illustrator: Jim Kay
    Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

    Connor's mum has cancer and life is changing. There is the nightmare, then there is school, where people avoid him, or persecute him. And then there is the immense, mythic Monster.

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    Author: John Green
    Publisher: Penguin Children's Books

    John Green tackles the subject of teenage cancer with sensitivity in this witty, life-affirming young adult romance.

  • The Honest Truth

    Author: Dan Gemeinhart
    Publisher: Chicken House

    Mark has cancer. He can't bear more doctors, so he runs away with his dog Beau for company.