A Story About Cancer (With a Happy Ending)

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A girl walks along a hospital corridor: she’s going to talk to the doctor about her leukaemia, and whether her treatment has beaten it or not.

On the way, she considers how having a form of cancer has affected her life: from the way that people look at her, to the way that people always expect her to be strong. In fact, another girl, Maxine, was as strong and positive a girl as one could ever meet, and it didn’t affect her dying. She worries about her family – how they’re coping, and maybe that they’d cope better if she wasn’t there at all. But also, there’s Victor; one day, she realizes she feels sick and dizzy, but this time it isn’t her illness – she’s in love!

This is an affecting and striking illustrated book for older readers which charts one girl’s experience of surviving cancer. It’s honest, raw and emotional, but also hopeful too, and Marianne Ferrer’s watercolour palette expertly reflects the character’s changing moods.

It’s important among books for children about cancer – who may be experiencing it themselves, in a family member or friend or just being aware of it in the world – that stories of survival, with happy endings, exist alongside those without.

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