The Hope Tree

Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
OncoLink
Last Modified: September 29, 2002

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Cover Authors: Laura Numeroff & Wendy Harpham, MD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 068984526X

OncoLink Rating: 2 Stars

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The goal of The Hope Tree is to help the children and grandchildren of cancer patients better understand and express their emotions. Parents are often too overwhelmed to know how to discuss the disease with their children. This book does not attempt to explain the disease, but to help families talk about the issues surrounding the disease, in a positive way.

The book uses a fictional support group of animal children, whose mothers have breast cancer, to discuss the issues. The Hope Tree addresses ten topics that often affect families dealing with cancer (and not just breast cancer!). The topics include the day of diagnosis, nurses and doctors, hair loss, and feeling emotional. The character's submissions, along with the wonderful illustrations, will help children to feel more comfortable discussing their feelings and to understand that it is okay to have these feelings.

Author Laura Numeroff has received international recognition for her books, including If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Dr. Wendy Harpham is a long time cancer survivor and mother of three who has first hand knowledge of a child's feelings when their parent has cancer. The book's proceeds go to support The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This book is best for children ages 4 through 10.