This list of resources is for parents with secondary breast cancer to help them talk with their children about their illness and future.

All are currently available from bookshops, libraries and online. It is also worth speaking to your local librarian or visiting your local cancer information centre, as many will stock and loan a variety of similar books. Amazon online also lists many of these books and booklets.

Books for parents or carers

Here are a range of books other people have found useful in talking to children about life-threatening illness and death. Some are cancer specific, others are more general.

Talking to children and teenagers when an adult has cancer
(Macmillan Cancer Support, 2013)

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
(Adele Faber and Elaine Mazilsh. Piccadilly Press, 2013)

As Big as it Gets: Supporting a Child When a Parent is Seriously Ill
(Winston’s Wish, 2007)

What happens when someone dies?
(Jennie Armstrong. See Saw, 2014)

Books for children

The Secret C: Straight Talking About Cancer
(Julie Stokes. Winston’s Wish/Macmillan Cancer Support, 2009)
Suitable for children 7-10 years.

When Your Mum or Dad Has Cancer
(Ann Couldrick Sobell Publications, 1991)
Suitable for children 7 and upwards.

A Monster Calls
(Patrick Ness. Walker Books, 2012)
Suitable for children 9 and over.

The Rainbow Feelings of Cancer
A Book for Children Who Have a Loved One with Cancer
(Carrie Martin and Chia Martin. Hohm Press, 2002)

A Dragon in Your Heart
(Sophie Le Blanc. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999)
Most suitable for children aged 5 and over.

Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Children
(Doris Stickney. Continuum, 2007)
Suitable for children aged 4-10.

Useful organisations and websites

Willow Foundation

An organisation providing special days for seriously ill young adults (16-40). Their website includes information on eligibility criteria and how to apply. 

Honey Rose Foundation

A national organisation providing special days for people aged over 40 facing cancer or other life threatening illness. 


A website where children can talk with others whose parent has been affected by cancer.

Winston’s Wish

Winston's Wish is the charity dedicated to supporting bereaved children when a parent has died, they also give advice and support via their helpline and residential weekends.


Last reviewed: January 2016
Next planned review begins shortly

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