Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books About Teens with Cancer

I'm going to be the first to say that I hate cancer! It has taken grandparents from me early, and I just recently had to watch my mom struggle through the process of beating thyroid cancer. She's cancer free now, but she's leaving in a day to go visit/help her sister (my aunt) who just had a single mastectomy. It seems like cancer has our family's number, so... I hate it! 

Anyway, that said, I am eager to read the books that have been coming out about teens with cancer. It's such a sensitive topic, but I think it's SO important that the issue is addressed. I haven't read any of these yet, but I know they will probably all be tearjerkers for me.

Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.

But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

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How do you feel about reading books that touch really close to home for you??? Do you try to avoid them, or, like me, are you a glutton for punishment?


  1. Jessi, I'm so sorry to hear that cancer has affected your family so deeply. This was a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I wouldn't say I'm a glutton for punishment, but I do have a little trouble reading about kids with cancer, since my own son's bout with lymphoma two years ago. He's fine now, but chemo is hell, and of course I still worry. There's a beautiful line in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS about parents of kids with cancer that really hit home with me.

    That said, I LOVED the book. Haven't read the other two yet, although I desperately need to get a copy of NEVER EIGHTEEN, since I'm interviewing the author!

  2. I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. I lost my grandfather to brain cancer last year, and it's rough.

    I'd say I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to reading books on tough issues. I read Saving June (which deals with suicide),in the same week that I lost a family member to suicide. In a way it was hard to read about, but I was also better able to emphasize with the characters.

    The Probability of Miracles was fantastic, and I'm about to read The Fault in Our Stars. I'm hoping it won't wreck me too much.

    I haven't heard much about Never Eighteen yet.

  3. I read Never 18 and its terrific. Just got my John Green one today! Thx for the post.


  4. Can't forget "A Walk to Remember" and "My Sister's Keeper," 2 cancer-themed books told from the perspectives of loved ones of patients.

  5. ^ They show of the hardships and struggles that come with cancer, yet how love can triumph.

  6. The Fault in Our Stars deserves every award and bit of praise it receives.