Illness Book List for Kids

  • Illness Book List for Kids

Help your child learn about coping with illnesses.

For a printable copy of this list, click here: Books for Kids: Illness

The Memory Keeper

Jennifer Camiccia

“A heartfelt tale of an exceptional girl.” —BCCB “Poignant…heartwarming.” —School Library Journal Fish in a Tree meets The Thing About Jellyfish in this heartfelt middle grade debut about long-buried secrets, the power of memory, and the bond between a girl and her grandmother. All Lulu Carter wants is to be seen. But her parents are lost in their own worlds, and Lulu has learned the hard way that having something as rare as HSAM—the ability to remember almost every single moment in her life—won’t make you popular in school. At least Lulu has Gram, who knows the truth about Lulu’s memory and loves her all the more for it. But Gram has started becoming absentminded, and the more lost she gets, the more she depends on Lulu…until Lulu realizes her memory holds the very key to fixing Gram’s forgetfulness. Once Lulu learns that trauma can cause amnesia, all she needs to do to cure Gram is hunt down that painful moment in Gram’s life. With her friends Olivia and Max, Lulu digs into Gram’s mysterious past. But they soon realize some secrets should stay buried, and Lulu wonders if she ever knew Gram at all. It’s up to Lulu to uncover the truth before the only person who truly sees her slips away.

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Going to the Doctor

Anne Civardi

Jenny Jay has a cough, Joey Jay needs his immunization shot, and Jack Jay has a sprained wrist, so the whole Jay family goes to the doctor to find out how to get well.

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Eleanor Coerr

Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.

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Taking Asthma to School

Kim Gosselin

A young boy describes what it is like to have asthma, what happens during an asthma attack, and how his asthma can be treated and controlled.

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Taking Diabetes to School

Kim Gosselin

Uses a simple story about a young boy at school to present information about diabetes. A young boy describes what it is like to have diabetes, how it makes hiim feel, and how it can be treated and controlled.

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Mostly Monty

Johanna Hurwitz

A shy boy with asthma starts first grade — and comes into his own — in this appealing story for early chapter book readers. Six-year-old Monty doesn’t have a brother, a sister, or a pet. What he does have is asthma, which sometimes makes it hard to breathe and often makes him feel like he’d rather be somebody else. And now that he’s starting first grade, he’s very nervous about being with all those kids he won’t know. Luckily, he loves to read — even really hard books — and has a talent for finding things, from a cocooning caterpillar to classmates who want to be in his very own club. With familiar situations and gentle humor, Johanna Hurwitz follows an endearing character as he discovers that being himself can be pretty great after all.

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My Little Grandmother Often Forgets

Reeve Lindbergh

A child’s love for a grandmother with memory loss shines through in this deeply personal and lyrical tale from author Reeve Lindbergh. Sometimes Tom’s grandmother forgets the way home from the market, or that Tom’s name is Tom and not Roy. But Tom doesn’t mind. He loves to help his grandmother and just spend time with her. The special bond between a beloved grandmother affected by memory loss and her devoted grandson is described in Reeve Lindbergh’s most personal book for children, one that is based on her own and her son’s relationship with her mother in the last years of her life. Kathryn Brown’s watercolor illustrations tenderly capture the unique characters — and the love that is universal.

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Mom Has Cancer!

Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, Marta Fàbrega

Told from a child's point of view, describes the symptoms and treatment of cancer and discusses the effects on the family of a parent with the disease.

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Patricia J. Murphy

Describes the different types of illnesses, including such long-term diseases as cancer, Parkinson's Disease, and diabetes, and discusses how diseases are diagnosed and what treatment options are available.

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The Hope Tree

Laura Joffe Numeroff, Wendy Schlessel Harpham, David McPhail

A bestselling author and a physician draw on real-life experiences of children whose mothers have breast cancer for this story about a group of animal kids who form a support group.

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The Remember Balloons

Jessie Oliveros

A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book! What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together. But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice! Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

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The Lemonade Club

Patricia Polacco

When Marilyn and her teacher, Miss Wichelman, both get cancer, they encourage each other and, aided by medical treatments and support from friends, they get better and learn that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

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Great-Uncle Alfred Forgets

Ben Shecter

A young girl takes her great-uncle, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, for a walk and gently and patiently answers all his seemingly absurd questions.

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What’s Happening to Grandpa?

Maria Shriver

Becoming increasingly concerned when her beloved grandfather tells her the same stories repeatedly and then forgets her name, young Kate creates a photo album of their favorite shared memories to help them both cope with his progressing Alzheimer's disease.

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Cancer Hates Kisses

Jessica Reid Sliwerski

As Mom goes through treatment for cancer, her family supports her with what cancer hates most: love.

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Mommy Sayang

Rosana Sullivan

In a Malaysian kampung, or village, lives little Aleeya and her dear Mommy sayang. Aleeya and Mommy do everything together, and in Aleeya's dreams, they dance among enormous hibiscus flowers. Aleeya loves to ask Mommy if she will always be by her side. Mommy assures her that she will, Insh'Allah. But one day, Mommy becomes sick. Alone, Aleeya waits for her return, and it's in this moment that Aleeya realizes she can always be by Mommy's side. With a hibiscus flower in hand, Aleeya goes to Mommy's bedside to bring her love and hope. Little by little, Mommy sayang gets better.

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First Aid for You

Rebecca Weber

Describes first aid techniques for different situations, including cuts, choking, and broken bones.

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The Tide

Clare Helen Welsh

A young girl spends a day on the beach with her grandpa, whose memories are starting to come and go like the tide.

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