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THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN

Written by Janna Matthies
Illustrated by Kristi Valiant
Albert Whitman & Company, 2011
Hardcover, 32 pages
Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.50
ATOS Level: 3.60
ISBN-10: 080752994X
ISBN-13: 978-0807529942
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Janie's mom has cancer. When the doctor says that Mom will probably feel better by pumpkin time, Janie suggests they plant a garden. As the healthy veggies grow, Mom grows healthier too. I pray this book brings hope to many families.

2011 Best English Language Children's Book, Sharjah International Book Fair

CCBC Choices 2012: The Cooperative Children's Book Center top children's book picks for 2012.

STARRED REVIEW from School Library Journal:
"Smoothly told in a reassuringly matter-of-fact and understated way, this is less a story about cancer than about one family’s response to it... Realistic emotions like her general sadness or Janie’s brother’s dismay at his mom’s baldness are included, but are downplayed. The sketchy illustrations are tender and sweet. After the first “breaking the news” scene, every page depicts grateful smiles and loving camaraderie. Outdoor scenes provide a feeling of fresh air and the healing of nature. An uplifting, hopeful story, well told and beautifully illustrated."

Publishers Weekly:
"A family uses creativity and humor to cope with a mother's breast cancer treatment in this heartening and informed story... wispy illustrations are characterized by frenetic sketchy outlines that initially heighten the children's nervousness, but later feel suggestive of the family's energy and hopefulness, which should reassure children facing similar ordeals. "

Booklist:
"An unexpectedly upbeat text and delicate illustrations distinguish this story based on the true experiences of a family’s journey through breast cancer treatment and recovery....it is a rare youth title about cancer that focuses on recovery rather than dealing only with loss. "

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