Cancer. The mere mentioning of the word can bring people all assortments of feelings: fear, dread, sorrow, despair. We live in an age where there is just too much information about the disease; unfortunately, most of it comes from websites that preach the horrors of having cancer at the very first headache you have. Now imagine how it can affect a child’s mind – they have easy access to the web and will rush to it if they learn that cancer is now a part of their everyday life, especially when its painful claws grasp a loved member of the family.
It intends to reach out to that public – the children who have relatives or friends who suffer from cancer – that Diane Davies lovingly wrote the book Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer. Its pages do not bring a cold, medical point of view and words; instead, as you read, you’ll get to be much like Jeannie Ann’s playing buddy, as you will hear the little girl speak of the harrowing situation from her own perception. It is a very reachable choice of language that literally speaks to children in a better way than we adults can try to elaborate.
In fact, the book tackles very difficult matters and questions in a way that explains all that has to be understood without pretenses of blind optimism. Davies masterfully weaves the innocence of Jeannie Ann along with her own experience as a survivor of breast cancer herself. That allows for a sensitive yet very informational and even soothing take on one of the toughest topics that anyone – namely a child – has to absorb. But be not disheartened: Davies’s and Jeannie Ann’s story is one of realism, but also of very well-grounded hopes, all of it embraced by the wholesome drawings by veteran illustrator CA Nobens. A must-read book, because the reality of cancer can always be a factor – perhaps not the deciding factor – in our lives.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023