This incredible story does a wonderful job at explaining the trials and tribulations of cancer’s effects on both the individuals and their families. In this story, a mother of two is diagnosed with breast cancer. To help the children understand what is going on better, she takes them with her to one of her many doctor appointments. The doctor tells the children that their mother will be better by “pumpkin time.” As a family, they decide to plant a garden and call it “The Goodbye Cancer Garden.” While the mother goes through the grueling process of surgery, chemotherapy, hair loss, and radiation treatments, the family remains positive. They continue their garden work and plant many different vegetables, including pumpkins. Just as the doctor predicted, the mother is better by “pumpkin time” and the family enjoys their garden and celebrates the health of their mother.
This book offers a positive attitude in a time of trouble. It also sheds light on information about vegetables versus fruits. This is a light story that does a great job at addressing the difficult topic of breast cancer. It would be great for students dealing with a parent’s illness. This book could be used for all ages, as parents could read it to younger students to help them cope. Second and third graders would be able to read this book on their own and learn new vocabulary terms associated with breast cancer.
Check the WRL catalog for The Goodbye Cancer Garden.