Nana, What's Cancer?


Tessa is a 10-year-old girl who wants to understand the confusing world of cancer and then to be able to explain it to other children. She embarks on her quest by asking questions of her Nana, whose answers are designed to both ease children’s fears and provide them with factual information.

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Nana, What's Cancer?:

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Tessa is a 10-year-old girl who wants to understand the confusing world of cancer and then to be able to explain it to other children. She embarks on her quest by asking questions of her Nana, whose answers are designed to both ease children’s fears and provide them with factual information.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is a helpful vehicle to get parents or grandparents to talk to their kids about the medical and emotional aspects of cancer."  —Washington Post

Gold Recipient, Mom's Choice Awards 2010, Children's Picture Books: Health & Safety

Winner, The National "Best Books 2009" Awards, Health: Cancer Honoring outstanding mainstream and independent books

School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—In this picture book, 11-year-old Tess asks her grandmother questions like, "What is cancer? What is a tumor? Can you catch cancer?" Lively and understanding, Nana answers all of Tess's questions with solid information and reassuring hugs. She herself has been treated for cancer and Papa Lew's lung cancer has come back. This informational book avoids discussion of politically sensitive issues such as the potential links between environmental pollution and cancer. The authors are a real-life grandmother/granddaughter team. Soft watercolor illustrations show the real Tess and Nana at home and at a cancer awareness event in Washington, DC. While clearly didactic, their Socratic conversation is well informed and can provide the springboard for further discussion both at home and in school settings.—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604430103
  • Publisher: American Cancer Society, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 584,914
  • Age range: 5 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverlye Hyman Fead is a cancer survivor and author of I Can Do This. Tessa Mae Hamermesh is 11 years old and the eldest of Beverlye’s five grandchildren. Shennen Bersani is a children’s book illustrator and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is cancer?
Chapter 2: What causes cancer?
Chapter 3: Can you catch cancer?
Chapter 4: Can anyone get cancer?
Chapter 5: When you have cancer, do you have to stay in bed?
Chapter 6: Can you get cnacer when you already have another disease?
Chapter 7: Is it okay to feel sad when someone you love has cancer?
Chapter 8: Why are some cancers worse than others?
Chapter 9: Do animals ever get cancer?
Chapter 10: Is there anything else we can do to stop cancer?
Chapter 11: Do children get cancer, too?
Chapter 12: What's important to remember about cancer?

Beverlye Hyman Fead's winning battle with cancer was the subject of her memoir, I Can Do This: Living with Cancer, Tracing a Year of Hope (published by Wellness Program of S.B.C.C., 2004). She lives well and actively with stage IV cancer-writing, painting, traveling, and spending time with her husband and five grandchildren. She is a Legislative Ambassador and Hero of Hope for the American Cancer Society. She has been honored by the Israel Cancer Research Fund of California and received the Courage Award from the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Beverlye's passion is to raise money for research, to share her story, and to offer hope and encouragement to all those on their cancer journey.

Tessa Mae Hamermesh was just eight years old when she came to her grandmother with an idea. She wanted to write a book with her Nana that would explain cancer to children. That was the beginning of Nana, What's Cancer? Now eleven, Tessa is dedicated to helping other kids understand therealities and effects of cancer and to inspiring people to help defeat cancer once and for all.

Shennen Bersani is a children's book illustrator who brings a unique blend of realism and heartfelt emotion to her art. She is able to depict an exceptional likeness of her subjects, while letting their natural warmth and personality shine through in every image. She lives with her family near Boston, Massachusetts.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    A well-written, valuable book for any family with a member or relative facing cancer.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    Nana, What's Cancer? is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards® honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

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