Reviews for My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks : Real-Life Advice from Real-Life Teens

Booklist Reviews 2013 March #1
An estimated one million teens in America live with a parent who has suffered from cancer. This guide for coping with the scary reality of serious illness is written by a ­father-daughter team who have had plenty of experience--Marc's wife and Maya's mother is a cancer survivor. Drawing on their experiences, the Silvers offer advice for finding solace in people who have been there and who have found ways to cope. The book is fairly comprehensive, addressing changes in a teen's own identity as well as changes in family and homelife that are beyond his or her control. Pragmatic suggestions are offered, such as maintaining routines, finding artistic outlets for intense emotion, and using exercise to help cope with stress. Honest discussions center on both the power of optimism but also on facing the most dire prognoses and the very real possibility of losing a parent. It's admirable that the authors don't sugarcoat the realities of cancer and will speak with an honesty that teens will identify with and find comfort in. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #2
A guide for teens who have a parent with cancer is chock-full of information and advice but sometimes misses the mark. The authors, the husband and now-adult daughter of a woman who had cancer, include advice and personal experience from social workers, teens whose parents have or have had cancer, and adults who were teens when their parents were diagnosed. One chapter explicates common cancer terms; others offer advice for finding support, communicating with family and friends, and dealing with the loss of a parent. Although the many voices offer a variety of perspectives, the book assumes a middle-class, suburban readership: All families are assumed to have cars, and a chapter on "parentification" assumes that any teen taking on a parental role after a parent's diagnosis will be doing so for the first time. Gender-based assumptions seem more harmful than helpful (why separate the "Risky Business" chapter into stories about "Bad Boys" and "Bad Girls" when the behaviors described are all very similar?), and a few of the bits of helpful advice are downright baffling ("Don't spend [your time with a dying parent] down in the dumps. You don't want to have false hope. Hope is an important thing to have"). There are some helpful ideas and anecdotes here, but it's not for every teen. (Nonfiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

Gr 7 Up--This well-organized handbook aims to guide teens through the experience of having an ill parent. Offering "survival tips" from those who have experienced the ordeal firsthand and including "words of wisdom" from trained professionals, it provides honest, practical, and heartfelt advice. Short chapters include "Let's Talk: How to Keep Your Family Communication Lines Wide Open," "How Things Will Change During Cancer," "Dealing with Stress," "The Power (and the Limits) of Optimism and Faith," "Seeking Support," "Facing a Dire Prognosis," and "Losing a Parent to Cancer." Readers are reminded that "cancer doesn't follow rules" and can impact families of any background. The Silvers effectively provide guidance and insight for teens seeking the ability to cope so that "the new normal" (a term used to describe life after cancer) can be realized.--Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME

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