Saturday, October 4, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Book House staff wanted to do a special post with some related news and, of course, books.

First off, the news: Marggie of the Book House recently returned from San Francisco, where she walked in the Breast Cancer 3-Day with her two daughters. They, along with almost 2,000 other participants, walked a total of 60 miles over the 3 days of the event. Together, their team of 15 (the Boob Brigade) raised $43,308, and the entire event raised $4.8 million to fight breast cancer!

Now, on to the books! There have been many breast cancer memoirs published over the past few years. We here at the Book House wanted to highlight a few.

Erin's pick is It's Not About the Hair by Debra Jarvis (Sasquatch Books, $16.95), which just came out in paperback this fall. Jarvis works as a chaplain in the general oncology department of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The book tells of her experience of going through treatment for breast cancer while helping others undergoing similar experiences. Erin's Staff Recommendation card for the book in the store reads: "I read this book and passed it along to my mother, who read the first 50 pages and promptly bought 2 more copies for friends before finishing it herself. It's warm and honest, funny and heartbreaking. I'd recommend this book to anyone dealing with, affected by, or interested in a survivor's experience with breast cancer."

Rachel's favorite is Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Random House, $22.00). It's a graphic memoir, told through cartoons, about battling breast cancer while living in New York City. Rachel's Staff Recommendation card reads, "This is a wonderful memoir, filled with biting humor and poignancy, of cartoonist Marisa Marchetto's battle with breast cancer in graphic novel form. I really loved it!" You can browse Marchetto's website by clicking here.

In addition, the Little Book House staff has some favorite children's books that deal with cancer. Here are two of their recommendations:

The Lemonade Club by Patricia Polacco (Penguin-Putnam, $16.99) is, as Kathleen writes, is "a look at how cancer affects a classroom--both students and teacher--as only Patricia Polacco can tell, with grace, sensitivity, and humor." When both a student and the teacher are diagnosed with cancer, their classroom comes together to support them. Kathleen continues: "Once again, Polacco delves into her rich history to share with us a beautiful, life-affirming tale--be sure to have Kleenex on hand!"

Hair for Mama by Kelly Tinkham (Penguin-Putnam, $16.99) is described by Rachel as being "simply lovely!". She goes on to say that "Marcus' mom doesn't want to be in the family photograph this year because she has lost her hair to chemo. Marcus' solution doesn't come out the way he thinks bus is the perfect answer!" It's a touching story about a child struggling to understand his mother's illness and to find a way to express his love.