New Day recommends these books to support your family during this time. We also offer up to three free books to each families who are a part of our financial support program.
The New York Times Best Seller by Michael and Gina Spehn, founders of New Day Foundation for Families
This real-life Brady Bunch story is about what it means to endure the unthinkable―and still open one’s heart to what’s next. When two childhood friends die of cancer six weeks apart, the shared experience of loss brings their grieving spouses together. After months of late-night phone calls, family dinners, and countless dreams and tears, this unlikely pair builds a trust, a love, and a shared life. Told from alternating points of view, The Color of Rain illuminates the stepping-stones of healing that lead to a joyful new beginning for Michael and Gina Spehn and their five children. Like many who grieve, Michael and Gina had to choose to hope again. Along the way, they discovered that God can restore the darkest circumstances―and even from death, He can bring new life. Michael and Gina’s gripping story of “growing new hearts” will inspire readers not only to survive loss but also to receive the new courage, faith, and identity that God gives in the midst of tragedy.
The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer – Hollye Jacobs
The Silver Lining is both Hollye’s memoir and a practical, supportive resource for anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer. She addresses the physical and emotional aspects of treatment, highlights what patients can expect, and provides action steps.
Eating Well Through Cancer Cookbook – Holly Clegg
This cancer cookbook includes everyday, healthy recipes to combat side effects such as day of chemotherapy, sore mouth, neutropenia, nausea, constipation, and weight-loss with chapters for caregivers, snacks, and healthy eating. Easy to read, with simple, nutritious recipes, beautiful photographs, tips and information.
How to Be Sick – Toni Bernhard
In 2001, Toni Bernhard got sick and stayed that way. In spite of her many physical and energetic restrictions (and sometimes, because of them), Toni learned how to live a life of compassion and joy. This book reminds us that our own inner freedom is limitless, regardless of our external circumstances.
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
An unforgettable reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both. It chronicles Paul Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student to a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally to a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do – Amy Morin
Through her years counseling others and her own experiences navigating personal loss, author Amy Morin realized it is often the habits we cannot break that are holding us back from true success and happiness. Morin writes with searing honesty, incorporating anecdotes from her work as a college psychology instructor and psychotherapist as well as personal stories about how she bolstered her own mental strength when tragedy threatened to consume her and shares her tried-and-true practices.
The Rabbit Listened – Cori Doerrfeld
When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. The Rabbit Listened is about how to comfort people in your life, by taking the time to listen.
A Mom of Many Hats – Debbie Fink and Lisa Perea Hane
A Mom of Many Hats helps children affected by a parent battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy with a healing literary experience. The book is written for children of varied ages. Each child can experience the story in an age appropriate manner. Each family can then use this book as a tool to discuss the cancer journey. The experience is positive and powerful for everyone.
The Invisible String – Patrice Karst
In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.
El Hilo Invisible – Patrice Karst
¡Nada más aterrador que una tormenta nocturna! Liza y Jeremy corren al lado de su madre cuando un terrible trueno los despierta. Pero ella tiene palabras para tranquilizarlos: les explica que existe un hilo invisible hecho de amor que une a las personas que se quieren. Este hilo conecta a los hijos con sus padres, y también con sus mejores amigos. ¿Pero qué tan lejos puede llegar ese hilo? Mamá explica que irá hasta donde esté la persona amada. ¿Incluso hasta el espacio? Sí. Incluso hasta el espacio. Este libro clásico es una lección para toda la vida sobre lo que conecta a los hijos con los padres, un lazo que dura para siempre, desde los primeros pasos lejos del regazo materno hasta la vida adulta.
Wreck this Journal – Keri Smith (journal)
Through a series of creative and quirky prompts, acclaimed guerilla artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in destructive acts—poking holes through pages, painting pages with coffee, coloring outside the lines, and more—to experience the creative process. Readers are introduced to a new way of art- and journal-making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.
My Parent has Cancer and it Really Sucks – Maya & Marc Silver
This book provides real-life advice designed to help teens live with a parent who is fighting cancer. Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She and her dad, Marc, combined their personal experience with advice from medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens―all going through the same thing Maya did. No matter how rough things get, they will get through this difficult time.
Preparing the Children: Information & Ideas for Families Facing Serious Illness and Death –Kathy Nussbaum
Preparing the Children has been a leading resource for families facing serious illness and death for many years. Here’s why: It is written in a clear and simple style for families with limited time and energy. It gives information about children’s needs starting from the time a serious illness is diagnosed. It offers hundreds of practical ideas of ways to meet children’s needs.
How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness – Kathleen McCue
A go-to book for supportive, practical advice from one of America ‘s leading child life practitioners. It explores the major issues and developments that affect children today, including the dangers and opportunities of the Internet, how hereditary diseases affect children, the impact of the nation’s explosive growth in single-parent families, and how family trauma and a parent’s mental illness may affect children.
The Sudden Caregiver: A Roadmap for Resilient Caregiving – Karen Warner Schueler
Written by a family caregiver for family caregivers. Plenty of research confirms what you may already know: caregiving is depleting, worrying, and exhausting, often leading to physical and emotional burnout, fear, and illness. Yet a growing body of evidence tells us that while caregiving is depleting, it can also be a source of strength, well-being, and purpose. Caregiving may be inevitable, but caregiver distress is not.
The Memory Box – Joanna Rowland
From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it’s like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child’s feelings are acknowledged, allowed, and assured that feelings are normal and healthy to express. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box helps children, parents, educators, and therapists talk about this very difficult topic together. A guide in the back includes information to help children manage grief and offers suggestions on how to create a memory box.
Healing Your Grieving Heart Series – Alan Wolfelt
Available for Kids, Teens, Friends, Parents, Grandparent, Spouse
With sensitivity and insight, this series offers suggestions for healing activities that can help survivors learn to express their grief and mourn naturally. It explains how people need to slow down, turn inward, embrace their feelings of loss, and seek and accept support when a loved one dies. Ideas and activities are aimed at reducing the confusion, anxiety, and huge personal void so that living their lives can begin again.
Sam’s Dad Died: A Child’s Book of Hope Through Grief – Margaret M. Holmes, Sasha J. Mudlaff
After his father dies, Sam tells how he feels and what he can do so he doesn’t hurt so much. This book also includes information for caregivers.
Molly’s Mom Died: A Child’s Book of Hope Through Grief – Margaret M. Holmes, Sasha Mudlaff, et all
Molly talks about the feelings that she has been having since the death of her mother. This book also includes information for caregivers.
My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon – Angie Lucas
When a young boy loses his mother, an invisible dragon swoops in and perches on top of his head. A most unwelcome guest, the dragon follows him to school, sleeps on his chest at night, and even crashes his birthday party. As the boy comes to terms with his mother’s death, however, his relationship with the dragon changes in surprising ways. The book shows that healing takes time and that it’s OK to experience a wide range of emotions as you process a really big loss.
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss – Jerry Sittser
Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss, all of us will face some kind of loss in life. Whether your suffering has come in the form of chronic illness, disability, divorce, crushing disappointment, or the loss of someone you love, Sittser will help you put your thoughts into words in a way that will guide you deeper into your own healing process.
It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand – Megan Devine
When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. Megan Devine offers a new approach to grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People – Harold S. Kushner
When Rabbi Harold Kushner’s son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being. A classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow.
The Prayer Shawl: Wrapped in God’s Love – Susan Fitzsimonds – Picture Book
Can we feel God’s love? It’s easy when we have a prayer shawl. For those times when we are lonely, sad, or upset, a prayer shawl can make all the difference. Knitted with love and prayers, this special blanket just isn’t a beautiful gift; it’s God’s strength around us.
Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved – Kate Bowler
At thirty-five, everything in Kate Bowler’s life seems to point toward “blessing.” Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.
Streams in the Desert – L.B.E. Cowman & Jim Riemann
Everyone goes through difficult seasons, tough losses, and moments that feel unbearable. In today’s world, people thirst more than ever for reassurance and guidance. Streams in the Desert provides a river of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration to weary travelers. This book contains 366 devotions with a powerful collection of meditations, Christian writings, and Scripture.
Trusting God with Cancer – Rob Raban
As a young husband and the father of three elementary school-aged boys, Rob Raban was diagnosed with lymphoma and was terrified of leaving his family fatherless. Trusting God with Cancer is the author’s journey into this realm of fear, and he provides a roadmap to help others successfully navigate this world. From confronting death and leaving his beloved family behind, to giving his fears over to God, to telling the kids, having faith, choosing a mind-set of success, embracing chemo, cherishing loved ones, and appreciating everyday miracles, this book is a life-affirming testimony of God’s love.
Everyday Strength: A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Spiritual Survival – Randy Becton
As a cancer survivor, Randy Becton knows firsthand the onslaught this disease brings on the human spirit. His experience creates a special bond with fellow cancer patients, making his encouragement even more powerful. He offers hope and comfort through poetic prayers, Scripture, brief reflections, and uplifting thoughts for each day. It guides those who are fighting cancer toward spiritual and mental wellness in the face of physical illness.
The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard – Kara Tippetts
Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow, and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, Kara asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.
And it was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye – Kara Tippetts
Kara Tippetts offers gentle reflections on living and dying well. She invites us to cultivate soft hearts even when we face great disappointment. Her ideas for living are hard-won, wrestled within the crucible of family, illness, and faith. Her constant reminder is that whether we are in the midst of dark days or mundane moments Jesus is always there, life is surprisingly beautiful, and God is forever good.