Niagara Gazette

Features

May 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Children's book seeks to make cancer less scary

Niagara Gazette — As a newspaper editor, I receive a lot of books for review. Many of them end up in a pile on my desk and languish, simply for lack of time to read each and every one.

The self-published books are a little more neglected than others because, frankly, most feel a bit like reading someone’s term paper.

Still, there’s been a book at the bottom of my in-basket for months now, and I placed it there because I really intended to give it my full attention one day.   

That day came recently, when I finally opened “I CANcer.”

The book was hand-delivered to me by the Lewiston step-grandmother of the author, a young woman whose mother, Lynne Jensen of the Niagara Falls Montando and Rueter families, and sister, Kate Jensen, both died of cancer within months of each other several years ago.

I sat quietly and perused Kristin Simons’ hardcover children’s story about a boy battling cancer. Then I realized that while, thankfully, I don’t know anyone battling cancer at this moment in time, the message of hope is one that I live by, and one I’ve tried to instill in my sons as they’ve grown into men.

The illustrated book shows the boy and a girl moving through a world that can be so scary, but also depicts how attitude is everything.  

The author, raised in Lewiston and now living in Wisconsin, writes: “Break through the surface shock and soon you’ll realize, in every obstacle we face, there are blessings in disguise. And with each step, the stronger you’ll get if you remember all the while — I can give, I can love, I can laugh, I can give, I can share ... “

The book is so filled with optimism and light that one can’t help be moved to think the words came from a young author who lost both her sister and her mother to the disease.

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