“Unique and very highly recommended.”

Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers


Children's Bookwatch   Reviewer's Choice
Volume 26, Number 5 May 2016

Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling
Sharon Wozny, author / Melissa Bailey, illustrator
$14.95, PB, 64pp.

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, his or her siblings may struggle with complex emotions such as confusion, guilt, and fear. Part story, part journal, "Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling" helps siblings of pediatric cancer patients cope with those intense feelings. The first half of the book is about 13-year-old Jamie who describes the roller coaster of emotions she experiences when her 10-year-old sister, Jordan, is diagnosed with cancer. Jamie laments the loss of her "normal" teenage life and describes feeling forgotten as her family focuses on Jordan's medical needs. Jamie finds solace through journaling about her experience, and encourages the reader to write about his or her own journey on the pages provided in the book. Jamie's Journey is unique in that it's designed especially for the siblings of pediatric cancer patients. Author Sharon Wozny draws from her experience volunteering with Children's Cancer Network for the past three years. During the time she's spent with young cancer patients and their families, Wozny has discovered that the patients' siblings face unique challenges. "They endure so much," she said. "They feel so much pain on so many levels and need to know that they are heroes also..." Wozny has made the second half of the book an interactive journal, offering siblings of pediatric cancer patients a safe place to share and work through their own feelings and write about their own personal journey. "Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling" is unique and very highly recommended.

Midwest Book Review

 

This book is so helpful, I wish I would of had it when my sister was diagnosed.

It is sometimes hard to make a "voice" in a book, but Sharon Wozny made it happen. I'm a sibling whose sister has cancer. It is really helpful to read about someone whose sibling also has cancer, even if it is a fictional character. The book will really help kids deal with all of the feelings that Sharon Wozny said, such as: jealousy and guilt.

Speckles is that favorite stuffed animal that you need to cuddle at night. Speckles is helpful to kids whose siblings have cancer. To me, Speckles is like that imaginary or living friend that would help comfort you when you're down. I relate to Jamie because I have something that comforts me too.

The book was great at teaching me to never give up on my family. I had a strong connection with this book. This book is so helpful, I wish I would of had it when my sister was diagnosed. The journal section was the best for me. It helped me get all the stress and anger out of my system. This book would be my #1 children's cancer book recommendation.

Abby E. Kerr, age 10


Thank you, Sharon Wozny, for giving siblings a voice and providing this excellent tool for families!”

Patti Luttrell, RN MS
co-founder and executive director, Children's Cancer Network

 

“The world needs a book like this one.

Jamie's Journey offers the warm feeling like that of a caring friend holding the reader's hand through the emotional struggle of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Though geared towards the sibling relationship, this book could easily be related to anyone with an emotional connection to a cancer patient. Through defining the feelings accompanied by such tragedy, readers may begin to identify and connect with the narrator's perspective. Journalistic writing is offered along with the story as an outlet to express one's feelings about the twists and turns that follow a cancer diagnosis. The world needs a book like this one. It will surely help to heal the world...one reader at a time.

Sherry L. Hoffman, Reading Specialist and Author of the award-winning activity book A to Z Character Education for the Classroom

 

“This book is a gem!

Jamie's Journey by Sharon Wozny is the best medicine for siblings of kids with cancer. With comforting text and gorgeous illustrations, it gently explores the sometimes difficult emotions that arise in siblings. The book includes a journal section that allows siblings to explore their feelings with words and art. This book is a gem!

Nancy Keene, author of 14 books for families of children with cancer, www.childcancerguides.org


I have gone through this type of situation. I felt exactly like Jamie is feeling ... left out of my family. I know it will be a great book for others to read, especially if you have a sibling like Jordan.

Jose, age 13


“I loved this book.”

I loved this book and I now know what my sister Victoria, a survivor, goes through when she is sick. Also, I felt like I was left out.

Teresa, age 11

 

“An insightful, sensitive, and important book.

Jamie's Journey is an insightful, sensitive, and important book.  Sharon Wozny has written a beautiful hand holderholding the hands of siblings who have lived through cancer's terrorthat will help so many children!

Jana Bommersbach, journalist and bestselling author


“Wow, just WOW, Sharon! You absolutely nailed this book!! I must admit that I was a just slightly skeptical that someone who hadn’t personally experienced childhood cancer could write about it in an effective way. Clearly, your work at CCN has had a profound effect on you. Thank you again for reaching out and for sharing your love with siblings, the forgotten population.

Lisa Goodwin, Co-founder and managing director of Connor's Heroes, www.connorsheroes.org


“Cancer can be talked about with children.

 

“It is a way for siblings to get their feelings out.

Sharon Wozny visited Mesquite Elementary School Library and introduced her new book, Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling. I knew Sharon first as a caring elementary school teacher of over 25 years and trusted her fully in delivering a quality presentation. Her love for teaching and children was evident in her visit as she delicately and appropriately shared her book. She spoke not only of cancer and how it affects a family but the importance of journaling through difficult times. She made me realize cancer can be talked about with children. Jamie's Journey will change lives positively and Sharon is the perfect person to deliver such an important message. I am honored to know Sharon and proud of her work with the Children's Cancer Network.

Nancy Masterson, MA.Ed., teacher, librarian

 

I was 7-years-old and in first grade when I found out that Jack was sick with cancer. When I read this book, I felt better because I knew that I wasn't the only one with a sibling who has had cancer. I could relate to this book in many ways. Jamie talks about how she felt confused. I also felt confused when I found out my brother had cancer. I didn't know what was happening and why we were driving to the hospital a lot. I didn't know if I could catch cancer, too, like if it was contagious.

I wish I had this book when Jack was diagnosed because it would have been very helpful. It would have helped me understand more about what was happening with our family. I think the journal section is nice for siblings who have a brother or sister going through cancer because it is a way for them to get their feelings out.

Speckles reminds me of Jack's special blue blanket that he always had with him. I think everyone needs someone or something like Speckles. I would definitely recommend this book to other siblings of those going through cancer. You should recommend this book to parents, too.

Ethan Dupps, age 10


“Captures the host of emotional responses to a sibling's cancer treatment, both positive and negative.”

Jamie's Journey begins with diagnosis and captures the host of emotional responses to a sibling's cancer treatment, both positive and negative. Emotion identification and normalization is such an important part of processing the impact of childhood cancer on the family system and Wozny's writing lends to this process. The use of common language found in the hospital setting, along with clarification, is helpful and enlightening for a sibling who may not feel comfortable verbalizing his or her questions to parents, caregivers and members of the care team. The back half of the book, dedicated to the sibling's own personal thoughts and reflections, is a great opportunity for personalization with easy reference to Jamie's accounts of events and connected emotions.  

— Valerie Kennedy MSW, LCSW,OSW-C of St. Louis Children's Hospital


What folks are saying about Jamie's Journey...