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July 20, 1986|Patricia Seidenbaum

CHILDREN WITH CANCER Jeanne Munn Bracken (Oxford University: $22.95). Helplessness is a common feeling for the parent of a child with cancer. What to do? Where to go? What will happen? Who will help? Jeanne Munn Bracken has coupled her experience as the mother of Lisa, successfully treated for cancer seven years ago, with her profession as a reference librarian, to help other parents and children through the confusion and fear that often surround the treatment of cancer.

She has done a remarkable job. The technical information is clearly stated, up to date and accurate. There are chapters on the different types of malignancies, treatments, medical tests, locations of cancer centers and even unproven methods of treatment.

But most important, this is a human book, and the author is obviously concerned with the needs of the human who reads her book. Her perceptive suggestions help the reader calm the small child who is afraid of yet another needle, aid the angry adolescent with a puffy face and bald head, give the exhausted parent permission to take a night off.

Bracken says in her introduction, "I wish there were no need for any book on childhood cancer," but there is a need, and this is the rare book that really fulfills a need.

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