books, Childhood Cancer

Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. As such, I want to let you know about a new picture book coming out this November: Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving? Written by Samarrah Fine Clayman and illustrated by Amy Preveza, this tender story showcases the love a sister holds for her younger brother, who has a brain tumor.

Jax Cover

Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving? is told through the older sister’s point of view, a perspective often lost when families are dealing with the pain and worry over a child undergoing cancer treatment. The short, inquisitive sentences and descriptions are realistic: “Are the doctors nice?” “Will you be home for Thanksgiving?” “The next week, Mom and Dad keep taking turns sleeping at the hospital.”

If you are looking for a book for siblings of childhood cancer patients, this is a good one to explain what could happen with family dynamics. Given a scary environment filled with changes and uncertainty, Clayman’s child-friendly language and Preveza’s bright colors make for an optimistic, hopeful read.

Further, Clayman writes with authority on the subject, as she pulls from her own experience. In 2017, her 23-month-old son was diagnosed with an ependymoma, a rare brain tumor found mainly in young children. While the treatment involves surgery and radiation, the tumor can often reoccur, and there is no cure. For this reason, she and her husband created The Ependymoma Research Foundation, and all profits from the sale of this book will be donated there.

For more information on the author, visit

For more information on the illustrator, visit

5 thoughts on “Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving?”

  1. Love this book for families in need of emotional support. It’s really important to discuss w/ young siblings, in language they can understand. I look forward to seeing it published!

  2. I ordered this book as I have a grandson who at 5 years old was diagnosed with childhood cancer. He has a twin sister. This book would have helped explain things to her about her brother and why parents had to be away from her at times. It is written and illustrated beautifully. I would highly recommend it, especially for young children.

  3. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that brings home the need to share with a sibling the challenges of having a sibling with a chronic illness. As well the sibling shares her sadness that her brother has not been well enough to play with her. This book allows for the expression of feelings and is a great resource for families.

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