________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 8. . . October 27, 2017

cover

Jonís Tricky Journey: A Story for Inuit Children with Cancer and Their Families.

Patricia McCarthy. Illustrated by Hwei Lim.
Iqaluit, NU: Inhabit Media, 2017.
70 pp., trade pbk., $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-77227-145-4.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Chloe Humphreys.

***Ĺ /4

excerpt:

Over the summer Jon started to feel pain in his body. Sometimes he had to stop playing until the pain went away. His anaana took him for a checkup at the nursing station.

All of a sudden their life was upside down. Jon needed to go to a childrenís hospital in the south to see some doctors. He didnít want to leave his homeland, but he knew he had to go. He hoped that the doctors at the hospital would be able to make his pain go away.

 

Written by Patricia McCarthy, a pediatric nurse practitioner, Jonís Tricky Journey tells the story of a young Inuit boy diagnosed with cancer. Afraid and confused, Jon and his anaana (mother) travel from their beloved homeland in the north to a hospital in the south for treatment. Jon tries to be brave, but the big city and the strange, noisy hospital scare him. Luckily, a caring and supportive team of social workers, nurses, child-life specialists, oncology pharmacists and doctors help Jon and his family navigate the pain, trauma, and difficulties of cancer treatment. Positive visualization, nutritious food, friendship, love and family bonds are championed as essential components of treatment, making Jon feel strong and hopeful. The text is presented in both Inuktitut and English, allowing for wide readership across diverse communities. McCarthy uses simple language to gently explain the many aspects of cancer treatment that most children diagnosed with the disease will encounter. By doing so, McCarthy demystifies the cancer journey for Inuit families and focuses on the many coping mechanisms and tools that make cancer treatment as bearable and as positive an experience as possible for children. Hwei Limís warm and expressive illustrations convey Jonís nuanced emotions, ensuring that Inuit children will identify with his experiences. In addition to Jonís story, the book boasts an extensive resource guide for family caregivers. Among its many useful tools, the guide includes a list of questions to ask an oncology team and a glossary of helpful definitions for terms associated with cancer treatment.

     Jonís Tricky Journey is compassionately written and is an immensely valuable resource for Inuit families facing a cancer diagnosis. It is a must-buy for libraries and health care organizations serving the Inuit community.

Highly Recommended.

Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for childrenís literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library, and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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