When our Executive Director’s son was given a new liver, there was no children’s literature available about organ donation. Now, over twenty years later, we have rounded up the best children’s books on the subject.
Use these stories to guide your pre-op or post-op transplant child, or to educate your non-medical child about the gift of life. Enjoy!
Your Transplant Adventure: A Kid’s Guide to Organ Transplant.
“This picture book was created for young children who are in need of a solid organ transplant. It was developed by two dedicated Social Workers at the University of Michigan Transplant Center to give these children and their families something to put them more at ease with the organ transplant process and to help them understand that they are not alone.
The bright and colorful illustrations appeal to a child’s eye. Simple text accompanies each illustration. A direct question (e.g. “Will I have stitches or a scar?”) on one page is answered on the facing page, beneath an original illustration (e.g. “Your doctor will use stitches or a special kind of glue to help your body heal from the surgery. After the stitches come out, you will have a scar. This will always remind you of how brave you were!”).
This book is the perfect accompaniment for young children who may need a transplant, as well as for siblings and other family members who have questions and would appreciate some assistance on how to talk about the transplant process.”
Howl the Owl: Organ Donation Series
After becoming a living kidney donor, Brenda was inspired to write the Howl the Owl series. Featuring nine books, Howl the Owl seeks to educate children on the various components of organ donation with family-friendly language and adorable illustrations.
The series includes the following titles:
My Mom is Having Surgery – A Kidney Story
Howl Helps Others
Howl Gets a Heart
Howl Helps Bella
Howl Learns About Kidneys & Dialysis
Howl Goes to the Races
Howl Loves His new Liver
Howl Inspires Mr. YNOTT
Howl Competes at the Transplant Games
Now Caitlin Can: A donated organ helps a child get well.
When Freddie finally gets a little sister, he is elated. However, his feelings soon change when he learns his sister needs a new kidney to survive. Inspired by a true story, Now Caitlin Can shows the reality of being both an organ recipient and a sibling to one.
“This is a well-told story. It offers an explanation of why kidney transplants are needed, how kidneys work, and what happens, but more importantly (at least to me) it describes Freddie’s feelings as her brother.”
-The Reading Tub
“It quickly became his favourite bedtime story. He especially loves the page in the back with all the “real people” and has memorized who is who and introduced them all to his older brother…Your story definitely touched one little heart very deeply and I wanted to let you know that.”
-Ellie Schlam, National Kidney Foundation Communications Director, referring to her 5-year-old son
Kinsey’s Kidney Adventure
“Kinsey’s Kidney Adventure is an educational children’s book based on the real-life journey of a brave little girl who must confront the realities of organ donation after being diagnosed with a rare medical condition. Kinsey’s story teaches children the value of compassion, courage, and resilience in the face of hardship.” -Google Books