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New American Cancer Society Children’s Book Focuses on Hair Loss and the Act of Giving
Book Includes Reading and Discussion Guide for Parents and Teachers

ATLANTA— April 5, 2011— The topic of hair loss can be tough for anyone facing cancer. It helps to understand why it happens, to know that hair will grow back, and to take steps to make it less of a problem. The American Cancer Society’s latest children’s book, The Long and the Short of It: A Tale about Hair, follows the real lives and stories of two young girls named Isabel and Emma who both experience different issues with their hair. The book is designed to teach children about hair loss, the act of giving and to help adults examine common misperceptions children may have about cancer and hair loss.


In this story, one girl wants her hair to be longer; the other has lost her hair during cancer treatment and would just like to have it back. Although their stories are different, each girl’s experience leads her to a new understanding. For Isabel, the realization that she can help someone through the simple act of giving her hair away; for Emma, the emotion of losing her hair while finding that others want to help. In both cases, the acts of receiving and giving involve a leap of faith and acceptance of the unknown.


Through this story, children will learn about courage, friendship, generosity, goal setting, patience, pride, persistence, problem-solving, and responsibility. The book also includes a helpful reading and discussion guide for parents and teachers and a list of fun learning activities for children.


About the Authors
Barbara Meyers, EdD
, is Isabel’s grandmother. She is chair of the department of Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University and has been an educator for more than forty years. She loves to read, beach comb, and cook, especially with Isabel, Isabel’s brother Charlie, and their cousins Jakey and Hailey. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Joel.


Lydia Criss Mays, PhD, is a friend of Emma’s. She was an elementary school teacher in Tennessee and Georgia and recently earned her doctoral degree in early childhood education from Georgia State University, where she now teaches. She loves spending time with her family, biking, and hiking. Like Emma and Isabel, she has donated her hair four times. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Andrew, and her two dogs, Lilly and Buddy.


About the Illustrator
Shennen Bersani
is an award-winning children's book illustrator, and has had two million copies of her illustrated books cherished and read by families throughout the world. She brings a unique blend of realism and heartfelt emotion to her art. What further sets her work apart is the warmth and personality that shines through in every image.


About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Claire Greenwell
American Cancer Society
Phone: (404) 417- 5883
Email: claire.greenwell@cancer.org