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Mom's Story Paperback – October 20, 2009

8 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 20, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Chalet Publishers; 1st edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984083650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984083657
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,930,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary J. Nickum is a retired librarian, who is now an editor and freelance writer. Her primary focus is on science for the public. She has chosen to extend her science for the public outreach to children.

Mary earned a B.A. degree in English education at Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, a Masters in Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University. She worked as a science librarian at US Environmental Protection Agency, National Water Quality Laboratory in Duluth, MN, as Oceanography/Zoology librarian at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR and as Project Manager of the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service in Rockville, MD.

She is a former editor of The Progressive Fish-Culturist, Editor-in-Chief of the Intermountain Journal of Science, and currently edits the World Aquaculture magazine.

Mary's articles are published in: Hatchery International, Aquaculture Magazine, Northern Aquaculture and Fish Farming News.

She is currently working on three nonfiction books for children.

Please visit her at:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Author: Mary Jo Nickum
Publisher: Chalet Publishers, LLC
ISBN: 978-098408365-7

Mom's Story Reviewed by Karen Coiffi-Ventrice

Mom's Story is a quick and easy read. It is a story about a nine-year-old child who learns that her mother has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The book delves into the processes involved from the first symptoms to a diagnosis, all while depicting the main character's emotions and reactions as well as those of her siblings. The family goes from the initial fear that is common when a loved one is diagnosed with MS, to learning about the illness. Knowledge about MS helps a great deal to alleviate those initial fears.

While the child is learning about MS, Nickum cleverly weaves tidbits of information on how online help can be found for those interested in learning about MS. In addition to this, at the end of the book the author included a section titled Information Resources for Families. These pages contain sources of additional information in the form of websites, books, videos, and DVDs that help aid in the understanding of MS.

The education doesn't end there though, there are a number of other features in Mom's Story that help with a child's understanding of MS. With simplicity, Nickum incorporates the pronunciation of technical words associated with MS into the story. Words such as optic neuritis (op-tik nur-I'-tis), and demyelination (dee-mi-lin-A'-shun) are written again in parenthesis breaking the word down for easy pronunciation. This is a wonderful tool for children and adults as some of the words are difficult to pronounce. The author also included a glossary. Words such as Central Nervous System (CNS), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and Myelin are explained in a manner that children will be able to comprehend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Rhodes on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mary Jo Nickum has been living with MS since 1989. There are about 400,000 people in the US with MS. 200 People are diagnosed with it every week. 2.5 Million people have it worldwide. Ms. Nickum's website can be found at [...]

While this story is fictional, the information it presents is factual. The story is about a family of five. The mother, father, Tony & Kelly the twins, and Amy the youngest. It begins with a fall, then a plate of dropped eggs, followed by temporary blindness. The Verdict MS. This is where the most important parts of this book come in. The questions people have when faced with a debilitating disease, or in this case, kids have about a parent facing them. You have Amy who's worried that her mom is going to die, and about how life is going to change. Then there's Tony, who it seems feels a bit embarassed that his family isn't going to be "normal" anymore. I was able to relate to the kids, and understand what was going through their heads.

I think this would be a great book for children who's parents have been diagnosed with MS. I also think the ideas behind it could be used to discuss any major parental illness with children, such as getting the videos, books, internet research, etc. Kids get afraid very easy, and to deny the facts in order to protect them can sometimes make things much worse.

The Author includes a section on internet resources, places to get videos that were suggested, a glossary of terms, and information on MS itself. If you or someone you know has MS, and has children, I'd recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeannie on March 18, 2015
Format: Paperback
Mary Jo Nickum's book, "Mom's Story: A Child Learns about MS" was a quick and easy read, chock full of helpful resources and a glossary of terms at the end. I could imagine this book being used by a family in a similar situation to the characters in the story, especially perhaps for family reading time in which a discussion subsequently follows. The book would easily facilitate healthy conversation about the disease for kids of every developmental level.

I personally learned a great deal about MS that I had not previously known. I found the book to be simple and user-friendly, very well organized - both visually and in content - and I really appreciated the careful research that Nickum invested in categorizing books, websites, DVDs, and interactive games for children to understand the diagnosis of MS.

Most people do not realize the difficulty of living with an invisible, chronic illness. My hope is that Nickum will publish a sequel to this book or perhaps another book from the MS sufferer's perspective that could offer additional insight to newly-diagnosed individuals, as well as their extended family members and friends.

My only disappointment was that the book was so short. It seems ideal, though, for children who may be between 3-5 years of age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie chillin' in Alaska! on March 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was way too short. If it is written to a child crowd it should have been a little longer, kids can read! It's not a picture book for little ones so 8 and up could have had a few chapters. It just seemed like a dud. As a mother diagnosed with MS my 4, 8, and 12 year old like my adult information books and stories of survival better tham this one.
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