Books on HIV/AIDS for Young Children


Alexander, Earl. (1996). My Dad Has HIV. Fairview Press.

Seven-year-old Lindsey learns to cope with her father living with HIV. She becomes proud of him for his efforts to stay healthy.

Arnold, Linda. (1998). My Mommy Has AIDS. Dream Pub.

David shares the story of his mother’s illness in a straightforward and appropriately childlike manner. He describes what it is like when his mom feels sick, her treatment, and what people can do to avoid becoming HIV infected.

Beake, Lesley. (2007). Home Now. Charlesbridge Publishing.

After the death of her parents, young Sieta goes to live with her Aunty on the other side of the mountains, but she is sad and lonely until she meets a young elephant who has also lost his family.

Group of Five. (2002). Bye-Bye Secrets: A Book About Children Living With HIV or AIDS in their Family. The Teresa Group Publications

Five girls, ranging in age from 8 to 12 tell about their own experience with HIV and AIDS, focusing on secrets and stigmatization around the disease. They want all children with HIV and AIDS in the family to know that they are not alone. The book is illustrated by children.

Hopes, Wishes and Dreams: A Book of Art and Writing by Children Living with HIV/AIDS in their Family. (2005). The Teresa Group Publications

The book describes the emotional world of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Through art, poetry and writings, their innermost thoughts and feeling are released and expressed.

Merrifield, Margaret. (1998). Come Sit by Me. Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

The book tells about discrimination faced by children living with HIV/AIDS. Karen’s friend Nicholas has AIDS. When Karen’s parents find out that Nicholas is being left out by the other children, they help organize a meeting to address fears of both caregivers and children.

Oosthuizen, Sarah. (2011). Nosipho Comes to Stay. Jacana Media.

When both of Thandi’s parents die of AIDS, she goes to live with her Gogo. There, memories of Thandi’s family are woven into a special doll named Nosipho that is made from the possessions of her parents: her mother’s dress and beads and her father’s jersey, which still holds the sweet smell of his pipe. Through Nosipho, Thandi is able to find comfort and hope.

Pollack, Eileen. (1992). Whisper Whisper Jesse, Whisper Josh: A Story About AIDS. Advantage Aurora Publications.

When Jesse learns that his Uncle Josh has AIDS, he takes part in the family’s commitment to provide loving care during a difficult illness. This is a valuable book for helping children bear the hurt of losing a loved one and for providing information on AIDS that can dispel their fears.

Reeder-Bey, Valerie & Wilburn, Annisha. (2000). My Grandma Has AIDS: Annisha’s Story. Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The story is written by 8-year-old Annisha who lives with her HIV-positive grandmother. The book seeks to help young children understand that it is safe to live with, kiss, and hug someone you love who is infected with HIV.

Verniero, Joan, C. (1994). You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children About AIDS. American Psychological Association

Wilhelmina (Willy) Jones is 8 years old. She loves baseball, lives with her grandmother, and has AIDS. In this story, Willy talks about her illness and exhibits exceptional strength and courage as she learns to cope with its symptoms and the side effects of treatment, to put up with classroom taunts, and to find fun and friendship.

Vink, Hyltje. (2009). Brenda Has a Dragon in her Blood. Biblionef, South Africa.

This is a story about Brenda, a three year old ordinary girl living with HIV. It is a true story that is written down by her foster mother.

Wiener, Lori S., Best, Aprille, Pizzo & Philip A. (Eds). (1996). Be a Friend: Children Who Live With HIV Speak. Albert Whitman & Company.

This is a collection of drawings, stories, and thoughts from children who have HIV/AIDS. The book features life stories and medical facts related to HIV/AIDS.