Talking about Type 1 Diabetes to an adult is hard enough nevertheless trying to explain Type 1 Diabetes to a child. Some of the best ways to teach children are through books so why not teach about type 1 diabetes by reading some books!
We were given two books after Eldest was first diagnosed with T1D. We call the one “the Pink Panther book” and the other was a Disney book. I am not sure what happened to the Disney book but the other has been stored in our filing cabinet with all of the Type 1 Diabetes resource materials sent home with us after being released from the PICU. The actual title is called “A First Book for Understanding Diabetes”.
This particular book seems to be out of print at this time so I decided to search for a few more books to teach children about Type 1 Diabetes. I didn’t find as many as I would have liked but I will share the ones that I did find in case you would like to see if your local library has them or to purchase online via our affiliate link with Amazon!
Even Superheroes Get Diabetes focuses on the gift within the illness. It is the story of a boy named Kelvin who loves Superheroes. His childhood days are spent in imaginative play–saving the day. One day, his fantasies are marred by the reality of getting diabetes…the incessant finger pricks, shots, and the constant doctor’s appointments. When a mysterious doctor uncovers that Kelvin has superpowers, the story reveals itself as the genesis of a new kind of superhero. Kelvin is monikered ‘Super K’ and uses his superpowers to help other kids with diabetes. The discovery of Super K’s superpowers is akin to the discovery of one’s inner strength in the face of adversity–in the face of illness. The comic book style illustrations by Micah Chambers-Goldberg beautifully connect children and parents to the world of diabetes. The book includes a kid friendly diagram that explains type 1 diabetes, and definitions that discuss both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Caillou is confused when Emma is allowed to have extra snacks at preschool. He’s even more confused when Miss Martin explains that Emma has juvenile diabetes (type 1). Caillou is worried about his friend Emma and becomes very protective of her. He doesn’t want her to do anything, even go down the slide. But when Emma outruns Caillou in a race, he realizes that diabetes isn’t like a cold or the flu. It’s something Emma has to live with every day ― and she’s doing a pretty good job of it. This Caillou story, Emma’s Extra Snacks, is a great tool to introduce a discussion and chronic diseases. Having a chronic illness is serious, but it does not mean that life has to be put on hold.
The Bravest Girl in School is a story about Diabetes and taking insulin for young kids.Although parents are of course primarily responsible for the care of their child’s diabetes, it is important that the children themselves are aware that they too must take some responsibility. This book encourages children to follow the instructions given to them by their doctors and parents, to eat healthily, and to see their insulin injections as something brave that they do, that other children cannot! Instead of viewing diabetes and their daily injections as something negative, the story encourages them to think of it as something that sets them apart from their peers in a positive way!
I Have Diabetes is a book about a little girl who has just been diagnosed with Juvenile (Type 1) Diabetes, her struggle to understand it, and cope with her new life situation. This book will help children and adults, of all ages, understand the everyday life issues associated with Juvenile Diabetes. This book has been written to show the most up to date medical devices, information, and practices for Juvenile Diabetes.
Teens can learn and share about Type 1 Diabetes with a book that was written by a fellow T1D. It’s called If I Kiss You, Will I Get Diabetes? is a first-hand account of negotiating life with a chronic illness and lauded as a must-have book for parents, educators and healthcare professionals in understanding a teen’s perspective on living with diabetes.
This book is written in an authentic, yet easy-to-read manner that would appeal to both teens, young adults, parents, teachers and healthcare providers.
Getting ready to head Back to School with Type 1 Diabetes?
Check out these resource posts:
Creating a Rescue Box for EACH classroom
Teaching Friends and Family to Check Blood Glucose Levels
Glenda Cates says
Thank you for sharing these books with us as my mother in law and father in law have Diabetes and it would be nice having some books to share with Charlie so he can learn about Diabetes and what can happen.
Beth Buttery says
Thank you for sharing this list of books. My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 in December of 2018 and I too noticed a void in children’s literature that accurately represented kids with type 1. My writing partner and I decided to write a chapter book that features a main character with type 1. We are self publishing with a launch date of January 2021. I would love it if you would consider reviewing our book to see if it’s something you could add to your list of books. Thank you!