Books for Children with Type 1 Diabetes
Editor’s Note: Images included throughout this article are attributed to the corresponding author’s book website, shop page, or social media feed. The related authors + illustrators of these children’s books should be credited.
Children’s books that include stories about type 1 and type 2 diabetes are not only important for children and families who are going through a diagnosis to read but are also fantastic resources for their classmates and teachers!
Learning about diabetes and what it’s like to experience it is critical for spreading awareness and creating more empathetic communities and a more inclusive world! If you’re looking for a new children’s book about diabetes, here are some worth adding to your bookshelf.
“Shia Learns About Insulin” by Shaina Hatchell
“Shia Learns About Insulin” is part of a dynamic children’s book series by Shaina Hatchell, BSN, RN, CDCES, designed to spread information and awareness about type 1 diabetes. In the first book, you and your family will learn all about type 1 diabetes through Shia and her parents’ journey to diagnosis.
On top of sharing impactful insights into what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes as a child, the beautiful illustrations and rhyming scheme keep children engaged and interested in the material throughout! The back section of the book includes a review, room to take notes and activity pages.
“T1D Superhero: Origins” by Emily N. Goff
If you think your kid is a superhero for managing type 1 diabetes, you aren’t alone! That’s what inspired Emily N. Goff to create “T1D Superhero: Origins.” In her children’s book, readers meet Luka, who is “just a regular kid…but Luka is also a superhero!”
He’s not a superhero because he leaps over buildings, is famous, or can fly, but because he deals with type 1 diabetes every single day of his life. If you want your child with type 1 diabetes to feel like a superhero for managing type 1 diabetes, this is an empowering read and a unique take on the type 1 diabetes experience for children!
“Year One with Type One: A True Story of a Boy with Type 1 Diabetes” by Mike Suarez
A type 1 diabetes diagnosis is overwhelming when you’re an adult! When you’re a child, it can be especially jarring. In “Year One with Type One: A True Story of a Boy with Type 1 Diabetes,” you glimpse the symptoms, diagnosis and everyday routine of a child living with type 1. In this case, his name is Andrew!
A fun rhyming scheme throughout this book makes it accessible for children and their family members, friends and classmates.
This children’s book currently has almost 200 5-star reviews on Amazon!
“When I Go Low” by Ginger Vieira + Mike Lawson
“When I Go Low” is an excellent resource for children to learn how to identify and communicate how they feel during low blood sugars. Jax the Cat helps children figure out how to talk about handling low blood sugar levels with their family and friends.
Jax the Cat likes to play soccer, eat sandwiches, and ride his bike with his friends—oh, and he also has type 1 diabetes! One day, he goes on a walk to find other kids with type 1 and learns a few new things about low blood sugars! For Jax, one of the hardest parts of living with type 1 diabetes is noticing how he feels when his blood sugar is low.
Your child and family will learn with Jax as he goes! The whole book rhymes to keep children engaged throughout Jax’s journey. Find the book in Spanish, too!
“The Adventures of Rhodes and Alana: School Bus Secrets” by Rhodes + Alana Ritenour
Making good friendships while living with diabetes is critical! Having a strong support network means so much, especially to children, when living with a chronic illness like type 1 diabetes.
In this book, you and your kiddo(s) will meet Rhodes and Alana, spirited and confident 8-year-olds. After missing the school bus, the two children embark on an exciting journey. This gives Rhodes the opportunity to tell Alana all about what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes, and their friendship blooms.
Written by the co-founders of TheDiabetesSupportGroup.org, Rhodes and Alana Ritenour, this book is helpful for parents, children, educators and clinicians alike.
“Ain’t Gonna Hide My T1D” by Ginger Vieira + Mike Lawson
If your child has ever felt uncomfortable sharing about their type 1 diabetes, “Ain’t Gonna Hide My T1D” is an empowering and uplifting read!
In the book, you and your kiddo(s) will meet Sherry the Sheep, who loves to draw, play basketball and swim with her friends. She also lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D)!
At first, Sherry is nervous about what her new friends at school might think when they see her taking insulin and wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). In the book, Sherry learns how to teach her classmates about diabetes and decides she doesn’t need to hide it after all! Also available in Spanish.
“I’m Still Me, Can’t You See? Diabetes Won’t Stop Me” by Valerie Hergenreter
“I’m Still Me, Can’t You See? Diabetes Won’t Stop Me” is a rhythmic story that answers the question: “How do children perceive their families’ reactions after being diagnosed with diabetes?”
This story is designed to empower and inspire, giving hope for a healthy future for your child with diabetes!
“Super Sammy!” Book Series by Josh Hall
This children’s book is part of another fantastic series that paints children with type 1 diabetes as the superheroes they are!
“Super Sammy! A Tale for Type 1 Superheroes” and “Super Sammy Goes to School” help children learn to cope with the emotional burden of living with type 1 diabetes. It enables children and their families to answer the questions:
- What is diabetes?
- Why did I get it?
- Can I still be a normal kid?
This “funny, heartwarming, and educational” series will help your family adapt to change and learn about the things that don’t have to change just because you’re dealing with a type 1 diabetes diagnosis!
“Taking Diabetes to School” by Kim Gosselin
“Taking Diabetes to School” is an especially great children’s book for parents, children, and their teachers, illustrating what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes while navigating grade school. Readers experience the day-to-day life of a child with a chronic illness.
This book includes 10 tips for teachers and a quiz for kids to help ensure everyone is absorbing the material and thriving with type 1 diabetes!
“Shia Learns About Diabetes Care” by Shaina Hatchell
“Shia Learns About Diabetes Care” is the second book in the “Shia Learns About Insulin” series.
In this book, readers dive deeper into day-to-day management. Shia makes a new friend, Carlos, and learns about the value of having “diabuddies” on top of recognizing the importance of diabetes care!
This book stresses the importance of building strong friendships when living with type 1 diabetes and gives readers tips for daily management.
“Rosie Becomes a Warrior” by Julia Flaherty
“Rosie Becomes a Warrior” empowers children and their families through times of difficulty.
A type 1 diabetes diagnosis is challenging, but this book helps reassure families that they will get through it and find a new rhythm. It also mentions the warning signs of type 1 diabetes, which are essential for people to know regardless of whether they currently know someone with type 1.
“Rosie Becomes a Warrior” follows the story of Rosie as she navigates her type 1 diabetes diagnosis with her parents. Rosie is a second-grader with bright green eyes and beautiful red hair who loves to draw, eat ice cream and spend time with her best friends. In this children’s book, Rosie learns from doctors, finds comfort in Penny the Zebra, and discovers the bright side of type 1 diabetes.
Children can learn from Rosie and develop key empowerment skills that will carry them throughout their lives! Also available in Spanish.
“Peter’s Special Concoction” by Angela Cleveland
“Peter’s Special Concoction” is a unique children’s book that gives children and adults tips and strategies for dealing with the difficulties of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis with beautiful illustrations to accompany an informative tale!
“Peter thought about his special skills and developed several strategies he can use to cope with the injections and other challenges he will face. These are strategies anyone can use, child or adult, who is in a similar situation and needs to find an effective way to cope.”
“Teddy Talks: A Pawsitive Story About Type 1 Diabetes” by Vanessa Messenger
“Teddy isn’t your average fur-iend…but neither is Emily! When she was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it all seemed overwhelming. But now, the pair never lets anything stand in the way of every day adventures…and they can teach you how, too!”
Teddy teaches children with type 1 diabetes and their families that a little “paws-itivity” goes a long way!
This story, written by a mother of two, emphasizes how challenging managing type 1 diabetes is and how difficult it can be to explain it to kids. It is educational and inspirational! Teddy makes type 1 diabetes more approachable and includes a glossary of standard diabetes terms for children and their parents.
“The Ups and Downs of Audrey May” by Missy Mareau Garcia
This book has been called “a must-read for anyone dealing with the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes” by pediatricians. Other Amazon customers have said that this is a book children can “connect with” and is “not a baby book.”
Another young reviewer (Gracie, age 9) said that she likes the story because “there is a character like me. She (Audrey May) is brave and responsible about diabetes. She learns to take care of herself at school and home, and her friends learn about diabetes, too.”
Recommended for children ages 7 to 9, “The Ups and Downs of Audrey May” is a moving, uplifting, accessible story for children with type 1 diabetes and their families.
“Diabetes Doesn’t Stop Maddie!” by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Maddie is a young girl who was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes! In this children’s story, she learns how to go to school, play soccer, and spend time with her friends while living with a chronic illness.
“Diabetes Doesn’t Stop Maddie!” teaches children how to be confident and comfortable living with type 1 diabetes.
It also helps people with and without direct connections to type 1 diabetes to become more aware of what it’s like to live with it and all that it entails!
“Shia Learns About Type 2 Diabetes” by Shaina Hatchell
In the third book in the “Shia Learns” series, Shia, a child living with type 1 diabetes, learns about type 2 diabetes from her babysitter and friend, Kimmie!
Hatchell fabulously integrates and overlaps type 1 and type 2 diabetes stories to make children’s books in the diabetes genre more inclusive. Hatchell stresses the importance of merging the gap between the types to create a more inclusive diabetes space.
This book teaches children and their loved ones how type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar and different.
“I’m a Type One Kid (I’m a Super Kid)” by Tabitha J. Page
“I’m A Type One Kid (I’m a Super Kid),” by Tabitha J. Page, explains everything that a child goes through when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, from hospitals to medicine to needles to carbohydrates.
This book shows children that (with their parents’ help), they can be healthy and “run, jump, and play” again!
“Ava Ann Makes Art: The Story of a Rabbit with Diabetes” by Rachel Leland
Are you ready to meet a rabbit with type 1 diabetes? In this children’s book, readers meet a charming storybook character, Ava Ann, as she learns about what it means to live with type 1 diabetes. This children’s story helps kids with type 1 diabetes “just be kids!”
“When her teacher gives the class an assignment to make an art piece about their life, Ava Ann digs deep and creates a unique project that combines aspects of her life before and after her diabetes diagnosis.”
“The Adventures of Captain Lantus” by Gary and Max Rapson
If your child loves comic books, “The Adventures of Captain Lantus” is a great children’s book for them! In this story, 7-year-old Max is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Actually, everyone in “Beta town” (where Max lives) has type 1 diabetes! As the author explains, “that’s what makes Beta town so cool.”
“One day, while guarding the insulin cube against the dastardly King Carb’s plan to steal it, Max gains superpowers from a top-secret insulin pump,” which “turns him into Beta town’s superhero, Captain Lantus.”
“Super Sonic Sugar” by Ruth W. Shaw
On the first day of third grade, Violet and her brother struggle to feel accepted in a new town, home, and school. Not only is everything new to them, but they also both live with type 1 diabetes! Sadly, Charlie and Violet experience bullying.
“Suddenly, while waiting for the school bus, Violet falls and is faced with her past bullies, only to find help from an unexpected source.”
This book is an excellent resource for any child facing adversity due to being perceived as “different.”
“Rosie the Type 1 Diabetes Warrior Goes to Diabetes Summer Camp” by Julia Flaherty
“Rosie the Type 1 Diabetes Warrior Goes to Diabetes Summer Camp” is the second book in the “Rosie Becomes a Warrior” series. This book includes a fun camp song that parents can teach their children, an activity section for children in the back of the book, and key diabetes terminology definitions for parents strategically placed throughout the story!
In this book, children and their parents learn:
- How to overcome common fears about sending your child to diabetes summer camp.
- The benefits of attending diabetes summer camp.
- The importance of connecting with people who understand you.
“Daisy the Diabetic Unicorn (Coloring Book)” by Type One Toddler + Type One Teen
This children’s book is a coloring book that lets kids express themselves through art!
Children with type 1 diabetes will love Daisy, the diabetic unicorn, and her journey through “the jungle, farm and forest to find a new friend like her.”
“Daisy the Diabetic Unicorn” is a lovely activity book for children of all ages.