Recently there has been an explosion in children’s diabetes books! People saw a need and filled it – I LOVE it!
Now, instead of just adult self-help books on T1D and how to manage it, there are story books for kids! These books help kids understand T1D and what it might look like to go to school, play sports, and have sleepovers with T1D.
And most of these books are written by T1D parents! How cool is that?!
Here’s a list of the best children’s diabetes books! Most of these can be bought on Amazon so I’ll provide the links.
Year One with Type One by Mike Suarez
How does a child respond to a sudden diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes? This book is based on a true story about Andrew, a 4 year old boy from Massachusetts who gets diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Follow along Andrews journey as he experiences symptoms, diagnosis, and the everyday routine of type one diabetes.
Twas My Type of Christmas by Mike Suarez
Join Andrew, the T1D character from Year One with Type One (above) as he guides us the holiday season – which can be especially tough on someone with T1D, but knowing that others can relate makes a big difference. From the reindeer and elves, to Santa himself, the characters in this tale share many of Andrew’s wonderful qualities. They responsibly manage their T1D. They know how to enjoy themselves. And they love preparing for their favorite day of the year.
Taking Diabetes to School by Kim Gosselin
This book is aimed towards elementary aged kids. It tells a story of boy with type one diabetes who teaches his classmates about the disease and how he manages it. The story offers sensitive insight into the day-to-day school life of a child with T1D.
Mommy Beeps by Kim Baillieul
Mommy Beeps is a story for children who have a parent, sibling, or loved one who has diabetes. Explore the day in the life of a Mom with T1D and her child as they go on adventures – dealing with high and low sugars, waiting on hold for lab results, and visiting the endocrinologist.
Super Sammy by Kim Baillieul
When Sammy is diagnosed with T1D confusion and worries set in. Will Sammy still be able to be a normal kid? Will life ever be the same? Super Sammy is a heartwarming tale about a young kid who develops Type 1 Diabetes, and learns to embrace the change and continue living life to the fullest.
Even Superheros Get Diabetes by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
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 hit by the reality of getting diabetes…the finger pricks, shots, and the constant doctor’s appointments. When a mysterious doctor uncovers that Kelvin has superpowers, the story reveals itself as the beginning of a NEW kind of superhero. Kelvin is named ‘Super K’ and uses his superpowers to help other kids with diabetes. The discovery of Super K’s superpowers is similar to the discovery of one’s inner strength in the face of adversity–in the face of illness.
Diabetes Doesn’t Stop Maddie by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Maddie was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She’s nervous about managing it and telling others. But as she goes back to school, plays soccer, and spends time with her friends, she becomes more comfortable and confident talking about her health. A sensitive story that’s a great introduction to understanding diabetes for anyone who has it or knows someone who does.
Peter’s Special Concoction: How a Little Boy Learned to Manage Type 1 Diabetes by Angela Cleveland
Peter was just a little boy when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He was scared of having his blood checked and fearful of the insulin injections. 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.
Laura Takes Charge by Rocky Lang
This book is about Lara. Lara is an active girl who is normal in every way except she has diabetes. Lara Takes Charge helps children meet their challenges and feel accepted and capable of achieving anything.
Teddy Talks 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 everyday adventures…and they can teach you how too! Written by a Type 1 Diabetic mother of two who knows firsthand how challenging it can be to explain the condition to kids, this engaging story features a glossary of common terms and showcases how Emily uses her Continuous Glucose Monitor to track her sugar levels throughout the day
Little Red Sports Car by Eleanor Troutt
This is a fun, upbeat story about a little car that meets a new challenge in life. Rudy, The Little Red Sports Car, is not feeling well one day and his owner Bob takes him into a garage for a checkup. Bob learns that he has to make some adjustments in the way he drives his little car. Rudy’s automatic transmission (the pancreas) is broken and Bob now has to use a manual transmission. Bob also has to add a special additive to the oil (insulin). There are many parallels to diabetes but the main message in this upbeat tale is that life with diabetes can go on as usual – just with a few adjustments.
The Ups and Downs of Audrey May by Missy Mareau Garcia
Nine year old Audrey May knows that life can be full of changes. She’s traveled all over the world with her Dad who works on movies, but she’s never been to a school with other kids. She has no idea that starting a new school will be much easier than finding out she has Type 1 Diabetes. Thankfully she won’t face it alone, she has the love of her parents and her crazy little sister to get her through the ups and downs.
I’m Still Me Can’t You See by Valorie Hergenreter
Have you ever wondered how children perceive themselves and their families’ reactions after being diagnosed with diabetes? It’s tough fighting diabetes, a disease that they might not understand and certainly can’t see. I’m Still Me—Can’t You See is told through the eyes of a child conquering diabetes. Together you will find inspiration and peace as you fight an invisible disease. The rhythmic story along with the imaginative illustrations will entertain and empower your child.
Caillou: Emmas Extra Snacks by Anne Paradis
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). He 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
The Bravest Girl in School by MRS Kate Gaynor
A story about diabetes and taking insulin for young kids. Although parents are of course primarily responsible for the care of their childs 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!
The Coco Series by Disney (a FREE digital book series)
Disney and Lilly Diabetes have partnered up to create a kids book series on type 1 diabetes. The main character is Coco, a little monkey who has type 1 diabetes. The books in this series follow Coco through sports, sleepovers, school, parties, and more. Ask your endocrinologist for a FREE copy or get the digital version online for free. The digital versions offer a read-out-loud option; get them below:
• Go, Team Coco // Read Digital Version
• Coco’s First Sleepover // Read Digital Version
• Coco Goes Back to School // Read Digital Version
• Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day // Read Digital Version
Rosie Becomes a Warrior by Julia Flaherty
Rosie Becomes a Warrior is a children’s story designed to empower children with type 1 diabetes to live their happiest lives, written by an author who has lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 20 years herself. “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, meets new friends along the way, and finds the bright side of type 1 diabetes.
Rosie the Type 1 Diabetes Warrior by Julia Flaherty
Rosie the Type 1 Diabetes Warrior Goes to Diabetes Summer Camp is the second story in the “Rosie Becomes a Warrior” children’s book series. The events in this story happen after the first book. This children’s book series is designed to empower children with type 1 diabetes to live their happiest lives.
Open Up Your Bag by Michael Lawson
Open Up Your Bag is a diabetes picture book for kids who are in the early stages of developing their routine of managing a life with T1D. These fun animals characters pull all sorts of diabetes things out of their bags like a glucometer, insulin, and more. And they do typical diabetes routines, like eating glucose or entering numbers into an insulin pump.
Find supplemental coloring sheets and activity page downloads at DiabetesDoodles.com.
When I Go Low by Michael Lawson & Ginger Vieira
Jax the Cat likes to play soccer, eat sandwiches, and ride his bike with his friends — oh, and he also has type 1 diabetes! For Jax, one of the hardest parts of living with type 1 diabetes is noticing how he feels when his blood sugar is low. One day, he goes on a walk to find other kids with type 1 and learns a few new things about low blood sugars along the way!
Find supplemental coloring sheets and activity page downloads at DiabetesDoodles.com.
Ain’t Gonna Hide My T1D by Michael Lawson & Ginger Vieira
Sherry the Sheep loves to draw, play basketball, and swim with her friends—oh, and she has type 1 diabetes! At school, Sherry is nervous about what her new friends might think when they see her taking insulin and wearing a CGM. Join Sherry as she learns how to teach her classmates about diabetes and decides she may not need to hide it after all.
Find supplemental coloring sheets and activity page downloads at DiabetesDoodles.com.
The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Martin
The Truth About Stacey is book #2 in the Baby Sitters Club Graphic Novel Series. In this book, Stacey just moved to a new town and is still coming to terms with her diabetes, and is facing baby-sitting problems left and right. Fortunately, Stacey has three new friends — Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne. Together they’re the BSC — and they will deal with whatever’s thrown their way… even if it’s a rival baby-sitting club!
Ballerina Dreams by Zippora Karz
Ballerina Dreams is the story of Zippy, a young girl who falls in love with ballet. With hard work she dances all the way to her pointes and the leading role in the performance. But soon Zippy and her family learn that she has type 1 diabetes. Will she still be able to dance in the performance? Zippy proves that she can take care of herself and still live her passion.
ESPN Book Series by Disney & Lilly (a FREE Digital Book Series)
- Covering the Bases: book about a boy named Phillip Mitchell who can’t wait to go to baseball camp. He’s been looking forward to it for months, and it’s finally here! There’s just one problem: he hasn’t spent so many nights away from home since he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and he’s worried. What if something goes wrong and there’s no one around who can help him? Will Phillip be able to enjoy his first time at baseball camp, or will his nerves get the best of him?
- Power Forward: Justin Cooper can’t believe it. He’s been chosen to captain his basketball team! Then everything changes. Justin is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Suddenly Justin finds himself trying to navigate a changing life: learning how to manage his diabetes, all the while trying to keep his diagnosis from his friends. His diabetes care team tells him he can still play basketball, but he’s not so sure. And what’s more, Justin’s nerves are getting the best of him on the court. Justin knows he has to find a balance between his diabetes and the rest of his life, but how? And can he do it before he alienates his teammates for good?
- Up for the Challenge: Allie should be thrilled at being made a starter on her soccer team. There’s only one problem: she’s just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and she’s not sure she’s ready to get back out on the field. Between balancing her new responsibilities to her team and learning how to manage her diabetes, Allie just feels lost. But when Allie opens up to her friends and family about her feelings, she gets nothing but support. Soon Allie is back on the field, trying to put her worries behind her and be the best player she can be. But is she up for the challenge?
The Adventures of Capitan Lantus by Gary Rapson & Max Rapson
The Adventures of Capitan Lantus: 7-year old Max has type 1 diabetes, in fact ,everyone in beta town has but that’s what makes beta town so cool. One day, while guarding the insulin cube against the dastardly king carb’s plans to steel it, Max gains superpowers from a top secret insulin pump and turns him into Beta town’s very own superhero, Captain Lantus.
Diabetes Helpers by Jalanah Deroze & Dr. Phyllisa Smith Deroze
This is the first children’s diabetes book to focus on kids who help their loved ones with diabetes. It combines discussions about three types of diabetes all in one book (T1D, LADA, T2D)! The book follows three characters named Jalanah, Grace, and Antonio, and shows how they lend a hand to their loved ones with diabetes.
The book was written by Dr.Deroze, a mom with LADA and her seven-year-old daughter, Jalanah. Jalanah is her Mom’s real life, little diabetes helper.
Not The Worst Thing Ever: A Gross, Giggly Guide to Dealing with Diabetes by Gillian King-Cargile
It turns out that there are a lot of things that are way worse than checking blood sugar, getting a shot, changing an insulin pump infusion site, and changing a continuous glucose monitor. As the old saying goes, taking care of your diabetes is a lot better than getting pooped out by a great white shark. With laugh-out-loud lines by Gillian King-Cargile and delightfully disgusting illustrations by Shawn Turek, this feel-better diabetes book will reassure readers that getting (or giving) a little poke is not the worst thing ever!
Ava Ann Makes Art: The Story of a Rabbit with Diabetes by Rachel Leland
Ava Ann Rabbit has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She has to learn to navigate this new medical world she’s been thrown into, all while still being a kid and finding out where she fits in the world. 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 from before and after her diabetes diagnosis.
The Diabetes Darling by Jennifer Cheatham
Type 1 Diabetes is hard – life as you know it changes immediately. Now, imagine that a fairy will be assigned to each kid on that very first day whose sole job is helping to navigate their new normal. Awesome, right? In The Diabetes Darling, there is a special world where they do exist – it’s called the Enchanted Cloud! It’s a place in the sky where young fairies work hard so kids don’t have to face their new challenges alone. Together, we follow one such fairy (Faye) as she tries to help her very first kid with T1D.
The Robot on My Tummy by Gillian King-Cargile
Meet the robot on your tummy! Getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a big adjustment, but it is also a big help in learning to monitor blood sugar and live well with diabetes. Featuring fun rhymes, hand-painted illustrations, and colorful scenarios, The Robot on My Tummy takes T1D children on an imaginative journey through the ways a CGM can change their care routine for the better. Helpful backmatter explains how CGMs can assist kids and caregivers in anticipating blood sugar levels and managing the highs and lows of diabetes. Whether kids dream of being a popstar, mountain climber, or space wizard, this book will help them develop a positive attitude about their new CGM companion, the robot on their tummy!
T1D Superhero: Origins by Emily M. Goff
Luka is just your average kid. He lives with his mom, and he has a teddy bear named Blue. But Luka is also a superhero. Luka has Type 1 Diabetes. According to his mom, living with Type 1 Diabetes every day makes him a superhero. But how did it all start? How did he find out he has Type 1 Diabetes? This story explains the signs and symptoms leading up to Luka’s diagnosis from a kid’s point of view, and mom throws in some info for the grown-ups along the way!
Rufus Comes Home
When Brian discovers he has diabetes, his mother makes him a teddy bear who also has the disease, and with whom he can share his experiences with.
Check Back for NEW Kids Books as They Come Out!
The niche for children’s diabetes books is BOOMING! There are new books coming out in this category constantly, so check back for the latest books!
If you have a favorite book that’s not on this list let me know!
More T1D Book Recommendations:
If you have older kids, or for yourself, check out these books with T1D characters!