• Julia Flaherty

5 Children's Books About Type 1 Diabetes to Add to Your 2021 Holiday Shopping List

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

I find it truly amazing what storytelling can do to improve the lives and development of children across the world. If you end up checking any of these out, please remember to leave these authors reviews on their websites. By leaving a review, you can help connect other like-minded families with literature that will improve their lives in similar ways.

If you have a child who enjoys reading and feels connected to or comforted by storybook characters, here are some amazing children's books about living with type 1 diabetes to add to your 2021 holiday shopping list.


1. "Shia Learns About Insulin"

According to a September 15, 2021, press release from the JDRF, "Shia Learns About Insulin" is a children's story by Shaina Hatchell, a Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and Nurse Manager at the Howard University Diabetes Treatment Center, that follows the story of "Shia-Lee Harvey and her family during and after she is diagnosed with T1D."

In the press release, it is noted that the story was inspired by Hatchell's brother, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002. "Shia Learns About Insulin" is described as an inclusive and rhythmic story by Google Books. It has made waves in the type 1 diabetes community since it was published, and is, excitingly, included in the JDRF's Bag of Hope.

How awesome is that?!

@shialearns on Instagram has an impressive and uplifting presence focused on "increasing diversity and representation through education."

"Shia Learns About Insulin" is one part of a greater "Shia" series. Also included in the series is "Shia Learns About Diabetes Care." Right now, you can purchase the book bundle for about $28 on The BSI Collective website, or you can purchase them separately. You can even purchase your own The Brown Skin and Insulin Collective logo sweatshirt on the website to pair with your book bundle, if you like.

See what's available, and learn more about Shia and Shaina at https://www.thebsicollective.com/shop.

#ShiaLearnsAboutInsulin #Diversity #Representation #JDRF #BagOfHope #T1D #InsulinManagement #DiabetesCare


2. "When I Go Low"

"When I Go Low", written by Ginger Vieria and illustrated by Mike Lawson, is a type 1 diabetes picture book that focuses on Jax the Cat's journey managing type 1 diabetes, especially the lows.

The Amazon description of the book goes a little something like...

"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!"

To make the story even more accessible, the Spanish version of "When I Go Low" was recently published on Oct. 15, 2021.

#WhenIGoLow #DiabetesPictureBook #ChildrensBook #BloodSugarLevels


3. "Taking Diabetes to School"

Is this not still the standard diabetes book that most children are given when diagnosed?

When I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago, I recall my experience in the hospital, learning that I had type 1 diabetes and being given a care package from the hospital nursing staff that included this children's book along with a Rufus the Bear stuffed animal by the JDRF. (I still have all of these items in a storage tote somewhere!)

At first, I was resentful of the condition and didn't want to read this book, but now it's a piece of nostalgia from my childhood that I see more positively than when originally introduced.

"Taking Diabetes to School", by Kim Gosselin, is described on Amazon as:

"A color illustrated book for elementary age children contains an instructive story of a grade-schooler with diabetes who tells 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 a chronic illness. Includes Ten Tips for Teachers and; Kids Quiz--"

If you like this book from Gosselin, I would also recommend taking a look at "Rufus Comes Home."

#TakingDiabetestoSchool #EducationalResource #ResourcesForTeachers #RufusTheBear


4. "T1D Superhero: Origins"

Not only do the illustrations of this book look super fun, but the premise of a superhero with type 1 diabetes is a major confidence-booster for children with type 1 diabetes! Along with the book, the author and illustrator, Emily N. Goff, has created a merchandise store with hats, t-shirts, and stickers.

Every child deserves to know they're capable of more than they realize, whether they're struggling with type 1 diabetes or another chronic illness. This children's story description implies a reinforcement of that ideology and I'm 100% for it!

Learn more about Emily and her book at https://www.emilyngoff.com/shop.

#T1Dsuperheroes #T1DSuperheroOrigins #Superheroes


5. "Rosie Becomes a Warrior"

I suppose I would be selling myself short if I didn't include my own type 1 diabetes children's book on this list, so I hope you don't mind finding it here! As you may already know, "Rosie Becomes a Warrior" is a story designed to empower children with type 1 diabetes to live their happiest (and healthiest) lives. (My hope is that it can also help adults managing type 1 diabetes heal their inner-child.)

This book follows Rosie's journey with her parents as she navigates a type 1 diabetes diagnosis and finds empowerment in difficulty.

You can learn more about it by browsing others sections of this website, or by following "Rosie" and me on Facebook or Instagram.

#RosieBecomesAWarrior #Type1Warrior #Type1Warriors #type1diabetesdiagnosis #RosieTheT1DWarrior


What are some other children's stories about type 1 diabetes that you would add to this list? I would love to share them and grow this list!

Please add links to your favorite type 1 diabetes children's stories in the comments. Share what you love about them too. I will add your quotes to this post!

#childrensbooksabouttype1diabetes #t1dchildrensbooks #diabeteschildrensbooks

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