The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin by Caroline Cox 2009 Published by Kaplan Publishing. ISBN 1607145510. 254 pages, hardcover US$26.95.

The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin is the very personal story of Elizabeth Evans Hughes, daughter of Charles Evans Hughes, who served as Governor of New York, US Secretary of State, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Elizabeth was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1919 when she was 11 years old. The only treatment was a brutal starvation diet, which prolonged life — and in her case, prolonged it enough for her to become one of the first people in the world to receive insulin. Author Caroline Cox takes us back to Elizabeth’s life and helps us understand the inner courage of one young girl. If you’re interested in learning about the history of diabetes and insulin, The Fight to Survive is for you. Recommended.

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A Field Guide to Type 1 Diabetes by American Diabetes Association 2002 Pubished by the American Diabetes Association. Paperback, 106 pages. $14.95. ISBN 1-58040-170-8.

A Field Guide to Type 1 Diabetes is essentially a crash-course in type 1 diabetes fit into a 200-page, 4-by-9 inch paperback book. The size of the book makes it a bit tricky to read (crack the spine right away to help keep the pages open), but it’s filled with good information on every aspect of type 1 diabetes. Though not specifically written for type 1 diabetes in kids, it’s still a useful addition to your diabetes library. Also, if you’re looking for one book to help relatives understand the management of type 1 diabetes, this is a good place to start. The material is well organized and very easy to understand, yet covers the essentials.

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The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Juvenile Diabetes by Moira McCarthy with Technical Review by Jake Kushner, M.D. 2007 Published by Adams Media. ISBN 1-59869-246-1. 287 pages. $14.95

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Juvenile Diabetes is a must read for parents of children newly or recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Writer Moira McCarthy, mother of a teen daughter with type 1, uses her years of experience to help others learn what to do in many real-world situations, like sleepovers and after school sports. She touches on almost every possible subject, using terminology that is easy to understand — even for beginners. There’s something for every parent in here. Highly Recommended.

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Draw Wide the Circle of Love by Betty Brackenridge, MS, RD, CDE 2008 Published by Learning Prescriptions. ISBN 978-0-9818142-0-9. $13.95

As parents, we know that diabetes impacts the entire family — and that family includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends. In Draw Wide the Circle of Love, Betty Brackenridge offers gentle guidance, encouragement and support for all extended caregivers, especially grandparents, to help them become part of the care team for a child with diabetes. Betty addresses head on the fears so commonly experienced by grandparents and offers excellent strategies for confronting these fears and learning to overcome them. Draw Wide the Circle of Love is an exceptional addition to your diabetes library and should be required reading for every family.

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The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook by Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, R.D., L.D. 2002 Published by Woodbine House. ISBN 1-890627-23-2. $19.95

If you care for a child with diabetes who also has down syndrome, you’ll be happy to know that The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook offers an entire chapter devoted to diabetes. There’s more than nutrition information too — it covers blood glucose monitoring, how to teach kids with down syndrome about diabetes, and what parents need to do at school. (An appendix contains a complete set of forms for parents to fill out.) In addition, there’s a complete chapter about celiac, which is more common in kids with diabetes and in kids with down syndrome.

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The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss 1982 Published by University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-05898-0. US$18.00.

Telling the story of the discovery of insulin and its first use in human patients, The Discovery of Insulin is a worthy addition to anyone’s library. It’s especially poignant for parents of children with diabetes. The detail is extraordinary, with notes from Dr. Banting and others involved in the discovery and first use of insulin. Be prepared for a level of emotional involvement unlike any you have experienced before with a book. Note that the photographs of children taken prior to the availability of insulin may be difficult for younger kids to view.

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Diabetic Travel Tales and Tips by Marilyn L. Garcia 2005 Published by Mandean Press. $13.95. ISBN 0976698501.

So you have diabetes and want to travel? Not a problem. You’re in Paris, have lost all of your insulin and don’t speak French? Not a problem. Want to read some fun stories and get some good advice from an experienced traveler with diabetes? Then Diabetic Travel Tales and Tips is for you. If you like to travel, then it’s always fun to read about traveling, and Marilyn Garcia’s book is no exception — other than that her book is about traveling with type 1 diabetes.

Part I of the book is filled with travel stories. Part II is filled with travel tips. For the traveler with diabetes, this is a good addition to the home library.

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Diabetic Eye Disease by A. Paul Chous, M.A., O.D. 2003 Published by Fairwood Press. ISBN 0-9668184-7-4. $15.99

Dr. Paul Chous knows what he’s talking about — not only is he an eye doctor who specializes in diabetic eye disease, but he has had type 1 diabetes since childhood and has had laser eye surgery himself to deal with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic Eye Disease is, in essence, Dr. Chous’s wisdom and advice for caring for your eyes (or the eyes of your child). Given the important of preventing blindness from diabetes, we would recommend this book simply because there is little else available to guide you in caring for your eyes.

However, Diabetic Eye Disease is a superb addition to any diabetes library. Dr. Chous covers basic diabetes care, citing the scientific basis for tight control (DCCT, UKPDS). The first 61 pages are devoted to diabetes in general. Only after you have a sound footing does he begin to explore eye care and what can go wrong. There is more to diabetic eye disease than just retinopathy. Ever heard of diabetic cranial neuropathy? You’ll learn about it here, as well as many other issues related to ensuring that your eyes are well cared for.

Diabetes management is in large part about information, and Diabetic Eye Disease is an excellent book that will help you learn about how important good control is to protect your vision. Diabetic Eye Disease is highly recommended for parents, adults, and older kids with diabetes.

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Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook by Sheri Colberg, Ph.D. 2009 Published by Human Kinetics, 2009. ISBN 0-7360-7493-7. 284 pages, paperback. $19.95.

We all know that exercise is important for good health — whether you have diabetes or not. If you’re athletic, want to be, or have a child who is active in sports, the Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook is a must-have addition to your diabetes library. Dr. Colberg, professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was four years old. She specializes in glucose and exercise metabolism and diabetes, and is therefore the perfect author for this topic. The initial chapters provide an introduction to the science of exercise, how diabetes medications work (insulin and oral hypoglycemics), nutrition and supplements, and general guidelines for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Then the book gets really interesting: specific guidelines for adjusting diet and medications for dozens of sports from walking to ice hockey to marathon running, broken down into individual guidelines for adjusting insulin (pumps and MDI) and additional carbohydrate intake based on starting blood sugar levels. Sprinkled throughout are vignettes about athletes with diabetes covering many sports. Highly recommended.

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The Diabetes Travel Guide, 2nd Edition by Davida F. Kruger, MSN, APRN-BC, BC-ADM 2007 Published by the American Diabetes Association. ISBN 1-58-040236-4. 222 pages, softcover. $14.95.

If you’re the kind of person who needs a check list to help you remember everything to pack for a trip, or if you’ve held off on traveling because you’re worried about your diabetes (or your child’s), then The Diabetes Travel Guide, 2nd Edition is exactly what you need. This small (4.25 by 6.75 inches) book will guide you through preparing for travel with diabetes. You’ll find all kinds of check lists and suggestions, as well as helpful tips on dealing with the unexpected — such as sitting on an airplane waiting to take off. The book will fit easily in a carry on bag or purse and even includes a selection of phrases in other languages in case you find yourself in need of help at your destination. Recommended for anyone who travels with diabetes.

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