Follow along on Maddie’s first day back at school after a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
Maddie is understandably nervous; she’s had a lot to learn and process. The very first page explains Type 1 diabetes: “Her body stopped making insulin, which turns sugar in food into energy.” And on the next spread, readers see Maddie using her insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor and explaining them (in fairly adult language) to her younger brother. Packing for school is a bit complicated, what with the extra snacks and juice and backups for her monitor. Being prepared for her classmates’ questions is another matter. Her friend Brianna’s sister has diabetes, so she can answer many of the kids’ questions, much to Maddie’s relief. And Luis, whose grandfather has the disease, stands up for her when she needs a juice in art class and prompts her to cover up her CGM at a soccer game to avoid more questions. Di Gravio’s illustrations capture emotions clearly, from Maddie’s uncertainty and Brianna’s matter-of-fact support to the curiosity, jealousy, and tendency to think the worst displayed by some of Maddie’s diverse classmates. Maddie and her family are light skinned, Brianna has dark skin, and Luis is Latinx. Marsh’s note describes her own connection to diabetes and her wish that no one should feel as though they are dealing with it alone.
Both reassuring for those with diabetes and educational for those around them. (Picture book. 4-8)