Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to diseases. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about diseases.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about diseases, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Llama Llama Time to Share to popular sellers like The Kill Order to some of our favorite hidden gems like Caleb and Kit.
We hope this list of kids books about diseases can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Diabetes Doesn't Stop Maddie! - Maddie was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She’s nervous about managing her disease 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 the disease or knows someone who does.
Echo's Sister - From critically acclaimed author Paul Mosier, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, comes a stunning story about the beauty of family, the power of community, and ultimately the strength of the human spirit. Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great. But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless. Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle.
When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer - When a young boy finds out he has cancer, he learns a lot right away. He learns that cancer is something you fight, and that cancer isn’t anyone’s fault—especially not his. He discovers that many things change with cancer, but some of the most important things stay the same. He also learns that having cancer is easier when everyone around him wants to help him fight.
Cancer Hates Kisses - Mothers are superheroes when they’re battling cancer, and this empowering picture book gives them an honest yet spirited way to share the difficult experience with their kids. Author Jessica Reid Sliwerski was diagnosed with breast cancer four months after giving birth to her daughter. And through all the stages of treatment—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, losing her hair—she thought about how hard it would be to talk to your child about cancer while coping with it. She wrote this picture book to give other parents and their children an encouraging tool for having those conversations—a lovingly upbeat book that is also refreshingly authentic and straightforward. With its simple text and heartwarming illustrations, Cancer Hates Kisses is relatable to any type of cancer.
The Hotel Between - A magical hotel, a mysterious tree, and a cryptic story about their missing father leads twins Cam and Cass on a worldly adventure in this enchanting debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Wildwood. Twins Cam and Cass have never known their parents. They’ve been told their mother died, and Cass is certain their father abandoned them. Cam isn’t so sure. He wants to prove her wrong; he must. Cam’s wish is soon granted in the form of a glistening, golden sign with elaborate flourishes that reads: The Hotel Between. With doors that open to countries all over the world, magical trollies, charmed corridors that can be altered on a whim, stone elephants that turn to life, sweets made from rocks; everything is possible in The Hotel. Cam has a hunch his father is somehow connected to this magical place, and may even be lost within its hidden halls. Every journey has its risks, and The Hotel Between is full of dangerous secrets. If Cam’s not careful, his stay may be over before his vacation has even started.
That's What Dinosaurs Do - From The Bad Seed and The Good Egg creators, Jory John and Pete Oswald, comes a story about a dinosaur who loves to ROAR. William the dinosaur likes to roar. At the park?“ROAR.” At the bus stop?“ROAR!” At the farm? You bet. ROARRR! William never lets the chance to roar pass him by, even if others find it rather bothersome. That’s until William gets a sore throat and the doctor warns him not to roar for a WHOLE week. But can this overexcited, boisterous, giant lizard not do what dinosaurs are meant to do?! In his humorous and insightful style, Jory John creates an epic story about unapologetically and happily being yourself, no matter the cost. Another side-splitting combination of John’s brilliant text and Pete Oswald’s expressive and lively illustrations, That’s What Dinosaurs Do is a read-aloud that young readers will roar for again and again.
The Queen’s Secret - Bestselling author Jessica Day George continues her heartfelt fantasy series about a girl who can communicate with horses and a kingdom on the brink of collapse. Anthea knows the truth about horses. They’re not carriers of deadly disease like everyone in their kingdom thinks; they’re majestic creatures who share their thoughts and feelings with her through The Way. Anthea has convinced the king of this, but at a cost—he demands that horses and riders with The Way do his bidding. But when a deadly plague breaks out, the people believe that horses are the cause. As more fall ill, it’s up to Anthea and her friends to transport medicine, all while keeping out of reach from Anthea’s wicked mother. And when Anthea discovers a secret that could change the kingdom forever, she must risk everything to reveal the truth before it’s too late. Continuing the sweeping storytelling of The Rose Legacy, bestselling author Jessica Day George delights readers—especially horse lovers—once again.
The Great Googlini - Filip, the ten-year-old son of Croatian immigrants, lives in a boring suburb of the big city,where he passes his time either at school or in his cozy kitchen, googling everything from dinosaurs to the Hubble Space Telescope. When his favorite uncle gets sick, Filip turns to Google for answers. Instead he receives a visit from the Great Googlini, a tiny woman in Converse sneakers who swirls out of the computer vents. She’s not really a genie, she explains: “I’m more of an archivist.” Her visit is a little bit of magic that lets Filip see the magic all around him. Ultimately about the things we can know and the things we can’t, this is a smart, touching, funny chapter book about growing up, braving tough times and looking for answers.
A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! - It’s my birthday. . . I can’t wait! Time for us to celebrate! House is ready, Set for fun. Cake’s the last thing, then we’re done. Can’t use flour, Can’t use wheat. . .That’s got gluten! What’s to eat? With bright and charming illustrations and sweet text, A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! is a celebration of being gluten-free!
Wild Blues - The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this stunning novel from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, Mom asks her where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin. Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their favorite nook where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives. When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.
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