I have asthma, and growing up, I resented being dependent on my medication, and I didn’t like being different from other kids. As an adult, I would sometimes forget to take my medication, usually because I was rushed/tired and/or lazy. I was so used to having asthma I didn’t take it seriously, and forgot just how destructive this disease can be.
This winter, however, I got the flu, and with it a bad, bad case of bronchitis that landed me in hospital, with my worst asthma attack in twenty years. As the Lung Association says so well, when you can’t breath, nothing else matters.
For my “Five Finds” today, I decided to find children’s books and novels featuring asthma. It’s a life-threatening condition that can be managed, but it is something that really can make kids feel like weirdos (think: “sucks to your assmar!” from Lord of the Flies)
Monty, a quiet first-grader continues to come into his own–playing the part of a tree in a comically miscued school play, sharing his enthusiasm for ants at an outdoor birthday party, and even signing up for karate class despite his asthma.
The child in this story suffers from asthma, a chronic condition that sometimes produces frightening attacks. But kids learn that with proper medical supervision and treatment, asthma can be kept under control, and kids who are affected by it can live happy, active, and normal lives.
Abby is determined to participate in the big race, and won’t let her condition, or the teasing of a classmate, stand in her way. Abby talks with her doctor, takes her medicine, exercises regularly, and proves to her classmates that kids with asthma can do anything other kids can, too.
Fourth-grader Bobby is hurt when he hears his father, a former pro-football player, say that they are nothing alike, but finally summons the courage to talk with him about it after he suffers a public, and scary, asthma attack. Bonus points for illustrations by the ever-popular Dan Santat.
Because he suffers from asthma, six-year-old Monty is nervous about starting first grade but he soon learns to cope with his illness and use his special talents to make friends.