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Book 1: Getting Diabetes
by Jed Block
illustrated by Caitlin Block

While I waited for the results of my second test, I sat on my dad's lap and wondered what I had done wrong. "Did I eat too much candy?"

So goes this book about diabetes, written in the voice of a 7-year-old girl who's newly diagnosed.

The book is meant to inspire. It's about setback, resilience and hope, focusing on the humanness of the girl, her family and the people around her.

It was written to help children with diabetes and their parents deal with the jolts and issues that come with a new diagnosis.

Children from 7 to 9 years old will enjoy and learn by reading the book. So will their parents, who may choose to read and share it with younger children.


Also Available
Book 2: Learning to Live With Diabetes

We were blindsided by the diagnosis of juvenile diabetes for our daughter Caitlin when she was seven. Bringing her home from the hospital with diabetes, I felt as insecure and frightened as I had when we brought our firstborn home after childbirth. Only with diabetes, the joy that comes with starting a family was absent. We didn’t have nine months to prepare, and we were bringing home a child with a disease that can kill. Suddenly, we felt as if we were responsible for an infant again. Only this time, we were much more afraid for her and fearful of the life-threatening mistakes we could make.

Caitlin and I collaborated on this book to help other families deal with the initial shock and give them a gentle push toward the emotional mountain they’ll have to climb. In retrospect, I wish a book like this had been included with the materials we received at the hospital. I also tried to cross a line that would make it a book that would help adults, as well as children.

Hi, my name is Caitlin. Last year, I was diagnosed with diabetes.

It’s not so bad. I still have lots of fun, and I can hardly remember not having diabetes.

This year, for third grade, I have the best teacher I ever had. Her name is Miss Flowers.
Last year, I thought Mrs. Gerald was the best teacher I ever had. She came to visit me in the hospital and gave me a beautiful, stuffed kitty with long, soft fur that really seems real. The kitty always sits on my bed, and I named her Julie, after Mrs. Gerald.

My dad said that maybe next year’s teacher will be the new, best teacher I ever have. He said that’s when he can tell he has it good -- when each year is better than the last one.

So far, this is the best year I ever had in my life.

Jed Block is the father of Caitlin, who illustrated the book and was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes when she was seven. Jed has written professionally for more than 20 years as a newspaper reporter, corporate business writer, and independent contractor. They'd appreciate hearing from you at

Thumbs up...To Caitlin Block and her father, Jed, for writing the book
The Best Year of My Life, Book 1: Getting Diabetes, which helps those who are victims of the disease better understand and live with it. It's usually easier to go through something when you a vision of how others have handled it.
-- The Post-Crescent Appleton, Wis.

The Best Year of My Life tells the true story of Caitlin Block, a young girl who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was in second grade. Caitlin tells us about being diagnosed, wondering if she caused her diabetes by eating too much candy. She shares the anxiety felt by kids with diabetes and their families about blood tests and shots (I related very well with the drawing of "My nervous dad"). Caitlin tells us about her first Halloween with diabetes, and that in spite of giving away most of her candy to her sisters, that it was the best Halloween she'd ever had. In short, The Best Year of My Life is an excellent book for young kids with diabetes. Highly Recommended.
-- Review by Jeff Hitchcock

Children and their parents will enjoy reading The Best Year of My Life,
Book 1: Getting Diabetes
by Jed Block and illustrated by his daughter Caitlin. Written in the voice of a seven-year old newly diagnosed with diabetes (as was Caitlin), the book is meant to inspire. While it comes close to being Pollyannaish, maybe we need that balance. Jed tells me that he is donating 10 percent of sales proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
--by Rick Mendosa

I've been in medicine for 40 years, and The Best Year of My Life is by far the finest children's medical book I've ever read. I think you did an absolutely superb job.
-- John Haselow, MD

I recently had the pleasure of reading a very colorful and motivational book about a brave 7-year-old girl and the experiences of her first year of having diabetes. Written in her own voice, Caitlin Block, also known as Stinky Good Breath, creates a very inspirational view of the challenges she met along the way and how she overcame them on a daily basis. The book goes through all of her experiences that came with the arrival of her diabetes from her diagnosis and hospital stay to how her family came together to support Caitlin and her new disease. Any child from ages 7 to 12, whether they are newly diagnosed or have had the disease for years, would enjoy reading about her experiences and looking at her wonderful illustrations.
-- Steve Deal, RN, Diabetes One on One



Also Available
Book 2: Learning to Live With Diabetes.
Click here
for more information
or to order.

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