Recommended Reading from the MAGIC Foundation

The MAGIC Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization created to provide support services for the families of children afflicted with a wide variety of chronic and/or critical disorders, syndromes and diseases that affect a child’s growth. 

The MAGIC Foundation’s mission is to reduce the emotional and physical trauma caused by growth disorders, resulting in healthier, happier children and consequently, adults. Their Motto: Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with the results! Together we are MAGIC!

This list is adapted from parents of the MAGIC Foundation who shared books they found helpful in raising their children with these conditions. This list is not an endorsement of these books from the MAGIC Foundation itself.

Logo of the magic foundation. The stylized letter M has a five-pointed star above it.
If you would like to learn more about the MAGIC Foundation please visit them at

Children’s Books

Helping Ava Grow

About the Book

Written by: Sandy Taylor

Illustrated by: Don Baillargeon

This is a caring children’s book about a sweet 4-year old girl. It chronicles how she and her family learn to adjust to life, including introducing the injections, eating healthy, and staying connected during this trying time. The book is intended to create a dialog with children, communicating together about this medical life change, and the impact it has on the whole family – even siblings. Explaining the process in a caring and loving way was really important to mother and author, Sandy Taylor, whose daughter, Ava inspired this book. She hopes families can use HELPING AVA GROW! to cope with their diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency and IGF-1 Deficiency.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Stand Straight, Ella Kate

About the Book

Written by: Kate Klise

Illustrated by: M. Sarah Klise

Ella Kate Ewing was born in 1872. She started out small, but she just kept on growing. Soon she was too tall for her desk at school, too tall for her bed at home, too tall to fit anywhere. Ella Kate was a real-life giant, but she refused to hide herself away. Instead, she used her unusual height to achieve her equally large dreams.

The masterful Klise sisters deliver a touching and inspiring true story about a strong-minded girl who finally embraced her differences. It’s the perfect book for every child who has ever felt like an outsider.

Find a Copy of Stand Straight, Ella Kate in a library!

I Am Unique!

About the Book

Written by: Jennifer Vassel

Illustrated by: Penny Weber

“I Am Unique!“ is a story about self-love and sharing your unique gifts with the masses. Erin is the main character of the story. She has a birthmark and a passion for acting. Erin wants to try out for the leading role in her school’s play, but when her best friend questions whether she would suit the role because of her birthmark, she has to decide if she’s going to let a perceived “flaw” get in the way of her dream.

This story lives within all of us. Whether it is a birthmark like Erin’s, crooked teeth, or even something we can’t physically see, we all have something about us that could trigger insecurities. When we live in a time where media largely influences our perceptions of beauty, esteem, and success, we have to be sure that young girls know it’s okay to be who they truly are.

Find a Copy of I am Unique in a library!

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

About the Book

Written by: Justin Roberts

Illustrated by: Christen Robinson

Hardly anyone noticed young Sally McCabe.
She was the smallest girl in the smallest grade.

But Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor’s ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard. And when she takes a chance and stands up to the bullies, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.

Find a Copy of The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade in a library!

Brave Henry Gets Shots

About the Book

Written by: Lindsey Lewis

Illustrated by: Carol Echols

Brave Henry is all about a little boy who has to take injections everyday. He is scared at first, but becomes brave! His bravery helps him know he can accomplish anything!

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All!)

About the Book

Written by: Lori Orlinsky

Illustrated by: Vanessa Alexandre

Being small is the worst! No one ever picks me for their sports team and my feet hurt from standing on my tiptoes all the time. There can’t be anything good about being small…right? Being Small is a picture book about a little girl who is scared to go to school because she’s the shortest kid in the class. She talks about all of the reasons that being short is a challenge, but her mother presents to her funny and unique advantages that only she has because of her height, instilling self-confidence in her. This book is a must-read for any child who has ever fallen behind the curve on the growth chart.

Find a Copy of Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All!) in a library!

The Littlest Yak

About the Book

Written by: Lu Fraser

Illustrated by: Kate Hindley

Gertie is the littlest yak in her whole herd, and she’s feeling stuck in her smallness – she wants to grow UP and have bigness and tallness!

But when it turns out that there are some things that only Gertie can do, might she come to see that she’s perfect, just the way she is?

Find a Copy of The Littlest Yak in a library!

Not So Small At All

About the Book

Written by: Sandra Magsaman

Introduce the timeless lesson of self-confidence and perseverance in this encouragement book for babies and toddlers! Brimming with adorable illustrations and heartwarming rhymes, this empowering story shares how little things are capable of giant accomplishments. Bees, butterflies, and little children may seem small but are actually full of great strength, incredible potential, and can do anything they set their mind to. This special story with not-so-small impact shows kids that while they may be small, they are also mighty!

Find a Copy of Not So Small At All in a library!

Grady Bear

About the Book

Written by: Deborah Rotenstein, MD

Grady Bear is a children’s book designed to help parents, like you, explain central
precocious puberty (CPP), and its effects, to their child. The narrative, written from the
perspective of a child confiding in her teddy bear, touches upon the physical and emotional
changes that a child diagnosed with CPP may experience. Friendly illustrations and a
conversational tone make this a read that is reassuring for parents and children alike.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Extraordinary: A Book for Children with Rare Diseases

About the Book

Written by: Evren and Kara Ayik

Illustrated by: Ian Dale

What makes a child with a rare disease extraordinary? Explore the answer to this question while sharing an illustrated conversation with Evren Ayik about what he has learned while growing up with his own rare disease. Written collaboratively by mother and son, Extraordinary! A Book for Children with Rare Diseases opens up a child-friendly discussion about identity, inclusion, and self-concept in light of the challenges and silver linings of living with a rare disease.

Family members and caregivers are invited to share in this conversation and to customize the reading according to each young reader’s developmental needs. The gentle lessons draw on the co-author’s firsthand experience of growing up with an ultra-rare genetic disease and offer young readers a framework for understanding personal identity and how their rare diseases can help shape it in positive ways. Extraordinary! is intended to celebrate the diversity and beauty inherent in all children around the world. Accompanied by sensitive yet realistic, multicultural illustrations created by award-winning artist and children’s book illustrator Ian Dale, the heartfelt messages introduced in Extraordinary! are intended to uplift and encourage any children living with rare diseases to live their very best lives.

Find a Copy of Extraordinary: A Book for Children with Rare Diseases in a library!

Can I See?

About the Book

Written by: Amanda McCoy

When Gavin gets a new tool, he realizes that his visual impairment makes him different from the other kids in his class. Can he show them he’s still a normal kid?

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Adriana’s Adrenal Insufficency

About the Book

Written by: Wendy J Hall

Learn all about Adrenal Insufficiency, an invisible but dangerous disease, as Adriana gives a presentation at her school.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

We’re All Wonders

About the Book

Written by: R. J. Palacio

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows young readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

Find a Copy of We’re All Wonders in a library!

Happy in Our Skin

About the Book

Written by: Fran Manushkin

Illustrated by: Lauren Tobia

Is there anything more splendid than a baby’s skin? For families of all stripes comes a sweet celebration of what makes us unique—and what holds us together.

Look at you!
You look so cute
in your brand-new birthday suit.

Just savor these bouquets of babies—cocoa-brown, cinnamon, peaches and cream. As they grow, their clever skin does too, enjoying hugs and tickles, protecting them inside and out, and making them one of a kind.

Find a Copy of Happy in Our Skin in a library!

S is for Surgery

About the Book

Written by: Dyan Fox

Illustrated by: Jen Alliston

Written by a mom whose daughter has endured close to 20 surgeries. This fun, info-packed activity book helps kids (and their parents) prepare for surgery.

This kids surgery book lists, from A-Z, everything that will happen before, during, and after your child’s surgery, so they won’t have any scary surprises.

Each section has practical info kids (and parents) want to know and includes 50 activities kids can do while they’re healing at home or at the hospital-and everything is designed to make surgery less scary.

It’s perfect for kids who will have any kind of surgery-outpatient or inpatient-and was written by a mom whose daughter has endured close to 20 surgeries.

Find a Copy of S is for Surgery in a library!

An Unexpected Outcome: A Heel Prick Test

About the Book

Written and illustrated by: Penny Walter

Congenital Hypothyroidism is a condition affecting the function of the thyroid gland, and can be detected in the newborn screening test. A diagnosis can be scary and confronting. This story is about what the diagnosis meant for us.

Find a Copy of An Unexpected Outcome in a library!


About the Book

Written by: Candyce J. Corcoran

Illustrated by: Betsy Franco Feeney

“Oliver” is must-read for all children. It is an inspirational, beautifully-illustrated and well-received book about our, rescued Bichon Frise. Oliver was rescued a few days before he was to be “put to sleep” and diagnosed with Hypothyroid Disease. Copies of “Oliver” have been donated and read at local schools, youth facilities, pediatric offices, children’s hospitals around the country, including St. Jude’s and Ronald McDonald Houses. My hope is that “Oliver” will help ease the pain of childhood illness through the big brown eyes of a sweet dog who shares sickness with them.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Greg and Gulliver

A green outline of an open book with a yellow cartoon strand of DNA as a ribbon bookmark on the right side. Above it in brown typewriter-like font are the words Reading Frame

About the Book

Written by: Deborah Rotenstein, MD

We are currently unable to find further information on this book. Please stay tuned!

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Books for Adults and Parents

Little Legs, Big Heart

About the Book

Written by: Kristen DeAndrade

For author Kristen DeAndrade, it doesn’t matter how long your legs are. You can only take one step at a time. Born with achondroplasia, dwarfism, she chronicles her personal journey of facing challenges and breaking barriers in Little Legs, Big Heart. Through diary entries from her childhood journal, combined with a humorously, honest narrative, she shares her sheer determination growing up in the face of adversity and undergoing multiple medical procedures, including extended limb lengthening, which she opted to brave at the age of twelve.

Narrating both the physical and emotional challenges, DeAndrade offers a look at her strength in facing her challenges head on in a story filled with both integrity and interminable sass. Little Legs, Big Heart journeys through tears, laughter, devastation, and hope as it tells about a girl on a mission to find her identity. It gives a new perspective on life’s challenges and shows the world how to meet the varied demands of life with grit and grace.

Find a Copy of Little Legs, Big Heart in a library!

Behind the Scenes of GHD

About the Book

By: Shye Wiese

This book is to give people an inside look of what it’s like to have growth hormone deficiency, a growing disorder not many people understand.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Swimming Sick

About the Book

Written by: David P. Moore

“I am not much on land, but I am an absolute demon in the water. On terra firma my body feels heavy, cumbersome, clumsy and slow. It complains with every minor movement, much like the contrived tantrum of a five-year-old boy shopping for clothes with his mother. My body, fighting gravity, is an oppressive and depressive vehicle in search of relief, maddeningly incessant in its demands. But in the water . . . oh, in the water my body is an entirely different animal. I am light. Buoyant. Fluid and flexible. In the water I approach a state that eludes me on land. In the water – and only in the water – I experience something akin to grace.”

I had not envisioned entering my fifties spending more time on the couch than mobile, but that’s exactly where I was. Sick, and getting sicker. Battling arthritis, hip disease, prostate cancer, a brain tumor, adrenal insufficiency and pituitary failure I realized I had a choice – I could either give up or I could fight. I chose to fight. This is my story.

This book is not currently available in library databases.

Hormonal Balance

About the Book

Written by: Scott Isaacs, MD, FACP, FACE

First published in 2002, this guide pioneered the idea that hormones play a key role in weight loss and weight control. Writing in clear, simple terms, Dr. Isaacs profiles each hormone system, discussing what can go wrong and how imbalances can affect weight and even perpetuate obesity. The book explains how to reverse symptoms of hormonal imbalance through diet changes and other remedies, and then expands the discussion, teaching readers how to deal with everything from menstrual cycles to diabetes by recognizing and remedying hormonal problems. Updated with a more directive “how-to” approach on balancing hormones, this expanded edition features new research in the area of hungry hormones—including fat, gut, and brain hormones—as well as an easier-to-follow diet and lifestyle program.

Find a Copy of Hormonal Balance in a library!

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Comprehensive Guide

About the Book

Written by: Peter C. Hindmarsh and Kathy Geertsma

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Comprehensive Guide addresses how hydrocortisone works, what can go wrong, and how to correct it, also explaining why the timing of doses and measurement of cortisol from a dose is extremely important.

The book provides an in-depth analysis of this disorder for pediatric endocrinologists and primary care providers, allowing them to help patients with an updated model of care and appropriate treatment.

Patients and family members will benefit from the trend-forward information that will empower them to approach their healthcare providers with the expectation of receiving individualized care and treatment for this disorder.

Find a Copy of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Comprehensive Guide in a library!

The Short Child: A Parents’ Guide to the Causes, Consequences, and Treatment of Growth Problems

About the Book

Written by: Paul Kaplowitz, MD, PhD and Jeffery Baron, MD

For the millions of parents concerned about their child’s height, there is now an authoritative resource of comprehensive information to reassure and guide them in seeking help. This groundbreaking book by two of America’s leading pediatric endocrinologists offers reliable guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of growth disorders, from helping parents determine whether their child’s height is normal to understanding when it’s necessary to seek the advice of a specialist.

Parents will also learn about:

  • The role of genetics, nutrition, and hormones in their child’s growth
  • The social and psychological impact of short stature
  • Methods for estimating the height a child will be as an adult
  • Important topics of concern to discuss with their child’s doctors
  • Medical conditions that cause short stature

The most up-to-date research on treatment, including the controversial use of growth hormone-so you and your physician can decide what’s right for your child.

Find a Copy of The Short Child: A Parents’ Guide to the Causes, Consequences, and Treatment of Growth Problems in a library!

Thunder Dog

About the Book

Written by: Michael Hingson

An instant New York Times bestseller, Thunder Dog tells the true story of a blind man, his guide dog, and the life-changing power of faith and trust in the face of terror.

When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s North Tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet.

Blind from birth, Michael could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding all around him. But Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Find a Copy of Thunder Dog in a library!

Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children

About the Book

Written by: Rita Eichenstein, PhD

A pediatric neuropsychologist presents strategies to help parents of special-needs children navigate the emotional challenges they face.

As diagnosis rates continue to rise for autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and other developmental differences, parents face a maze of medical, psychological, and educational choices – and a great deal of emotional stress. Many books address children’s learning or behavior problems and advise parents what they can do to help their kids, but until Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children there were no books that explain what the parents are going through – and how they can cope with their own emotional upheaval – for their own sake, and for the wellbeing of the whole family.

With compassion, clarity, and an emphasis on practical solutions, Dr. Rita Eichenstein’s Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children walks readers through the five stages of acceptance (similar to the stages of grief, but modified for parents of special-needs kids). Using vivid anecdotes and suggestions, she helps readers understand their own emotional experience, nurture themselves in addition to their kids, identify and address relationship wounds including tension in a marriage and struggles with children (special-needs and neurotypical), and embrace their child with acceptance, compassion and joy.

Find a Copy of Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children in a library!

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