Why These Book Recommendations?
The Invisibly Allergic food allergy blog is a compilation of lived and learned first-hand experiences, and knowledge gleaned from others in the food allergy community, disability community, and other marginalized communities. There is disability discrimination, and so these book recommendations are a way to gain empathy, educate yourself, and learn about disabilities and the spectrum they can be and how they’re all valid and deserve accommodations and respect. Disability rights are human rights.
While I love to read and read many books, I don’t share book recommendations lightly, and these books below I highly recommend and stand behind confidently. I often buy books used via sites such as eBay & ThriftBooks, but my favorite way to read is through my free public library’s Libby app! All you need is a library card and you gain access to their incredible selection of e-books and audiobooks.
My Top 7 Food Allergy, Marginalized Population & Disability Book Suggestions
- Food Without Fear, by Dr. Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH
- Dr. Gupta has an amazing website with tons of resources worth checking out. Her website content compliments the book content. Food Without Fear is a very thorough read and has a friendly tone. It covers all the ground you’d expect and more from the perspective of a doctor in the food allergy space, and taught me so much about food allergies.
- Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong
- This anthology I listened to as an audiobook on Libby & I personally really loved how each essay was read by the authors themselves. The essays span all across the disability spectrum and Alice Wong even adapted this book for young readers. It’s a must-read for everyone. Check out the Disability Visibility Project website.
- The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness, by Meghan O’Rourke
- Investigating the vast category of “invisible” illnesses and the challenges that come with chronic illnesses, not being believed by the medical world, and being a woman in need of medical care. This book is real, raw, and relatable and I appreciated the science woven throughout and her lack of sugarcoating. Here’s Meghan O’Rouke’s website.
- Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, by Judith Heumann
- When one of the coolest and most influential disability rights activists tells her story, you read it! I didn’t know the history of disability rights in the U.S. prior to reading this book, and I especially wasn’t aware that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t include protection for people with disabilities. I found out about this book after seeing a segment on tv about the film ‘Crip Camp’ which was a joyful documentary featuring activist Judy Heumann. Check out Judy’s The Heumann Perspective Podcast.
- This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work, by Tiffany Jewell
- First of all, the moment you see the cover of this book you’ll want to read it, the illustrations are very inviting. This came recommended by Oprah’s Book Club, We Need Diverse Books non-profit, and many other top players in the book space. It’s an engaging guided journal with activities to support your anti-racism journey. Written with gender-neutral language, the entire book builds solidarity, hope, and strength. Author Tiffany Jewell has a website and well-curated instagram.
- The Peanut Allergy Answer Book, 3rd Edition, by Michael C. Young
- A concise reference book is easy to read and written in the form of Q&A, answering every question you can think of around peanut allergies with cutting-edge research. I owned this book for a long time before I finally got around to reading it, and then once I did, I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long because it covered a lot of ground and taught me a lot about peanut allergies. For parents of food allergic children, this is a must-read! It leaves out, as most books on food allergies do, the first-person account of life with a peanut allergy but is still a top suggestion of mine, just don’t expect it to be relatable in that way if you have a food allergy yourself.
- The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, by Colette Martin
- This food allergy cookbook is the best I’ve found with over 100 recipes gluten-free and free of the top eight allergens. It is a great starting book to use and then adapt from, and will help give you inspiration for creating recipes you’d enjoy that are allergen-free. Of course, it can’t give specifics around brands since those are ever-changing, but it is an excellent allergy-free home cooking guide foundation!
My Top 5 Children’s Food Allergy, Marginalized Population & Disability Book Suggestions
- Different – A Great Thing To Be!, by Heather Avis
- The Princess & The Peanut Allergy, by Wendy McClure
- The Land Of Not, by J.J. Vulopas
- The Class That Can: Food Allergies, by J.J. Vulopas
- Both books above written by J.J. Vulopas are spectacular! So clever, unique, and creative. These books are the product of a collaboration with medical experts, and have the aim to empower children and adults alike, & these books are in many schools and doctor’s offices across the country. Check out their mission here on the Land Of Can website.
- Kids Cook Gluten-Free: Over 65 Fun and Easy Recipes for Young Gluten-Free Chefs (No Gluten, No Problem), by Kelli Bronski
- I came across this book on the free Libby app and was endlessly impressed with this kid-friendly cookbook inspiring confidence in the kitchen. It’s geared towards ages 8-12+.
Disability Activism & More Books About Food Allergies
I’ll continue adding to this list as I find book gems, so this list won’t get stagnant. Keep checking back & comment below if you have any suggestions of the best food allergy books or best disability books you’ve read!
I am always seeking out new young adult & adult books to read, specifically books celebrating disability pride, books with mentally disabled characters, romance books with disabled characters, books with disabled characters in general, anti-ableism books, books about disability rights, and disability memoirs.
Even though I don’t have children myself, I like to stay current with the best children’s books as well, to see what’s out there and impacting this generation of children. I’m always on the lookout for books about disabilities for kids, books for kids with disabilities, children’s books about physical disabilities, children’s books about food allergies, and picture books with disabled characters.
If you haven’t yet, check out the full food allergy blog on Invisibly Allergic! Below are some of the latest posts:
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