Abby's Asthma and the Big Race
Abby's legs are long and fast, but sometimes her breath is short. When it is Abby's turn to read her paper in front of the class, she tells everyone that her goal for the year is to run in the big race at the fair. And she is fast enough to win. "But doesn't she have asthma?" ask Abby's classmates. "How can she win the race?" Abby practices hard. She visits Dr. Allison, works on her breathing exercises, and takes her medication. Even still, sometimes Abby has trouble catching her breath and has to rest. Will she be able to run in the big race? Can she win?
"[F]reckle-faced Abby is an appealing heroine whom readers will root for." Booklist "The soft, colorful illustrations depict Abby's determination to not only run in the race, but also to win. This book helps explain asthma to children in a nonthreatening, easy-to-understand manner." School Library Journal "Abby’s Asthma and the Big Race by Theresa Martin Golding should reassure children with asthma that they can take part in physical activities despite their medical condition. Golding succeeds in incorporating the message into a story without turning the book into a medical text." Center for Children and Young Adult Books I have three children and two of them have asthma. The youngest, Mary Kathryn, has had the most severe breathing problems. The first time she had an asthma attack she was only about two-years-old. She couldn't tell me what was wrong and I wasn't smart enough to figure it out. She didn't complain, but she wasn't herself. I tucked her beside me on the couch and began to notice that she continually panted, taking small, quick breaths over and over again. Eventually, I took her to the emergency room. When the nurse came out to the waiting area and saw her, she took Mary Kathryn from my arms and ran straight back into the treatment area. Mary Kathryn was in full respiratory distress. Her oxygen levels were very low. She was admitted to the hospital. It was frightening and I felt foolish for not having recognized her symptoms. Mary Kathryn is now nineteen. As she grew, she loved sports. She played softball, soccer, basketball, and she ran track. She is an especially fast runner. But many times her asthma slowed her down. She had attacks on the soccer field and the basketball court. Many, many times she was frustrated by her inability to breathe. But she never gave up. Just like Abby in the story, Mary Kathryn is doing well with the help of a very good doctor. She takes her medication, does exercises, and can check her lung capacity on a peak flow meter. It was because of Mary Kathryn and all that she has been through and all that we have learned about asthma together that I was inspired to write this book. At first, this book was called Asthma Abby and the Big Race. The title was changed because "Asthma Abby" almost sounds like name-calling. That would not be a good thing to have in the title of a book! As you might have guessed, this book is dedicated to my daughter Mary Kathryn. She is a freshman in college at NYU and she is a runner on the school's track team. Abby's Asthma and the Big Race can be purchased from Your Local Bookstore or ordered on line. Click on any of the links below. If you would like to learn more about asthma, click on any of the following links. They will take you directly to the site's asthma pages. These pages contain reliable, useful information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of asthma. I have also included a link to my daughter's physician. He is the chief of the Allergy section of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an associate professor of pediatrics, and a wonderful doctor. Dr. Spergel wrote a note for parents titled "Asthma and Exercise" that appears at the end of Abby's Asthma and the Big Race.