Today’s books for children about the coronavirus pandemic join others on illness and ailments.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, children’s books explaining the virus, social distancing and the emotional impact of Covid-19 have joined a long shelf of stories that help young people cope with illness and loss.

Two sisters discuss being in quarantine in a new book by Samantha Harris and Devon Scott. (Image:

One new example is “Why We Stay Home: Suzie Learns about Coronavirus,” written by medical students Samantha Harris and Devon Scott and available free on their website. In it, Millie explains to her little sister Suzie what coronavirus is, and why their family must stay at home.

Here are three past examples of children’s books in which a young protagonist experiences illness.

Diphtheria was ravaging the remote city of Nome, so dog sled teams came to the rescue bringing a life-saving serum.

Teams of healthcare workers have braved severe wintry weather to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to remote Alaskan villages this year. Their work echoes a similar episode almost a century ago.

Today, healthcare workers are flown by bush planes to villages across the state, and then are sometimes towed to remote clinics on sleds pulled by snowmobiles. During a diphtheria epidemic in the 1920s, a lifesaving serum was delivered on sleds pulled by dogs.

Dog sled teams carried the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome. (Source: Alamy)

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that attacks the nose and throat, making it difficult to breathe and swallow. In the late 19th century, an antitoxin was developed to…

Bryana Quintana

Reporter at Retro Report

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