Hey everyone! So I have an awesome book review from author Kristen W. Kauke’s book: “Growing Up Ben: Living a Full Life With Food Allergies”! Kristen approached me and asked if I would give her some feedback from a teens perspective. Kristen is a clinical social worker and has done a lot of work in the world of food allergies as her sons both have FA’s. Her work in food allergies is based around coping with anxiety and conflict in relationships from food allergies. Growing Up Ben tells the story of Kristen’s families life with food allergies and the struggles they have faced. The book is a quick read at just 38 pages and follows the format of letters. The letters written to her son make the reading comfortable and intriguing. Throughout the letters Kristen slips in advice on how to deal with the various experiences an allergic family faces.The subtle hints and advice were easy to accept due to the relaxed format. The book is broken down into 4 sections: baby book, grade school days, beginning of adolescence and high school. Each section features letters that touch upon different issues that she faced.
This book was inspirational and touching! Although I developed my allergies at 13, I was still able to connect with every section of the book, as she touches upon everything I have ever felt with my allergies! In the baby book section she writes of the early diagnosis stress and anxiety. Kristen wrote about the denial and grieving that her family went though. I was really touched by this section because at 13 I didn’t want to be different. I denied I had allergies and would even leave my Epipen at home because I wasn’t willing to deal and cope with the situation. I too felt that I had lost a normal way of eating and living. Throughout the book she talks about peoples disbelief in allergies, socializing, gaining independence/ responsibility and ways that parents and teens can cope together. Now I wont give away to much about the book because I want it to be just as touching as it was for me the first time you read it. But I will tell you a few of my favourite parts! She talks about the little glimmer of hope that we get in between reactions. This is so true because I always think ‘wow I haven’t had an Epipen in 6 months maybe I am out growing my allergies’. A line that I really loved was “Then reality bites. There’s a close call or even a reaction. And that shot of epi is a swift reminder that we still belong in the allergy world”. I love, love, love this quote because it truely represents how I feel after every reaction. Lastly a line that stuck out to me was “It is in these falls that we grow the most”. I feel that whether you have allergies or your child has allergies you can relate to this because every mistake we make me learn from it. Although reactions are scary and maybe we could have avoided it, in this pain and trauma we learn the most about our allergies and ourselves. I would like to thank Kristen for sharing her book with me! “Growing Up Ben: Living a Full Life With Food Allergies” is so well written and inspiring. If you are living in the allergy world or just need hope and coping skills, this book is sure to help. Please go check it out here
*All quotes and ideas are from author Kristen W. Kauke and I do not own any of them.