Adam’s Gluten-Free Surprise

By | Jun 24, 2011

[Update: Congratulations, Jennifer! You win the free copy of Adam’s Gluten-Free Surprise. Thank you to all who entered. You can still order a copy via the websites mentioned below.

This book review was written by NFCA intern Rachel.]

Adams Gluten Free Surprise_cover_150If you have a child with celiac disease, you probably are on the hunt for ways to better educate your kid’s teachers and classmates about their dietary needs. Adam’s Gluten-Free Surprise is a new educational book that gets the gluten-free point across.

Author Debbie Simpson takes the reader on a gluten-free journey through Adam’s life, showing his disappointments and successes as a child diagnosed with celiac disease.  The book addresses the challenges of coping with celiac disease and teaching others how to understand the condition.

As the book develops, readers watch Adam go through the first 6 months of school just after being diagnosed with celiac. His teacher, Mrs. Brown, is learning how to adapt to his needs and Adam is learning how to deal with being gluten-free. At the end of the school year, a party is held that is all gluten-free, which teaches tolerance of others and understanding of new lifestyles.

Not only is this book educational for those who don’t fully understand the disease, but it also offers support for those children who have celiac disease and who struggle with it day-to-day. This picture book is comforting and was illustrated by Debbie herself.

Debbie understands a child’s mind: she has three children, and has worked as a teacher in early childhood classrooms for more than 10 years. She writes not only about life lessons essential to growing up, but also about solid lessons that teach kids about different routines.

Whether your child has celiac disease or not, this 13-page book is a great story to read to your little one before bed or after school. It teaches them acceptance and can help the whole family learn new ways to cope. If you’re a teacher, keep this on hand for a special, educational storytime.

Adam’s Gluten-Free Surprise is available on and

Win a free copy!

Debbie’s goal is to get the book into as many teachers’ hands before kids return for the new school year. To help that along, she’s offering a free copy of Adam’s Gluten-Free Surprise to one lucky winner.

To earn your shot in the drawing, leave a comment sharing the best tip you give teachers to help them understand your child’s gluten-free needs.

14 Comments so far
  1. Niki June 24, 2011 4:06 pm

    I didn’t give a “tip” exactly, but after my daughter was diagnosed, and her twin sister had tested positive for the celiac antibodies (she was diagnosed with a biopsy about a month later), I gave a presentation at their school for the teachers & faculty at a staff meeting. Having celiac disease myself really helped me to know what kinds of questions people would ask, so I gave a very simple presentation that took about 5 minutes and then opened up the floor for a question & answer session. Most people have at least heard of celiac disease, many even know someone with it, but are often afraid to ask questions. I would love to have this book to read to my kids, 3 out of 4 have celiac disease, who are all still struggling with learning to manage their disease. It would also be a great book to read to their new teachers & classmates, as we are starting a new school this year.

  2. Jennifer June 24, 2011 5:15 pm

    I would love a copy of the book to take to my daughter’s school in September! My daughter is old enough to know what she can/can’t have, but we asked the teacher to let us know if there is a special treat coming in to the classroom. That way, I can send something that is GF and my daughter can have a treat too.
    We also gave the teacher a copy of the list of safe snacks & treats that we got from the Dietician at the Children’s hospital.

  3. Sherrell June 27, 2011 10:44 am

    I do not have a child with Celiac Disease. About a year ago, my physician tested me for Celiac. He said the test was negative. However, I have continued to have problems. I have been trying to learn more on the web. I have recently started trying gluten free. I realize that gluten is hidden in many products and I want to learn as much as possible about gluten free eating. A friend of mine posted your link on FB.

  4. Cheryl June 27, 2011 10:54 am

    Hi Sherrell. You can find out more about the gluten-free lifestyle at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ main website: I encourage you to look through our Printable Guides (under the Resources tab). Our Getting Started Guide, which can be found on that page, is a very helpful reference. We hope to be a valuable resource as you restore health and reclaim your life!

  5. Sheree June 27, 2011 7:58 pm

    I would love one of these books to give to our school library.I am finding it very hard to explain to my daughters teachers the mental side of Celiac in children,My daughter struggles with “Being different & missing out” especially when the rest of the class gets treats,I have sent her own treats but the teachers forget to give them to her.( she doesent really miss out at home as i own a gluten free shop.)
    I would all so love to sell the book in my shop.

  6. Nadya June 28, 2011 11:48 am

    One tip for teachers of younger kids – remember to avoid external gluten contamination!
    My youngest granddaughter attended a great playschool the year we realized we’re Gluten Intolerant (DNA testing thru enterolab) & were great about switching to GF snacks. One thing none of us thought of – a parent makes playdough every few weeks using a flour/salt recipe, & toward the end of the school year, when KK’s hands were still broken out, we realized that needed to be done with GF flour, too!
    At Church, the youth minister often has the kids help bake cookies – not GF, & my older granddaughter sticks to handling the cookie sheets, rather than mixing the dough. The girls (6 & 11, GF 2 years) are GREAT about avoiding Gluten & dairy, & ask ‘does this have gluten?’ when they’re not sure.

  7. Mary Costello June 28, 2011 8:32 pm

    My son with celiac also has Down Syndrome and Apraxia of Speech. He can’t tell others what he can’t have and has been known to accept food with gluten when offered by unknowledgable people. We need to rely on the people around him to keep him safe, so this book would be of great help to us and his school.

  8. Margie June 29, 2011 4:59 pm

    We were GF for about 3 years (2-yr-old son and mom) and then went back to eating gluten with no symptoms. Now the blood test puts us both in the “equivocal” range (meaning neither positive nor negative!). We’re now debating doing the biopsy or just going GF. Having been on this journey sure opened our eyes to the things most people take for granted: eating on the road, ordering out for pizza when you burn dinner, using coupons at the grocery store, enjoying potluck dinners, sending the kids to the neighbors for a few hours when an emergency arises… It’s one of those things people think they understand until they’ve really been there. I would love to have this book to help my sons out (the other 2 just tested very positive on their blood tests) as we all adjust to this new lifestyle, especially at school and at playdates with friends.

  9. Kristie June 30, 2011 11:34 am

    This looks like a good book, will pick one up. Currently my kids have an allergy to dye in foods and have not yet been tested for celiac, but may have it as I do. My son’s teacher does not believe in food allergies, so any book to show it that it exists would be wonderful!

  10. Tiffany July 3, 2011 3:04 pm

    Oh thank you so much for writing this book! My daughter, who turned 6 this Feb, was diagnosed in May and we had the worst time with the school. Her teachers and staff took a laid-back approach to the whole thing. The biggest tip I could give to a teacher is to be patient and compassionate with a child who has celiac’s disease (especially a younger child). It is quite an adjustment especially for a child who is still unsure of what it means to live “Gluten Free”

  11. Kimberly July 19, 2011 9:13 am

    I am a teacher and I am floored to hear that your child’s teacher “does not believe in food allergies.” Not only is that scientifically ridiculous, but it is dangerous for your child and unethical on his/her part. I would demand (and did so for my celiac daughter) that your child be moved to a classroom with a teacher who can attend to you child’s medical and emotional needs.

  12. […] Surprise from noon until 2pm at Free Range Cookies in Ferguson, MO.  Debbie’s book has gotten rave reviews.  All are welcome to meet, greet, and […]

  13. […] is about – just in time as kids get ready to head back to school.  Debbie’s book has gotten rave reviews – no surprise […]

  14. Book Signing Fun January 2, 2013 11:10 pm

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