Review: The Day My Best Friend and a Migraine Slept Over
By: Rachel Baxter, Communications Officer, The Migraine Trust
Audrey Beth Stein, an artist, teacher and picture book writer based in the US, recently published her latest children’s picture book: The Day My Best Friend and a Migraine Slept Over. Stein lives with migraine herself and the aim of her book is to show children with migraine that they are not alone in their condition and to help them feel seen and understood.
“I had no idea about how common migraines were for kids until I started writing this book!” writes Stein. “For me as a kid, they came all-too-frequently, but the only other people I was aware of who got them were my parents. (A lonely, lonely invisible disability.) This fall, I stumbled my way into Facebook discussion groups for parents of kids with pediatric migraine, and I found parents who were desperate for anything that might help their kids—and kids who had it way worse than I ever did.”
The Day My Best Friend and a Migraine Slept Over follows an 8-year-old girl who is very excited for her best friend Allie to come over for a sleepover followed by an fun day out. She narrates her story which begins with her walking home from school when she starts to experience a migraine attack. The severity of her migraine attack ebbs and flows over the course of the evening, with medication treating it before it comes back later on.
The book shows just how frustrating it can be for a child living with migraine to experience an attack that interferes with fun and exciting plans, something many children with migraine will relate to. It also highlights the fact that with the right treatment and care, migraine does not have to get in the way of a child’s life as the girl in the story is still able to enjoy her sleepover with a few adjustments, such as medication, plain food and a good night’s sleep.
The fact that The Day My Best Friend and a Migraine Slept Over is a picture book lends itself well to explaining the symptoms of migraine. Migraine aura, which involves sensory changes such as changes to your sight, hearing and speech, is often difficult to describe. The illustrations in the book show what migraine aura can look like to a child, with colourful circles and flashes on the page in the girl’s field of vision. Her speech also changes temporarily.
The Day My Best Friend and a Migraine Slept Over is a great introduction to migraine for children and also informative to adults. It neatly describes what it is like to have a migraine attack, both physically and mentally, and shows children that they are not alone in living with the condition.
For support and information about migraine aimed at children and young people, take a look at our new website section here. If you are a parent/guardian, healthcare professional or you work in a school, click here for information on how to support a child with migraine.