For children who live with a chronic illness, each day is filled with endless treatments, painful symptoms, confusion, and embarrassment. How can an eight-year-old girl understand diabetes, let alone explain to her schoolmates why she has to leave class to have her blood tested? How can the father of a child with asthma ever sleep soundly through the night with the fear that his son may suffocate in the next room? In this book, Cindy Dell Clark tells the stories of children who suffer from two common illnesses that are often underestimated by those not directly touched by them-asthma and diabetes. She describes how play, humor, and other expressive methods, invented by the children themselves, allow families to cope with the pain. Her interviews with forty-six families give readers an understanding of how children comprehend their illnesses and how parents struggle to care for their sons and daughters while trying to give them a "normal" childhood. Chronically ill children are at a greater risk of developing mental health or social adjustment problems than their peers, and asthma has been gaining ground in both incidence and fatality in recent years. This eye-opening work emphasizes the importance of improving the lives of these children by understanding their perspectives, both imagined and real. In Sickness and in Play is part of the Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies edited by Myra Bluebond-Langner. Cindy Dell Clark is an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County and author of Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith: Children's Myths in Contemporary America.