Ravyn’s Doll by Melissa Swanson

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This week’s review is Ravyn’s Doll: How to explain fibromyalgia to your child by Melissa Swanson. One of my favorite ways to rest is by curling up with a good book. Like movies and music, all genres appeal to me, and I give all my books a shot. There are a few ways I find new books to read: Goodreads, my two book clubs, friends’ recommendations, and browsing the internet. My favorite author is Greg Iles, and the books I am most interested in reading are nonfiction books about the Holocaust.

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Ravyn’s Doll

There are limited kids books that explain what fibromyalgia is, let alone in the way that Melissa explains it in Ravyn’s Doll. My kids love her book, but it’s my youngest daughter’s favorite book.

About the book

Melissa’s children’s book is based on Ravyn, a little girl in kindergarten whose mom is living with fibromyalgia. Ravyn’s class is having a health lesson on sickness, and the school nurse asks the students to make a paper doll representing a family member who is sick. When Ravyn shows her paper doll, her doll doesn’t appear to be sick like her classmates’ paper dolls.  She then explains fibromyalgia, what it means, and how she helps her mom with her illness. 

Through the use of vibrant colors, children’s language, and lovable characters, Melissa creates a reliable resource for fibro parents to explain fibromyalgia to their children. The story opens the door to a conversation about the illness and how it affects the entire family in terms of symptoms and help. It goes a step further to show children that illness can’t always be seen, and there are various ways for a person to be sick.

In addition to her book, Melissa has created a coloring book, Ravyn’s Doll: How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Your Child: The Coloring Book, and is available for purchase on Amazon. The International Support Fibromyalgia Network is raising awareness for the fibromyalgia community by connecting individuals around the world through Ravyn’s Doll. To share your fibromyalgia story, video, and/or photo, visit www.RavynsDoll.com.

About the Author

Taken from Amazon:

“Melissa is a chronic pain patient, advocate, and author. Through her Fibro Warriors ~ Living Life Facebook page and blog, she offers positive encouragement, medical information, resources, and support to 18,000+ fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients. In addition, Melissa is a writer for ProHealth.com and the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association’sAdvocate Voice newsletter. She has also served as editor and writer for Living Well with Fibromyalgia magazine.

ChronicPainDisorders.com and Healthline have both named Melissa’s blog as one of the Best Fibromyalgia Blogs. Healthline says, “This Blog has just about everything you need to read on the pain and exhaustion brought on by the illness. Look for treatments, must-reads, facts, and more. This married, full-time working mom is a true warrior against the debilitations of fibro.”

Melissa is a graduate of the Leaders Against Pain Scholarship Training, sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, and the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute. She is a member of the Leaders Against Pain Action Network. Melissa works with clients as a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor helping them learn tools to live with the chronic illness fibromyalgia. If you’re looking for a cheerleader to be in your corner with a little bit of “tough love” when needed, Melissa is the one for you. She understands the struggles of trying to balance family life and work while living with the challenges of fibromyalgia and its evil sidekicks.”


My Thoughts

This book speaks volumes to how much our kids pay attention to parents. They see what we do and what we don’t do. It’s important for our kids to understand why we can’t do a lot of things our kids want us to do. It’s more of a ‘can’t’ rather than ‘don’t’. Using the school setting as a teaching environment was a great idea. Having the kids compare illness and the ways people get sick was brilliant as well. Some you can see and some you can’t see – a concept few adults can grasp let alone our children. Fibromyalgia was explained well in kids terms in which they can understand – and even included the pronunciation – along with vibrant colors and likable colors.
This is a must read for any fibro parent! It leads to the ongoing discussion of fibromyalgia, and allows children to grasp the concept of an invisible illness.


I gave this book 5 out of five stars.


Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

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