Cilie Yack is Under Attack! By Caryn Talty

If you have celiac disease like me, you’re probably aware of the abundance of resource guides available on the market. Many of these have proved to be invaluable to the celiac community, but there remains a segment of the celiac population who haven’t been able to benefit as we have from such books—children. Thanks to Caryn Talty, a former schoolteacher living in Chicago, celiac kids now have not only an informative resource, but a creative and entertaining one at that—Cilie Yack is Under Attack! This fictional book follows the adventures of the Irish boy Cilie Yack, who experiences an array of misadventures before being diagnosed with celiac disease and becoming a young, gluten-free master chef.

This chapter book, written for ages 5 to 11, draws its strength from its charming main character, Cilie Yack, who is funny as well as honest and open about even the most  awkward details of celiac disease (one of the chapters is named “Poop Talk”). By hearing his own story as a celiac kid, including his symptoms, what testing is like, what happens when he breaks the gluten-free diet, and the adjustments his family makes, kids will not only absorb vital information about living with celiac disease, but they’ll never forget it! Uniquely set in County Clare, Ireland, where Cilie lives on a dairy farm, the book is sure to fascinate kids interested in learning about other cultures. Cilie takes care to explain the Irish and Gaelic terms and customs so that children won’t be confused.

Caryn Talty wrote this book from her heart after her oldest child was diagnosed with celiac disease and it was found by food allergy testing that he needed to eliminate 15 foods from his diet. Already feeling overwhelmed and isolated, she grew even more distressed after failing to find a support group for her son that met his needs. Then one momentous night, the character of Cilie Yack was born in Talty’s imagination.

After reading Cilie Yack, you can’t help but want to stay connected to this enchanting character. Lucky for us, Cilie announces his online cooking club, Cilie Yack’s Sous Club (, designed for kids ages 5 to 11 with food allergies or celiac disease, but kids without special dietary needs are welcome to join as well. The club allows members to organize their own local social cooking club with an emphasis on gluten-free cooking with recipes free of the most prevalent eight allergens as well as corn.

Cilie Yack will be sure to inspire your celiac child to become a gluten-free chef himself. Thankfully Talty, the President of Cilie Yack’s Sous Club for Kids, has given kids with food allergies the opportunity to follow in this delightful character’s footsteps.


Tina Turbin



Posted in Advice, Children's Author, Children's Book, Children's Health, Childrens' Literature, Education, gluten-free, healthy eating, moms
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13 Responses to Cilie Yack is Under Attack! By Caryn Talty

  1. Trudy Williams says:

    Oh cool we aren’t gluten free though or have celiac disease but if I hear of anyone having celiac, I’ll make sure to recommend them this book. What a creative idea!

  2. Diane L. says:

    Our daughters Leia and Lauren (twins, age 9) were diagnosed with celiac two years ago and back then there were absolutely no resources that I could find. Since then there have been so many pamphlets and a few books too that are directed toward children. I am so excited about this book and am ordering it for them. They will love the fictional story I’m sure and hopefully they’ll get motivated to start cooking on their own!

  3. D says:

    Aw what a cute sounding story! I like that it takes place in another country. Cool!

  4. Elizabeth Gill says:

    I actually read this earlier this year with my son who was diagnosed with celiac disease at the end of last year. They had a copy in his doctor’s office that someone had brought in. We found it very cute. My son is eleven and it was a great level for him to read. It has separate chapters and a lot of text as well as some pictures. It’s definitely for older kid readers to read all by themselves but you could read it to younger kids I’m sure but probably not younger than 7. There is also a cooking club as Tina mentions in her review. We went to the website once and it looked well done, but we never signed up. Anyway, I highly recommend the book and probably the website will be helpful too.

  5. Shelly Barnes says:

    Ooh this looks like a fun one! I agree I like the fact that it takes place in ireland. Is it just me or does like every one I meet (and me too!) want to visit Ireland? What is our obsession with that place anyway? So I’m sure it’s a terrific setting for a children’s book because both kids and parents will be so interested in where Cilie is growing up!

  6. Shelly Barnes says:

    Just wanted to add that I ended up ordering the book for my 10-year-old son and he loved it! So glad we discovered our favorite children’s author (that would be YOU, Ms. Tina Turbin) is also celiac! Great recommendation. Highly recommend it.

  7. Sylvia Sylmar says:

    CUTE!!! I have to get this. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like such a great find and I don’t know how I would’ve ever heard of it if I hadn’t looked at your blog.

  8. Lori says:

    Ok wow I can’t believe how adorable this book is! I am totally going to get it @Shelly thanks for the recommendation and thanks Tina as always for your wonderful reviews and suggestions.

  9. Abbie Weathers says:

    This cooking club sounds great because it’s an online support group for kids with food allergies not just an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten plus you don’t always have a group in your area to meet with and also kids should have some experience with being online doing constructive things. I am excited to be a part of it and hope it turns out well.

  10. Hilary Jackman says:

    We finally read this and LOVED it! It was even better than I thought. The best part was that my 9 year old Evan read it all on his own too and started telling me about how he wants to be really good at baking gluten free things just like Cilie Yak. HIGHLY recommended!

  11. Mary Lou says:

    A fantastic book!!! I highly recommend it as well. So imaginative. Celiac kids shouldn’t be deprived of imaginative children’s literature; when I read this, I thought, “Well, it’s about time!” Of course, leave it to an acclaimed children’s author and gluten-free advocate Ms. Turbin to give such a great recommendation!

  12. Natalie says:

    I had the opportunity to read this in our doctor’s office. It was in the waiting area and I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed it myself! Then I borrowed it and read it to our 6 year old daughter and she really enjoyed it as well. I liked that it wasn’t too long and the fact that Cilie is from another country makes it really fun to read!

  13. Susan McClinton says:

    I couldn’t resist leaving a glowing recommendation of my own: This book ROCKS! It’s so adorable, the character of Celie Yak is so lovable, the setting in Ireland is charming, and the information is highly palatable for young kids. My son and daughter (just my son is celiac) both read this book each–they are 8 and 10–and they really liked it a lot. We have lent it out several times already and always the parents say their kids loved it too. So Ms. Turbin has recommended a fine book here that your kids should absolutely read!

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