When I was eighteen, I wrote a book about my struggles with West Nile virus. Below is the summery, as appeared on Amazon:

Emily’s the sick one . . . all of the time.
Plagued with some sort of cold or fever or bizarre aches and pains for much of her life, Emily thought the dizziness and stomachaches at the start of her senior year were just another bout of “Emily flu.” But when they didn’t go away, she knew something was seriously wrong. Eventually diagnosed with the rare and incurable West Nile virus, Emily watched her senior year and the future she had planned for go up in smoke.
“I want a normal life for a teenager. I want to ache from a long day at work. I want to be so busy that I don’t have time to post on my blog. I want to run the race of life instead of being pushed along it in a wheelchair. I want to be on the ride of my life, you know?”
Because Truth Is More Fascinating Than Fiction

The book costs $8, and shipping (USA only, please) is $2.50. You can place an order by clicking the link below.

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Please add a “note to seller” if you want the book signed, and indicate who you want it signed to. If you have any questions you can email me at


40 responses to “Book

  1. Catherine Yoder

    Emily – Just wanted you to know I enjoyed reading your book. I sneaked into the BMA convention during a session just to get it! I saw you sitting on the bleachers, but didn’t want to interrupt for an autograph :). You did a good job, sharing honestly from the heart. And I’m really glad you are feeling better now! It will be so interesting to see how God uses your talents and the story of your illness to impact lives. Maybe you will be able to see a “however…” through this book. I know my mom was in bed for months three or four different times with rheumatic fever and it does shape a person’s life even when they are healthy again. Keep writing!
    Catherine Yoder


  2. I’m 13, and though I have no idea why, it seems amazing to be posting something to the author of a book I read. You remind me of myself, naming inanimate objects and making up stories. I don’t know how long I could last being sick, considering I thought I panicked when I was sick for only a week. I like cats, thinking, theater, drawing, and being with friends. I have no idea why i’m telling you this, as I will probably never get a response. I will share about the book with my neighbor Katrina, as she might read it. Victoria would get bored, as it’s not exicting, and Courtney only reads manga. But Katrina will probably like it, I think.


    • Hey Jane! I have no idea why, but it seems amazing to be replying to a comment left by girl I don’t know who read my book!.That is so awesome that you like so many of the same things I do. And thanks for sharing my book with your neighbor!


  3. I wish I had known that you don’t get the profits when your book sells in the stores! I would have waited to buy it, had I known. 😦 That you don’t receive any profits when the stores sell your books makes no sense to me, as i know nothing about publishing and selling books.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Do you think you’ll write any other book in the future? I will definitely buy them if you do.


  4. i bought your book and as i write this it is sitting on the bottom of my bookshelf next to a dusty copy of stargirl. It was most definetly not the worst thing ive ever read, not even close. Actually, it was a bit funny in parts, and the ending doesnt make you pull out your hair in frustration at the author.Congratulations on a succesful first book, emily.


  5. Hi! I’m 12 years old. I just wanted to let you know. I read your book and i loved it! It was so inspiring. It must be hard to deal with that. Your book also inspired me to realize I need to post more about me on my blog. LOL. Your a great author and i really hope in the future that you write more books! 🙂


  6. Ps. I looooooove reading! So I also don’t understand why people don’t like it.


  7. Oh my goodness!! I love your book, Emily! I am on page 79 and love it so far! It is soo interesting. And you are such a good writer! I think everyone in the world should read your book!


  8. i love your book! im going to do this book for one of myy book reportss!


  9. I read your book and it was so good. It was very inspiring and I really enjoyed it. 🙂


  10. Hey Emily, so long since I saw you, but I just got done reading your book yesterday!! Totally love it especially since I can hear you talking when I read it!! Um one of my cousins would like to buy the book. So what does address does she need to send money? Like I said if you ever get that next book written let me know! Love ya


  11. ok i know i left a comment already (if you read it) but i don’t care anyway i enjoyed your book. All the way over here in California haha so yeah i love the fact that you’re so young and you already have a book (hehe) even though i’m only 13 haha. so yeah the book is awesome and i’m doing a book report on it


  12. please go there i just started 🙂


  13. Hey!! I just finished your book today and can I tell you that it’s absolutely amazing?? I can’t evem imagine what you’ve been through and still go through, you’re inspiring! I discovered your book in my library and it was great. Thanks for being so strong and sharing your story. I share some of your same thoughts, so you’re not the only one! 🙂 I still don’t see how people don’t like reading. Continue writing and being the wonderful person I’m sure you are!


  14. Hi Emily, I just got a signed copy of your book via Jess Heatwole. I am anxious to read it. Thanks bunches! Coleen B.


  15. Hi Emily,

    I loved your book. It was completely different from anything I’d ever read before, and I loved it. Although all the books in this series are really good, yours was by far my favorite. Keep writing!


  16. Dear Emily,
    I don’t know why but I thought that it would be very interesting for you to know that your book has its readers not only across the US, but in Central Asia (Kazakhstan in particular) too.
    Keep inspiring people across the globe.


  17. Hi, I’m Kate and I’m 13. I really enjoyed reading your book. It was a big inspiration. I guess I’m sick too, but doctors don’t know what I have and probably never will. I read your book shortly after getting out of the hospital. It was an inspiration to read what you wrote in times of your sickness. Maybe I could do something important like write a book to inspire others someday. Anyway, I really hope you keep writing so I can read! 🙂


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  19. Hi! I just read your book, (I read all in the series) and I love your writing style, and how your book is kinda like a blog, except in book form, which is awesome because it combines some of my favourite activities into one! I have a blog too! (But I’m kinda mental so some of the posts are a bit morbid.) I’m from New Zealand, and I love list making, and observing random things like how people write or drive etc. I could not imagine living with a sickness like what you’ve been through, but I wish you well for the rest of your years! (Even though I’m only 14, makes me sound mature which I’m not).

    Thanks for giving me such a good read!


  20. Shannon Fleming

    I really enjoyed your book. im doing a project on it in my english class and i was wondering if you can explain to me how the cane looks in the book, i had to borrow it from the library, Thanks! 🙂


  21. Hi Emily,
    I just finished your book for a graduate project I am doing on young adult literature. It was a very inspiring story and reminded me so much of what my son went through with his primary immune deficiency. His immune system doesn’t work right, so he had also been sick with the “Emily flu” for much of his life. 🙂 It was certainly hard at times not understanding why he was sick so often, so severely, and with such rare infections. I will be using your book as part of a book talk on overcoming chronic illness for teens. Good luck with your next book!


  22. Emily, I LOVE your book. I’m in WVa., and I’m doing a book report about your book, Emily. Reading this book, I feel that it’s about me, smoetimes. And a funny thing is, that I’m studing to be a nurse and I’m reading a about the West Nile Virus in it. Plus, reading this book, is really helping me to not take stuff to easy. So, thank you Emily for writing a book about this and your life with it.


  23. Emily, I love your book! I am in MN and doing a speech on your book. I picked this book and loved reading it!! Your book is very inspiring to me. Thank you for writing it…:) Good luck on your plans for the future and I look forward to you next book. My sister who never reads is going to start reading it… anway thank you


  24. I loved your book! I was wondering…who is the girl on the cover? ;P


  25. Hi Emily, I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experience with the world. My daughter who is 16yrs old has been sick for the last seven years with Lyme disease and possibly WNV as well, and has missed many years of school. Today we read your book and she cried with relief because it made her feel like she is not alone in her struggle. She also laughed out loud with joy and I thank you for that as well. You are a hero Emily. I wish you improved health and happiness.


  26. Hey, Emily 🙂

    I just ran across your book in audio form on Audible UK, looking for something to get with my credits this month. The woman who reads it, Khristine Hvam, is really good at what she does, and she’s read a few other things I like, so I was looking for more things she’d narrated, and ran across your story. I don’t normally go for memoirs, but from someone who got sick at the kind of age you did… it’s familiar to me, because while I had health issues from age six or seven, it was only my mid-teens when it started to really hit me hard.

    I’m 28, now, and a full-time wheelchair user – though unlike your summary, I get around without being pushed, as my chair is electric. It has to be – I live by myself with my cat, and have visiting carers to help me out where I need it. My primary (physical) condition is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is multi-systemic; I have more than 80 joint dislocations every day, blackouts from low blood pressure, and am on a lot of morphine. That’s just the start of it, but I won’t go into further detail in a comment. The Wikipedia article’s surprisingly accurate on this one (I have type 3).

    To be entirely realistic, I will never be well again, nor even much better than I am today if I’m lucky – my primary condition is not well-known in medical circles, and there’s so little research about it that even if a genetic treatment is found in my lifetime, for me the damage is done – 20+ years of it. (Mostly because the doctors spent 15 years writing me off as a hypochondriac before I found one who would actually listen and who figured out what was up.) But you know what? That doesn’t matter! (Well, unless I’m having a bad bipolar day.) I may not be able to work or even to get out of bed sometimes, but I do everything I can to live my life as much and as well as I can stand to, and take the chances while I can – and to watch other people get where they want to be always makes me happy for them. Like you 🙂 How are you getting on nowadays, if I may ask? From what I’ve seen here, you seem to be doing pretty well now 🙂 and I’m really glad of that. Good luck, Emily! 🙂


    • Hey xaedere!

      I was blessed by your comment. I love your optimistic attitude about life.

      I am doing quite well now, especially if I compare myself to my past instead of my super-healthy college student peers. 🙂 I recovered from West Nile and have been able to live a normal life. I still get tired easily, and sick easily, but I’m fine as long as I get plenty of rest and keep myself from becoming too busy.

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I hope you can recover despite the odds, and that you can have a rewarding and interesting life despite your illness.

      Emily Smucker

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Pingback: “Do you think you’ll write any other book in the future?” And other questions, answered. | The Girl in the Red Rubber Boots

  28. It’s very kind of you to say so, Emily. I’m sorry I’ve not commented much since my first, or replied to this before, but I’m terrible at keeping track of my WordPress password and am always losing it. I have been keeping track of your blog by email newsletters though! 🙂

    My real name is Tria, and I go by Trialia most everywhere else online, so you’re welcome to just call me Tria if you like. 🙂 Xaedere is the name of a Dryad character I used to write about when doing online fantasy roleplaying, actually.

    I try to be optimistic about life. I can’t always manage it – depression will do that to you – but I do my best. I’m a disability rights and anti-austerity activist in my own country, and since the government here are doing their best to deprive disabled people who can’t work to the point that many have starved or committed suicide, that’s not easy, but needful work.

    I have a lot of family stress about my health – my middle aunt holds me in thinly-veiled contempt because on the rare occasions she meets me in person I always seem to be discussing my health with my (one remaining) grandmother, but since I see Nana only once or twice a year and she does ask about it, of course I’m going to answer her and be honest about it all, however optimistic or pessimistic I may feel at any given time. And my aunt doesn’t like that at all.

    I think partly because my late mother was quite private about her fight with cancer (she was in and out of remission for 14 years), my aunt believes my sister and I should be the same about our ill health. What she misses is that the disorder my sister and I share (it’s genetic) is rarely-diagnosed and has very few specialists, so we have to self-advocate a lot, and raising awareness with the general public is super important, especially because people with EDS generally look perfectly well, and that gets us mistreated a lot by the public, medical professionals who aren’t HCTD or EDS specialists (most of them – it took me 15 years to find an accurate diagnosis), and our own government, who know even less than most. 😦 I’ve been physically assaulted 3 or 4 times (depending on how you count it), just in the last 5 years.

    I use Facebook to vent a lot, and I think since that and my grandmother’s are about the only places that aunt ever sees either of us, she gets a skewed opinion of us. I just wish she’d be more open about it instead of just pretending to be supportive and ignoring everything I say unless she gets too annoyed to skip commenting. She never even responds to my comments on her posts, but if I defriended her she’d probably kick up hell. You know the kind of family member? *sigh*

    Anyway, I do what I can, and I suppose my view on my own life is fairly positive (though the government don’t think so – they think that because I have come to terms with never being fit to work again, that I’m lazy and don’t have a positive outlook towards working. But why ought I to have, if working again would most likely get me killed?! I think my outlook on me working is a healthy one for me, since it’s about staying alive! =P) compared to many I’ve seen. Especially people like the businessman who approached me in the street a few weeks ago JUST to say “I’d hang myself rather than end up in one of them”, referring to my wheelchair. My chair has given me greater mobility than I ever had with a cane, and far more than I’d have had without it at this stage. That’s partly why I loathe the term “wheelchair-bound” – my chair sets me free, to some extent.

    Stay safe and happy, Emily. I’m glad to hear you’re so much better. 🙂

    Tria x


  29. Emily I would like to purchase your back ok but want to make sure you get the most profit possible, what is the best way to buy your book that will result n the largest benefit to you?


  30. Sorry, ” your book”


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  32. Will you forgive me if I point out that “summery” ought to be “summary” in that context?



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