A new youth novel aims to teach Native American children about type 2 diabetes, a disease that strikes adults and has become epidemic among the native community.

Coyote and the Turtle's Dream is being released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of a book series that started in 2005 with the publication of Through the Eyes of the Eagle. The characters are now middle school students tracking down a fossil poacher on their reservation.

Native Americans aged 10 to 19 are developing type 2 diabetes at higher rates than youth in other racial and ethnic groups of this age, according to a CDC statement on the book.

The youth novel follows 12-year-old Rain who tracks down strange vanishings on the Medicine Cave Indian Reservation including missing turtle fossils, a dried up reservoir and a missing middle school student.

Rain and his friends apply both Native and western science to avert the disruption of the reservation's ecology, an implicit metaphor for maintaining metabolic balance in the human body, CDC officials wrote in a book introduction.

Books are frequently used to teach children about healthy habits and chronic illnesses.

I can just acclaim the existence of more material such as the 'Coyote and the Turtle's Dream' book which aim to educate children about type 2 diabetes, Jeannette Bryant, children's author and publisher with youth-oriented KBA Publishing, wrote IBTimes in an email. Her own books cover health topics ranging from obesity to abuse. I think it is a great idea to have this book out there for our children.

Paul Kramer, author of Maggie Goes on a Diet and Maggie Eats Healthier, about a 14-year-old girl who decides to lose weight lauded the new book.

If this book can help even some children to prevent them at this time and change their lifestyle to prevent them from eventually getting diabetes that would be a really wonderful thing, Kramer said.

Coyote and the Turtle's Dream is free and can be ordered online through the CDC's website or by phone. Youth programs can request up to 50 copies of the book.

The ordering page can be found here.