Three, two, one….my book!

I’ve been living two lives. One as myself. One as Mrs. Q.

I’m merging my identities in October with the release of my book: Fed Up With Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches. Yes, I will be revealing myself. You will see my face! Finally, right? You guys have been so wonderfully patient.

When I started the blog in January 2010, I did it on a whim. I acted on a crazy thought, “What if I blogged and ate my way through a calendar year of school lunches?” I wanted to create a public record of the food I found in the cafeteria. The students and I were insiders: no one saw what we did. I vowed to eat school lunch like them and shared everything with the internet.

I blogged anonymously to protect my job, but I figured no one would ever stumble upon my blog. However, when I auto-tweeted my blog posts into the void, someone searching for school lunch found me. Last year the blog went viral. Then the idea of a book came up.

A book? How in the world would I find the time to write a book and work and parent and cook and blog? I conferred with my blogging consultants: my husband and my mom. They said, “Go for it! You’ll find a way and we’ll help with child care.”

Then the book people wanted me to reveal myself. Oh boy, really? I like being employed. And it’s just so comfortable to be anonymous — not scary like real life is.

While I was debating the pros and cons of a book, I saw my students’ faces in the lunch line and I thought back to the blog’s original purpose: to raise awareness about school lunch. Isn’t that why I did all this? So I agreed to write a book. I could reach more people.

And here we are: the book will be released in just about three weeks.

But are you wondering “If I read your blog last year, haven’t I read everything already?” Well, no. I’ve left out quite a bit here on the blog.

I’m going to tell you all about how I did it and I’ll describe what the school cafeteria is really like. I’ll talk about how much I love lunch ladies and why the lunch period needs to be longer –and integrated with what’s happening in the classroom. I’ll be talking about everything I’ve learned about food and ingredients and what I love about my job and my students. I’ll discuss the why so many schools are dropping recess and why that needs to stop. I’ll cover advocacy in your school — what you can do to change school lunch in your community.

While the blog has felt impersonal to some, the book feels personal as I’ll share more about my little family and my upbringing (as it relates to food) as well as some other surprising things about me…

A few months ago Chronicle Books mailed me a couple advance reader copies. Paging through them, I saw tons of redactions where my name or location was mentioned. It felt like a classified document. When I sat down to read my words, I was overcome with emotion. Any doubt I had about whether this whole thing was a good idea evaporated. If I do say so myself, it was good. Even though I wrote it myself, I couldn’t put the book down. If you decide to read my book, I hope you will feel inspired by my story to take action on behalf of children.

More big announcements coming soon!

Fed Up With Lunch is available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Chronicle Books. Pre-order is convenient because you lock in the cheapest price (sometimes book prices fluctuate) and it will be mailed out to your house directly.

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75 Responses to Three, two, one….my book!

  1. Lori September 13, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    congratulations — i hope MANY people read it and it leads to some serious change!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

      Thank you! So do I!

  2. Sara September 13, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Can’t wait to read it! This is our first year dealing with school lunches, and your blog has been a huge inspiration for me 🙂

    • Sara September 13, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      Also-I just pre-ordered it on Amazon 🙂

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

      Wow, I’m flattered. I really hope you enjoy the book!

  3. Amy H September 13, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Congratulations!!! I’ve been reading since the beginning, and I can’t wait to read the book – good for you!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      I think if you’ve been reading since the beginning, the book is a satisfying end to the project itself. You’ll have to let me know what you think!

  4. Kim September 13, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Congratulations! Not only have you moved forward the discussion of school lunches, you have also been a shining, tangible example of a teacher who cares. Teachers have been punching bags this year. I am proud to be the granddaughter, niece and wife of educators. I do not know anyone who went into or stayed in teaching because it was easy or profitable. Teachers believe in the potential of our children…thank you.

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      Thank you so much. That’s exactly what my dad has said (that I’m an example of what’s right in education). Let’s hope others feel that way too!

  5. Rebecca September 13, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Yeah! I can’t wait to read the book. I love the blog. This would make an awesome christmas gift for parents of children in school.

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      I guess that’s why the publisher wanted the book to come out in October — initially, I was hoping for this past summer! Thanks so much!

  6. Central Restaurant Products September 13, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Congratulations on the book! We wish you all the success in the world. There’s no doubt this will be the hot new book just like the blog.

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      Thank you so much! You are too kind!

  7. Stepshep September 13, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    I haven’t been anticipating a book coming out so much since I was at a midnight release for HP7. woo!!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      I wish I knew what HP7 stood for, but I think that’s a good thing! 🙂 Thanks, Stepshep!!

      • Zara September 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

        Harry Potter 7! I would go to a midnight release for your book if I could, Mrs. Q!

  8. Krisfromparis! September 13, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    This is very exciting, Mrs. Q!!!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      For you and me both! 🙂

  9. Miranda September 13, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Will it be available in e-book format? I read most things on my Nook color, so I would like it if I could read your book that way too! If not, of course I will buy the paper book, because, well, how could I NOT buy it? How could I NOT support your efforts, after being able to read and learn and wonder here on your blog?

    Thanks again Mrs Q, for what you do for kids, for what you’ve done for me (open my eyes to so much) and for what you do in general. And congratulations on the book, I hope it sells wonderfully and brings you great success and happiness!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      I emailed the publisher about this. I’m assuming yes, but I’m waiting to hear. I will probably blog about that since so many people asked about ebook copies for Kindle and Nook. Thanks for asking and your support!

      • Laurie September 14, 2011 at 9:00 am #

        I clicked on the request this book in Kindle format on Amazon. Congratulations Mrs. Q!

  10. Tre September 13, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    AWESOME!!!! I can’t wait to read it!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Thank you!! 🙂

  11. BusyChica September 13, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    You’ve done so much to bring attention to school lunches and as a parent, I personally thank you for that. I’ve enjoyed reading your journey online. I really look forward to reading a more personal take on your journey from an ordinary teacher to an anonymous pioneer towards school lunch reform. You are a shining example of a teacher who cares about the children she teaches.

    You’re work has inspired so many to become proactive in school lunch reform, think about the food we eat both at home and outside the home, and in their children’s lives beyond food.

    Congrats on your book! Wishing you all the success in the world. Sincerely hope you make the NYT Bestsellers list.

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      BusyChica — you are way too sweet! Thank you so much. My dad also says that I’m an “example of what’s right in education.” We’ll see if everyone else agrees with you guys! 🙂

  12. Kristen September 13, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    I can’t wait to read this!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it and learn something too! 🙂

  13. Lauren September 13, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    I have pre-ordered it on Amazon! I can’t wait to read it. 🙂 Congratulations!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      Thank you Lauren! I really appreciate that! I think you will love the book.

  14. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 13, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Congratulations Ms Q! I cannot wait to read it!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      Mardi! Thanks! I hope you like the book — actually I think you will!

  15. K September 13, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Congratulations! Thank you for all the hard work you are doing on this very important subject! Will your new school let you have a day off for your Today Show appearance?

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Thank you! Re: time off — I hope so!! 🙂

  16. liz September 13, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Mazel tov!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks!! It’s an exciting time for me and my husband doesn’t know what to think!

  17. Tracy September 13, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Congratulations, that’s so exciting! But I notice it’s not slated to be available for Kindle – I really hope you and your publisher decide to release an ebook version.

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      I emailed the publisher about this and I hope that they will let me know. I’m assuming they will release it on Kindle. I’ll keep you posted. Lots of people asked so I’m going to blog about it specifically when it comes online.

  18. Philippa September 13, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Congratulations, Mrs. Q – I can’t wait!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Thank you Philippa!

  19. Alejandra @ Mouthfuls and Morsels September 13, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Congratulations!!! I just pre-ordered my copy! Can’t wait to devour it! 🙂

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Alejandra, Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I think you won’t be able to put it down.

  20. Melissa September 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I just per-ordered my copy! Congratulations with the book! I can’t wait to read it!

    • Melissa September 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      *pre

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      Thanks so much Melissa! It is an exciting book — I hope you like it!

  21. Zhana September 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Congratulations, Mrs. Q! You have achieved so much in so (comparatively) little time, and have inspired thousands of people to improve their relationship with food and advocate for better school lunches. I’m sure the book will be an amazing read, and I am looking forward to seeing your real “you”!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      And I’m looking forward to finally getting out of the closet and seeing what happens next. Hopefully good things!

  22. Mom @ Mom's Magic September 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Congratulations! And thank you for all you do to raise awareness!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Thank you so much! It’s an exciting time for my family right now!

  23. Megan September 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    My aunt gave me a $30 amazon gift card for my birthday two months, and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. Now I know! Thank you for sharing your story and all you do!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Wow, Megan. I’m honored you would use your giftcard to purchase my book. Really appreciate that and I think you won’t be disappointed!

  24. Jasmine September 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I’m very excited for your book Mrs. Q. I’ve built a whole page about it to refer buyers to your book, and after it is released I plan to do a book review and add it to that page. http://www.squidoo.com/Fed-Up-with-Lunch Congrats on your book!

    • Mrs Q September 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Thanks Jasmine! Too cool! I hope that you enjoy the book and learn something too.

      • Jasmine September 15, 2011 at 3:50 am #

        Me too, I can’t wait! Good news, I’ve had one person pre-order the book because of the promotional page I built. :]

  25. Karen September 14, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    Another vote for a Kindle edition – I’ll buy it in a heartbeat. Congrats on your accomplishment!

  26. Andrew @ Eating Rules September 14, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I had goosebumps the entire time while reading your post. I’m so excited for you, and of course to read the book! I just pre-ordered.

    Also, LOVE that a spork made it on the cover. Brilliant.

    Congratulations! .

  27. alice September 14, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    i will definitely be buying your book. can’t wait to read it!! Congratulations~^^

  28. Jill in Chicago September 14, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Like many of your longtime readers, I’m looking forward to reading the book, and glad to hear it will contain information not previously included in the blog (sounds like an infomercial :))

    By the way, I’m very curious — does your new employer know about the book and the blog?

  29. Sheri in CT September 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I just pre-ordered your book on Amazon, I can’t wait to see it! Congratulations!!!

  30. Lana September 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Congratulations! As I happened to know the “real face” of Mrs.Q,, there will not be any surprises:) I wish that your book becomes the “must read” for every PTA in the country – parents need to know what’s behind the curtain:)

  31. Melissa September 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I am so excited for you!! I’ve been following you since the beginning and I am just thrilled to see how your project has evolved over time. Congrats!!

  32. Cindy September 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Very exciting!Congratulations! Love the new site design too.

  33. Aislinn September 15, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Hi! I’m a fifteen year old student and i’ve started home-schooling this past year, and i’ve been reading since pretty much the beginning. I’m appalled at the food they serve at the schools, and i cant tell you how many times i’ve gone hungry at school if i don’t pack a lunch. i check your blog every single day, I love the lunch wrap ups. i’ve been so excited for your book, as soon as i saw this post i pre-ordered it. i love what you’ve been doing and i cant wait to see the woman behind it all!

  34. Guest September 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    I think you are grand. So proud of you.

    Love,
    the one who has always been inspired by you and learned from you.

  35. Jacquelyn September 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I pre-ordered your book and can’t wait for it to arrive.

  36. Ryan Suby September 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Congratulations on the book! I hope your family situation works out for you as well. I have to be honest though, you’re a pretty stuck up bitch. 🙂

  37. Liz September 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I have been following your blog since late Jan of 2010. Food and kids eating healthy food are two topics I feel strongly about. To that end, I set my professional teaching goals with this in mind. I am cooking healthy foods in my classroom every week with my Vermont fifth and sixth graders. I hope you’ll check out my blog and suggest it to your readers.

    http://www.thisclasscooks.blogspot.com

    Thanks!
    Liz

  38. M September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    Congrats Mrs. Q!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. Glad others will be able to see what you’ve been doing too! ^_^

  39. nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma September 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    I rarely buy books, Mrs Q, because I am broke.

    But this. This is will buy.

    I was a CPS teacher.

    And school lunch is a dark and ugly place that needs to be exposed…

  40. Priya September 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    I am super-excited to buy this book. I hope you will have an option for autographing it. I am a teacher with an elementary-school child, and it absolutely horrifies me to see what children are eating. Just today I had a student in my 3rd period class who was bouncing off the walls. Asked her what she ate, she said nothing, just drank a Pepsi. From 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., just a Pepsi!! Unreal. I think I will buy an extra copy of your book and send it to my superintendent. Keep up the good work. There are many fellow teachers who are with you.

  41. Coupon Code Ava September 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Congrats! Can’t wait to read it! I stumbled upon this blog a couple of weeks ago and just now realized you are the same person who wrote the other blog. Duh! Blonde moment here..

    • Coupon Code Ava September 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Ok I just messed up that paragraph. Nevermind, I’m confusing myself, lol. Last school year I saw a news article with a link to a blog that was covering school lunches. This person took a photo everyday. Now I can’t find that blog. Is that blog you?! LOL. I am looking for those posts.

  42. CamachoLIZA September 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    I had a dream to begin my own company, nevertheless I didn’t have enough of money to do that. Thank heaven my dude suggested to take the personal loans. So I used the college loan and realized my desire.

  43. NCAA Titanium Twist Necklace 18in September 28, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    I would like this very much.can anyone help me obtain that!

  44. Bonniejean October 5, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    way to go… I am so behind you and know that food in America, especially the schools, needs to face a complete revolution….

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