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.