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 thoughts on “Three, two, one….my book!”

  1. 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 🙂

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

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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!

    1. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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”!

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

  10. 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!

    1. 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!

  11. 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! .

  12. 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?

  13. 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:)

  14. 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!!

  15. 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!

  16. I think you are grand. So proud of you.

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

  17. 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. 🙂

  18. 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

  19. 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! ^_^

  20. 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.

  21. 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..

    1. 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.

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