Jenna is having a tough time in middle school. She just turned 12, she hates gym, and she's overweight. Jenna has good friends and cool hobbies, but when some of her classmates make fun of her, she just feels so bad! And to make things worse, when Jenna feels sad or mad or stressed out, she starts to eat and she just can't stop!

Through Jenna's story, kids will learn how to say goodbye to emotional eating and hello to a healthy lifestyle. They'll see how to create an action plan to stop overeating before it starts, identify emotional triggers that push them to food, and get healthier by taking better care of their bodies and minds.

About the Author

Lynn R. Schechter, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her doctoral degree from Columbia University.

Dr. Schechter has long been interested in issues related to overweight and obesity in children and has provided therapy and behavioral interventions to many overweight children and their families. She was inspired to write My Big Fat Secret when a search to find a children's book to help overweight children yielded no results. She strongly believes that tackling the emotional eating component that contributes to compulsive eating is an essential but often ignored aspect of the complex problem of childhood overweight and obesity.

About the Illustrator
Jason Chin grew up in New Hampshire, where he was given his first glimpse into the life of an illustrator by his friend and mentor, the acclaimed illustrator Trina Schart Hyman. He attended Syracuse University and, after graduating with a BFA in Illustration, moved to New York City. Redwoods, the first book he wrote and illustrated, has received starred reviews and is a Junior Library Guild 2009 selection. Jason has illustrated several other books for children, including The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester. Jason lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Reviews & Awards
  • Moonbeam Children's Book Award for Health Issues (Silver)

Jenna, 12, is overweight and having trouble adjusting to middle school. Despite having good friends and fun hobbies, she can't shake off the mean-spirited taunts from some of her peers. Written as e-mails between Jenna and her friends, family, teacher, and school counselor, the text chronicles the girl's journey from an emotionally out-of-control eater to a happier, healthier adolescent. Help that includes healthy recipes from her dad and an action plan and a list of emotional triggers to watch for from her counselor puts her on the path to better control of her emotions and eating. The email format and overall art design — colorful cartoons depict Jenna and her correspondents — will appeal to tweens.
School Library Journal