Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Book Release: My Year of Epic Rock
by Andrea Pyros
Available September 2, 2014
visit the author's website
Guest Post: Author Andrea Pyros
Andrea Pyros, author, My Year of Epic Rock
August 12, 2014
For Books by Pamela Thompson
Food Allergies & Feeling Left Out
I started working on My Year of Epic Rock, which features a main character with food allergies, right after I discovered my then one-year-old daughter had multiple allergies, including to eggs, dairy and nuts. Since she was still so young, I knew I’d be able to protect her by cooking for her, carefully reading labels and bringing her own safe foods if we were out and about, but what would happen when she got older and saw all her classmates eating birthday treats or talking about how some awesome pizza parlor that she couldn’t visit, or she had to decide whether or not to eat a snack offered to her by a teacher or friend?
What was middle school was like for kids with food allergies, I wondered. Studies show that about a third of schoolchildren with allergies are bullied because of their dietary restrictions, which is pretty awful. Being different during those years isn’t easy. You get picked on for being tall or short, the new kid, the best student or the worst. For kids with food allergies, they stand out because of what they can’t eat, and even though food allergies are increasingly common in people under 18, it can still be a lonely and isolating condition.
The thing about not fitting in, though, is that after the initial “ouch” of it, it can be really freeing. You live through having someone tease you, or not want to hang out with you anymore, and you realize you can survive and move on and make new friends and discover cool stuff about yourself. That’s what I was hoping to explore in My Year of Epic Rock. Not that food allergies suck (even though they do!), but how once you get over your desire to fit in, you might find a way to an even better place, even if you can’t eat a PB&J sandwich.