Reasons to Be Happy

Reasons to Be Happy

by Katrina Kittle


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"Gripping! I was instantly swept away by Hannah's struggles and greatly inspired by her journey. This is a powerful book, and I recommend it for anyone who has ever worried about how to fit in."—Kristina McBride, author of The Tension of Opposites

Imagine your parents are beautiful famous actors and you're going through your awkward stage for all the world to see! In acclaimed author Katrina Kittle's tween debut, Hannah is the ugly duckling in a family of swans and takes drastic measures to live up to Hollywood's impossible standards.


21. Cat purr vibrating through your skin
22. Jumping on a trampoline in the rain
23. Raw cookie dough
24. Getting yourself all freaked out after a scary movie
25. Dancing like an idiot when no one is watching

What happened to the girl who wrote those things? I miss that girl. She used to be bold and fun. Now she's a big chicken loser.

How could so much change so fast?

Let's see, you could be the plain Jane daughter of two gorgeous famous people, move to a new school, have no real friends, and your mom could get sick, and, oh yeah, you could have the most embarrassing secret in the world.
Yep, that about does it.

So, the real question is, how do I get that girl back?

Praise for Katrina Kittle:
"With subtle yet shimmering insight, Kittle explores the resilience of human nature."—Booklist
"Kittle crafts a disturbing but compelling story...gripping read."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402260209
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.28(w) x 7.54(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About the Author

Katrina Kittle's reasons to be happy include 1.) her overflowing garden in Dayton, OH 2.) her fat cat Joey 3.) coffee 4.) dark chocolate 5.) zombie movies and 6.) starting every morning in her writing office doing what she loves most. She once had a goat under her bed in Ghana.

Read an Excerpt

Reasons to Be Happy:
1. Swimming with dolphins
2. Outrunning a forest f ire
3. A hot air balloon ride
4. Seeing a shark fin while surfing but making it back to the shore intact
5. Hiking by moonlight
I used to be brave.
What happened to the girl who wrote those things? The girl who left the house that morning all excited about her f irst day of eighth grade at a new school? That girl who got up way too early and flipped through her sequined purple notebook where she keeps a list of things that are good in life- things like:
20. The smell of Band-Aids
21. Cat purr vibrating through your skin
22. Hiking with Dad up on Arroyo Seco and seeing a mountain lion at dusk
23. Vampires
24. Playing with the rubbery residue after you let glue dry on your f ingers
How could so much change so fast in just one day?
Scratch that. Stupid question. Besides, it wasn't really a day. It was a summer. How could they change so fast over one summer? Let's see, you could move to a new school, be totally humiliated, have no real friends, and oh, yeah, your mom could get cancer.
Yep, that about does it. That would explain the changes. So, the harder question is: how do I get that girl back? That girl who saw so many reasons to be happy that she started to keep a list:
6. Making lists
7. Jumping on a trampoline in the rain
8. Ghost stories
9. Painting your toenails
10. Winning a race
11. Dark chocolate melting in your mouth
12. Pad thai so spicy hot it makes your nose run
I missed that girl. She used to be bold and fun. Then she became a big chicken loser. "There goes Hannah," Aunt Izzy used to say (okay, her name is really Isabelle but everyone calls her Izzy), "jumping in with both feet."
Aunt Izzy is my mom's sister. She lives in Ohio (where she and my mom grew up) in a funky purple house in this hippie town called Yellow Springs (Aunt Izzy's purple house is reason #28 on the list). Aunt Izzy makes documentary f ilms. I know, I know, documentary f ilms sound boring, but she makes good ones. Her last one won an Academy Award. My mom and dad are actors. They've never won Academy Awards, even though both of them have been nominated. They make their living in feature f ilms, which is why we live all the way in Los Angeles now.
Aunt Izzy said I "jumped in with both feet" like it was a compliment, like it was good and brave. (Which reminds me, running hurdles when you hit your stride just right is #56.) My mom, though, said I jump in with both feet like it's a very, very bad thing. "You don't have any fear," she said with this look of exasperation. But that was before I became afraid of everything. I hesitated too long before I jumped. I waited, paralyzed, thinking of all the bad things that could happen,
until the moment was gone. It was like, once I stopped risking, I lost the ability.
Like that day, my disaster of a f irst day-I hesitated too long. I let the wrong things gain momentum and there was no way to stop the avalanche.

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