Author Chat with John Schu (Louder Than Hunger), Plus Giveaway! ~ US/CAN ONLY!

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author John Schu!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: John Schu

John Schu is the author of the acclaimed picture books This Is a School, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, and This Is a Story, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo. He also wrote the adult study The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for his dynamic interactions with students and his passionate adoption of new technologies as a means of connecting authors, illustrators, books, and readers. Children’s librarian for Bookelicious, part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and former Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, Mr. Schu—as he is affectionately known—continues to travel the world to share his love of books. He lives in Naperville, Illinois. You can find him at and on social media @MrSchuReads.

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About the Book: Louder Than Hunger

Jake volunteers at a nursing home because he likes helping people. He likes skating and singing, playing Bingo and Name That Tune, and reading mysteries and comics aloud to his teachers. He also likes avoiding people his own age . . . and the cruelty of mirrors . . . and food. Jake has read about kids like him in books—the weird one, the outsider—and would do anything not to be that kid, including shrink himself down to nothing. But the less he eats, the bigger he feels. How long can Jake punish himself before he truly disappears? A fictionalized account of the author’s experiences and emotions living in residential treatment facilities as a young teen with an eating disorder, Louder than Hunger is a triumph of raw honesty. With a deeply personal afterword for context, this much-anticipated verse novel is a powerful model for muffling the destructive voices inside, managing and articulating pain, and embracing self-acceptance, support, and love.

“Every so often a book comes along that is so brave and necessary, it extends a lifeline when it’s needed most. This is one of those books.” —Katherine Applegate, author of the Newbery Medal–winning, The One and Only Ivan

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~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

In March 2021, Jake Stacey started talking to me during a flight from New York City to Chicago. His voice was very clear. It felt as though he was sitting next to me. Poems poured out of my heart. Poems based on my own experiences with anorexia nervosa, anxiety, and depression. Poems that helped heal my heart.


YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I’m usually super hard on myself, but there are so many scenes I’m proud of in Louder Than Hunger.

Scenes that were painful to write.

Scenes that made me laugh.

Scenes that made me cry.

But the scene I’m most proud of takes place in Unabridged Books in Chicago.

It is a turning point in the story.

It was the most joyful and fun poem to write.

YABC: If you could only write one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

This Is a Story, written by me and illustrated by Lauren Castillo, is a poem.

This Is a School, written by me and illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, is a poem.

Louder Than Hunger is a novel in verse.

Picture books that haven’t been announced yet are all poems.

My answer to your question is POETRY.

I love, love poetry.

YABC:   What can readers expect to find in your books?

I think about the words heart and connection A LOT. They are on my mind and heart in everything I do, especially when I am writing and reading and presenting. I hope readers expect to find heart and moments of connection in my work.

YABC: What is your favorite snack when writing?

My favorite snack is Cretors Cheese and Caramel Popcorn Mix. You can buy a big bag at Costco.


YABC: Did you listen to anything while writing this book?

Music plays an important role in Louder Than Hunger.

Music plays an important role in my life.

Music helps me write.

I made MANY playlists while writing and revising Louder Than Hunger.

Playlists that helped me better connect with my thirteen-year-old self.

Playlists filled with songs sung by Alanis Morrisette, Ani DiFranco, Jewel, Tina Turner, Tracy Chapman, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and many more artists who inspire me.

You might be wondering if I’m listening to music as I answer these wonderful questions.

Yes! I’m listening to Sara Bareilles.


YABC:   What do you do when you procrastinate?

This question made me laugh out loud!

Scroll! Scroll! Scroll!

I scroll on Instagram.

I scroll on Twitter.

I scroll on Facebook.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

Holly Hatam and I have a picture book about poetry and possibilities coming out in 2025! Holly’s art makes me SMILE from ear to ear. I’m excited for you to see it!




Title: Louder Than Hunger

Author: John Schu

Release Date: March 5, 2024

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN-13: 9781536229097

Genre: Middle Grade fiction

Age Range: 10 – 14




*Giveaway Details*


Five (5) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Louder Than Hunger (John Schu) ~ US/CAN Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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6 thoughts on “Author Chat with John Schu (Louder Than Hunger), Plus Giveaway! ~ US/CAN ONLY!”

  1. poohnurse1 says:

    So excited for this book. Thank you for a chance.

  2. madeleine says:

    Would love to read this

  3. ltecler says:

    Looking forward to reading this.

  4. This book is a must read for me.

  5. This is a cute cover and sounds like a great story that my daughter and I will both love!

Comments are closed.