Hide Sora notification

Try Sora - the student reading app, by OverDrive

Apple App Store
Google Play Store
  Main Nav
Reasons to Be Happy
Cover of Reasons to Be Happy
Reasons to Be Happy
Borrow Borrow Borrow
"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."...
"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."...
Available Formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
  • Available:
  • Library copies:

Recommended for you



  • "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


    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 The Blessings of the Animals:
    "With subtle yet shimmering insight, Kittle explores the resilience of human nature."

    Praise for The Kindness of Strangers:
    "Kittle crafts a disturbing but compelling story...gripping read."-Publishers Weekly


  • From the book 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.

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.


  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2011

    This frank tale follows a girl's journey of healing as she recovers from an eating disorder.

    Hannah's actor parents' rising-star status necessitates relocating from Ohio to the epicenter of celebrity life: LA. At her new school, Hannah encounters the B-Squad—the reigning trio of eighth-grade girls, who sit in judgment on all things hip. Suddenly, all that Hannah loves to do—running track, her art work—is deemed uncool. In the wake of this upheaval and the devastating news of her mother's terminal-cancer diagnosis, Hannah turns to her Secret Remedy—bulimia. Kittle scrutinizes how negative peer opinion can wreak havoc on a young teen's fragile self-esteem. Her sometimes graphically detailed and unflinching portrayal of bulimia explores the insidious way it can overtake a person's life both physically and emotionally. When Hannah's illness spirals out of control, Aunt Izzy, a documentary filmmaker and recovered anorexic, intervenes. Izzy takes Hannah to Africa, where she is documenting the plight of the country's orphans. Through her travels and experiences, Hannah gains a new perspective on the notion of beauty and friendship. The rather contrived healing and happy ending do not undercut the emotional intensity of Hannah's journey.

    With a forthright intensity, Kittle's tale examines a complex subject. (Fiction. 13-16)


  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2011

    Gr 6-8-Hannah used to have many reasons to be happy; so many, in fact, that she kept an ongoing list. That was before she moved to a new school and before her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hannah's new circle is not what she envisioned; the mean-girl clique disdains her two passions, running and art. Overwhelmed by her unhappy school situation, her mother's illness, and her belief that she is extremely ordinary compared to her Academy Award-nominated actor parents, the eighth grader becomes bulimic. Her initial weight loss is praised by her unsuspecting parents and her crush, but Hannah finds it increasingly difficult to purge. With many aspects of life spiraling out of control, she accompanies her aunt, a documentary filmmaker, to Ghana, where she somewhat predictably yet touchingly has a life-changing experience. Although there are many issues at play in this novel, they are all realistically drawn. Only toward the end of the story, with the addition of the Academy Awards presentation, do the multiple dramas threaten to overwhelm it. Subplots involving a clique member with a mentally challenged brother and another with cutting issues are underdeveloped. The tension and conflict between Hannah and her father is palpable. Bulimia's emotional toll is honestly portrayed, with authentically rendered scenes involving frenetic binging, purging, and food theft. With minor shortcomings, this is an honest and open story of overcoming enormous challenges. While Hannah's struggles are not over, readers can believe that she has an excellent chance of overcoming her traumas.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Reclusive Bibliophile "Middle school is hard enough without being the daughter of two celebrities. Eighth grader Hannah's parents are actors, and her aunt creates award-winning documentaries. The expectations seem pretty high in a family of "perfect" people. Hannah feels constant pressure to be "perfect," too. Though her mom says, "pretty is as pretty does," she still feels an underlying push to be physically beautiful. When her mom dies, though, Hannah turns to bulimia–her secret remedy–for support. Her eating disorder spirals out of control until her aunt, who previously suffered with anorexia, takes her to Ghana while working on a new movie. In Ghana, Hannah gains a more global perspective, discovering that ideals of beauty can be very different from one person and place to the next. Hannah's journey is ultimately about about finding your authentic self even in the most difficult circumstances, and finding people who will support you for that self. Cliche as it may be, Katrina Kittle emphasizes that beauty is what is on the inside. Kittle's Reasons to Be Happy veers to the lower end of YA, bordering on MG, as it can feel a bit simplistic at times. However, it does not shy away from the harsh realities of binging and purging, painting a graphic portrait of bulimia for young readers who are likely struggling with their own body image."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.


You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?


Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.


Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.


Enhanced Details:


Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.




There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.


The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.



Total holds:



Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.


You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.


Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.


You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.


This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.


An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.



NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Recommend this title for your digital library
Reasons to Be Happy
Reasons to Be Happy
Katrina Kittle
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
Reasons to Be Happy
Reasons to Be Happy
Katrina Kittle
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel


Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.


You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.