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As authors of "Becoming Miss Izzy," we look forward to sharing with you our press releases and information on radio, podcasts, and television interviews. Visit this page often as the word spreads about our book.

Best regards,

Sue and Mary


American Authors Sue Zook and Mary Lazarski  Announces Debut Novel “Becoming Miss Izzy”

A coming of age story perfect for middle-school summer readers, “Becoming Miss Izzy” a rare book for children

New Orleans, LA – May 29, 2019 – American authors, Sue Zook and Mary Lazarski debut their new novel, “Becoming Miss Izzy,” for middle-school students, on June 17, 2019, just in time for summer reading.  Published by Absolute Author Publishing House, “Becoming Miss Izzy” is a powerful story with a moral message. “I am so excited to share my story,” Cain told Dr. Melissa Caudle, author and senior editor with Absolute Author Publishing House who had the pleasure of editing the book. “This book is inspiring, and anyone who reads it will be touched,” Caudle said. “Both Mary and Sue are in touch with children’s needs.”

Elizabeth Ann Tantin, dubbed Miss Izzy, by her grandmother, Momo, is a ten-year-old girl like most others. She enjoys hanging with her two best friends and listening to popular music. She loves her dogs, Harmony and Hudson, and loves food even more. Is it any wonder her initials spells eat? She is ordinary enough except she worries she might be too "chubby" or maybe even fat. While fat has its own problems, something else is more worrisome. Deep inside, something makes Elizabeth think and act differently from most girls getting ready for middle school. Elizabeth can't put her finger on it. A small quiet voice in her head causes her to wonder and worry. Watching and paying attention to others often fills her day. Sometimes things make little sense to her and add to her worry and concern. Usually, she knows stuff but wonders how that is possible. Other times, she is not sure what to believe and gets confused. Does this happen to other kids, too? Am I fat? What's up with those mean kids? Am I good enough? Did the doctor say I will die? How will I survive the start of middle school? Can I become the girl of my dreams? These questions haunt her as she goes on a quest for the answers. Elizabeth experiences the worst day of her life at the end of fifth grade. Here spirits crushed by that horrible day, her mom and Momo come to the rescue. Overwhelmed and filled with doubt and fear, Elizabeth embarks on a summer adventure that will change her life forever in more ways than one. Difficult changes with yourself, friends, family, and everyone in between become easier to handle when you learn a few things in life and come to accept who you are becoming, just like Miss Izzy.


As a middle school principal, I witnessed first-hand the struggles adolescent girls have with confidence, body acceptance, and peer relationships.  I am sure middle school readers will identify with Miss Izzy and will find her story entertaining, informative, and enlightening.  I highly recommend “Becoming Miss Izzy.”  Dr. Alice Mical 

To say I related to “Becoming Miss Izzy” would be an understatement. Although I am in my fifties, I can still remember being bullied in middle school. I was overweight and was called horrible names. At one point, I had no friends because of one mean girl that everyone was afraid to stand up against. It took the courage of one student to step forward and tell everyone to leave me alone. This book has such a powerful message for any girls in the ten to the thirteen-year-old range, yet it does it in a way that is easy to understand and follow. I love that the book gives some simple tips for anyone dealing with a poor body image and low self-esteem. I would have been grateful to have this book forty years ago, but I am glad to have it now to pass along to students in the hopes that they can avoid some of the struggles I went through. All girls deserve to see the beauty within themselves and this book conveys that image in a fun and unique way! Maggie’s Momo

"Miss Izzy, the main character of “Becoming Miss Izzy,” is destined to be a best friend for any pre-adolescent struggling with the many challenges faced in elementary and middle school. Her strong support system, her mother and her grandmother Momo, provide sage advice that not only benefits Izzy but also serves as great guidance for readers as well. Izzy's struggles with anxiety, bullying, and her sense of self are sure to resonate with readers. I look forward to the continued tales of Miss Izzy as she navigates through life and provides a guidebook for her audience. Sue Zook and Mary Lazarski have carefully tackled important themes such as bullying, anxiety, self-esteem, and obesity and provided a blueprint for anyone who wishes to tackle these subjects. Zook and Lazarski have the potential for being the Judy Blume of our time, as young readers are encouraged to value themselves and demonstrate compassion towards others.”

What a breath of fresh air and a wonderful read Becoming Miss Izzy is. I personally love the honest approach to feelings and emotions that are felt within the book, a skill that needs to be nurtured in our children. The authors Sue Zook and Mary Lazarski kept the book entertaining while addressing hard topics. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Annemarie Sampson CPT

Many girls entering middle school may relate to “Becoming Miss Izzy.” She has many feelings and worries about obesity, self-confidence, and bullying. Miss Izzy writes in her journal questions and thoughts that young middle schoolers may find it refreshing to know that they are not alone. What I really liked is the fun, fictional story-line offering realistic strategies to eating healthy, exercising, and dealing with friendships. Pre-teens and parents can pick up this book and read with ease. I highly recommend this book! Judy H.

It was so fun to read “Becoming Miss Izzy” through the eyes of a child who is facing "grown-up" issues. There was so much wisdom and so many valuable tools shared to help any adult or child dealing with numerous issues, weight, self-esteem, bullying, finding one's voice, family support, mother-daughter communication, and community support. 
Becoming Miss Izzy” is a book for all ages even if written for children. Excited to hear that there will be more Miss Izzy adventures. Fun and fast read. Kudos to the authors. Sheran Mattson, PsyD


Sue Zook, Ed.D. served for over thirty-five years in public education as a teacher, mentor, building and district leader, and curriculum program developer. During that time, she helped thousands of children embrace a love for learning and a healthier lifestyle. Since retiring as a district superintendent in 2012, Sue has continued to pursue her passion for helping young people. She is certified as a Health Coach and Wellness Educator by the Health Coach Institute and continues training and professional development for young people in the areas of health, wellness, and personal wellbeing. Realizing that to help kids, Sue also has to help their parents. She has combined all her personal experience and professional expertise in a powerful solution to help children get rid of the struggles they are having with weight and other health, behavior and emotional problems that keep them from being their happiest and healthiest.

Mary Lazarski is the co-author of "Becoming Miss Izzy," and daughter of Sue Zook. She shares a passion for helping children deal with daily challenges and build self-esteem. Mary is an administrative assistant at a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment center. She has over fifteen years of experience assisting both adults and teen clients. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing fiction. In her acknowledgment section of the book, she said, "I can’t even describe the feeling you get when a book you’ve invested time and energy, heart, and soul into is finally published! There were so many that helped make this a reality, as my mother mentioned in her acknowledgments. However, my deepest gratitude goes to her. She’s been my biggest cheerleader. I’ve always had a passion for writing. From writing my very first children’s book about a lost sock while I was in high school, to writing the outline for my own YA dystopian fantasy novel just a couple of years ago, my mom was there, urging me to continue and expressing her enthusiasm to release my potential." Mary is married to Brian Lazarski. 

For more information contact Sue Zook


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