Review: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

I have enjoyed Susin Nielsen’s previous books (Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom). But this Governor General’s award winning title blows you right of the water.
If you have ever watched news reports of bullying on TV, this book will hit home. Nielsen skillfully, tactfully, insightfully tackles a scary but important topic. All kids who have been subjected to bullying at school, all kids who have ever bullied someone else – for whatever reason – ought to read this book. And so should all teachers, parents and kids. Counselors, too.
The story features Henry whose brother has just committed an act of utter despair. The story is poignant, touching, funny and sad – all at once.
Read this aloud with your students to discuss the aftermath and deep reaching effects of bullying. Make this book mandatory for your students, for fellow teachers – it could possibly prevent similar heartbreak in real life.
A well crafted, fascinating read worthy of winning the highest praise in Canadian children’s literature.
Oh, and if you read Word Nerd you will be pleasantly surprised to encounter Ambrose on the sidelines of this story.

Tundra Books
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8 (1-77049-372-7)