The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Publisher: Tundra Books

Darker than her previous novels, Susin peoples this novel about the ultimate cost of bullying with a cast of fabulous characters, dark humour, and a lovable, difficult protagonist struggling to come to terms with the horrible crime his brother has committed.

PRAISE FOR

WINNER - Governor General's Award - Children's Literature (2012)
FINALIST - BC Book Prizes’ Sheila A. Egoff  Children’s Literature Prize 

PRAISE FOR The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen: 

". . . With fully developed adult and child characters and a solid sense of middle school humor, the author has crafted an insightful and nuanced novel about bullying and suicide, and familial love and resilience." --Starred Review, School Library Journal

". . . a highly emotional story about a family that blames one another, and themselves, for an unimaginable tragedy. Nielsen’s balance of humor and pathos is finely honed, making this a surprisingly breezy read for so heavy a topic." --Booklist

". . . A realistic, poignant portrait of one teen who overcomes nearly unbearable feelings of grief and guilt." --Kirkus Reviews

"The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen is an engaging grief story. Thought-provoking and relevant, it addresses the effects of bullying in a realistic, compelling and compassionate way, exemplifying the adage ‘There are two sides to every story.’ Henry’s journey is moving and weirdly, wildly funny." --Jury’s Citation, Governor General’s Literary Award in Children’s Text

". . .Words and writing are often a salvation in Nielsen’s YA fiction. Henry is forced to keep a journal by his therapist; he is at first reluctant, then obsessive about it. A born diarist, he exhibits the idiosyncratic voice of a memoirist, one keenly interested in documenting both his inner and outer worlds. He captures both with humour and heart. . . . Yet the novel is a dramedy, and believably balances lightness and darkness. It is a shame when the reader must put down the journal and say goodbye to Henry." --The National Post

"Nielsen treats a heavy subject with a light, optimistic touch, and while Henry’s passion and distress are evident, his wacky commitment to ‘Saturday Night Smash-up’ and his own ironic, yet earnest, perspective leavens the serious subject matter." --The Toronto Star

". . . Henry’s is a tough story to read and I can only imagine how hard it was to write it. But it’s one that really needs to be heard. And honestly, I couldn’t have pictured anyone but Nielsen telling it." --Lavender Lines