What happens to the survivors? When Jesse commits a horrific crime, surviving is what his younger brother Henry has to figure out. Using a journal to help sort through the aftermath, Henry’s wit and humour make the incredibly tough subjects of bullying, depression and suicide relatable.
Despite the serious subject matter, Susin Nielsen’s talent for comedic writing makes The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen an engaging and even upbeat read. Teens and adults alike will connect to the honest voice of Henry and the mirage of characters in his life. The story builds masterfully, keeping the reader completely engaged to discover the past events that make Henry’s present so difficult and hope for a better future. Note to Parents: although the events Henry and Jesse experience are horrendous, teen readers in grades seven and eight awarded The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen the 2014’s Red Maple Fiction Award in the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading. Sometimes the most harrowing subject is the most inspiring one.