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The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Susin Nielsen's novel won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature in 2012.

Susin Nielsen

Henry is a lovable, difficult protagonist who is struggling to come to terms with his family's tragic past and uncertain present. Through Henry's "reluctant" journal writing, we are taken into his present as well as the past involving "IT" — the terrible incident and its aftershocks that changed Henry and his family forever. In his heartbreaking yet sarcastic narrative, Henry describes his experiences with new friends, a therapist and his struggle to move on.

In The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, author Susin Nielsen reveals the profound impact that bullying and violence have on the main character and his family, while using dark humour to explore these difficult topics. The book won the 2012 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is for readers ages 10 and up.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

Intriguing fact: The word "psychology" comes from the Greek word "psyche." It means the study of the mind.

I don't want anyone to study my mind. That's just creepy. But Dad says I no longer have a choice.

Cecil doesn't look like a psychologist. For one thing, his name is Cecil. On his door at the Coastal Health Center, a plastic plaque says Dr. Levine, but when I called him that at our first session, he said, "Please, call me Cecil." When I got home, I looked up his name, and do you know what it means? Dim-sighted or blind.

Not a good sign.


From The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen ©2012. Published by Tundra Books.

Author interviews

Susin Nielsen won the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Text with her latest novel. It tells the story of 13 year old Henry whose family has been ripped apart in the fall out of bullying, violence and suicide and celebrates the strength of true friendship. 15:39