The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen


It’s not easy to move to a new school in a new city in the middle of a school year.- not when you’re trying to hide a secret.  Henry aims to keep his head down, but when you’re short, with wobblies, and red, curly hair, your mother is in a psychiatric unit far away, your father is barely coping with daily routines, and your brother- well you can’t talk about him, let alone think about him……

I worried this UKLA YA award winning title would be exploitative. The author says that she was inspired by a magazine article to write about a family left floundering by a revenge shooting. From that tiny, sad inspiration, blossoms ‘The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen‘ that is difficult, moving, respectful and will stay with you for a long time.

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The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Susin Nielsen

(Andersen Press)

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K.Larsen‘ is the one Henry keeps to deal with events. It’s not every boy whose brother is a school shooter. Not every boy has been witness to the bullying that overwhelmed his older brother. Now Henry and his father are in a new town with new identities, trying to work out their lives. This is a funny (truly), wise and altogether quite wonderful book that we recommend to readers aged from 12 or 13 years of age.

Winner of the 12- 16 year old category in the 2017 UKLA Book Awards.


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