Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: We Are All Made of Molecules

Publish June 18, 2015

Fourteen-year-old Ashley is at the top of her game. Beautiful, wealthy and popular, she is the envy of other girls, and has her pick of high school boys. Worried about what people will think of her, Ashley hides the fact that her father and mother are divorcing because her father has announced that he is gay. Thirteen-year-old Stewart is a genius at everything except relationships. When his dad decides to move in with Ashley’s mother, he suddenly finds himself living with the most popular girl in school. But Stewart is still grieving the death of his own mother, and a new school, new home and new family are more than he is ready to handle right now. And even though Ashley seems to have it all together, Stewart soon sees the cracks in her perfect image. When Ashley gets in over her head with the gorgeous new guy in school, awkward and nerdy Stewart just might be the unlikely hero she so desperately needs. Winner of the 2012 Governor General’s award for children’s literature, Susin Nielsen is back with We Are All Made of Molecules, an endearing take on the new normal for modern teenagers. Stewart and Ashley co-narrate, and the alternation between such polar-opposite perspectives is hysterical, despite serious subject matter that touches on everything from death to bullying to date rape. Nielsen’s characterizations are spot on, revealing the vulnerability in her characters, and the surprising strength they find in unlikely friendships. A novel about acceptance and second chances, We Are All Made of Molecules humorously blends science and fashion in a rallying cry for tolerance that will pull heartstrings.

We Are All Made of Molecules

Susin Nielsen
Tundra Books, Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-77049-779-5

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

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