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We Are All Made of Molecules
Cover of We Are All Made of Molecules
We Are All Made of Molecules
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 *"This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs."—Kirkus Reviews, StarredStewart, 13: Socially clueless genius. Ashley, 14: Popular with everyone but...
 *"This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs."—Kirkus Reviews, StarredStewart, 13: Socially clueless genius. Ashley, 14: Popular with everyone but...
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Description-

  •  *"This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred
    Stewart, 13: Socially clueless genius.
    Ashley, 14: Popular with everyone but her teachers
     
    Ashley's and Stewart's worlds collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. The Brady Bunch it isn't. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it—he's always wanted a sister. But Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.
     
    They're complete opposites, but they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.
    In this hilarious and deeply moving story, award-winning author Susin Nielsen has created two narrators who will steal your heart and make you laugh out loud.
     
    Praise 
    NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
    Nominated for the George Peach Book Award for Teen Readers
    Nominated to the Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award
    Texas Lone Star Reading List
    "A laugh-out-loud story of two teens learning to adjust to unusual family life that neither expected...Everyone from teenagers to adults will enjoy this story of ups and downs, laughter and tears, and the healing power of love."—VOYA
    *"Drama, humour, poignancy, and suspense are rarely found in such perfect proportions..some truly funny writing...stellar, top notch stuff."—Quill & Quire, Starred
     
    What Other Authors Are Saying
    “Susin Nielsen is one of the best writers working today. In We Are All Made of Molecules, her astonishing ability to combine insight, tenderness, poignancy, and uproarious humor is in full flower. Susin Nielsen is a genius, and kids and adults alike will adore this book.” —Susan Juby, author of The Truth Commission
     
      “What a skilled, gifted writer Susin is!…There’s so much to love about this story . . . but what grabbed me the most is the humor.”  —Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery Medal–winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

Excerpts-

  • From the cover STEWART
    I have always wanted a sister.
    A brother, not so much. I like symmetry, and I always felt that a sister would create the perfect quadrangle or “family square,” with the X chromosomes forming two sides and the Ys forming the rest.
    When I bugged my parents, they would say, “Stewart, we already have the perfect child! How could we do any better than you?” It was hard to argue with their logic.
    Then one day, when I had just turned ten, I overheard a private conversation between them. I was in my room building my birthday present, an enormous Lego spaceship, without using instructions, because I have very good spatial abilities. My mom and dad were downstairs, but I could hear their voices clearly through the heating vent.
    “Leonard,” I heard my mom say, “Stewart might finally get his wish.” I put down my Lego pieces and moved closer to the vent. “I haven’t had my period in two months. I’m chubbing up around the middle. I’m tired all the time. . . .”
    “You think you’re pregnant?” I heard my dad say.
    “I do.”
    I couldn’t help myself. “FINALLY!” I yelled through the vent. “BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!”
    The next day, Mom made an appointment with her doctor.
    But it wasn’t a baby growing inside her. It was cancer. It had started in her ovaries, and by the time they caught it, it had spread.
    She died a year and three months later.
    Now I’m thirteen, and I still miss her like crazy, because she was a quality human being. When I was seven, my dad and I bought her a mug for her birthday that read world’s best mom, and I actually believed there was only one mug like it on the planet, and that it had been made just for her.
    I don’t like to talk a lot about the year she was sick. Or the year after she died. My dad is also quality and he did his best, and I like to think that I am quality and so I did my best, too. But it was really hard because we were missing one-­third of our family.
    We had been like an equilateral triangle.

    Mom was the base that held up the whole structure. When we lost her, the other two sides just collapsed in on each other.
    We were very, very sad. My therapist, Dr. Elizabeth Moscovich, told me early on in our sessions that a part of us will always be sad, and that we will have to learn to live with it. At first I thought she wasn’t a very good therapist, because if she was good she should be able to cure me. But after a while I realized that the opposite was true: she’s an excellent therapist, because she tells it like it is.
    Dr. Elizabeth Moscovich also says that just because you feel sad sometimes, it doesn’t mean you can’t also be happy, which at first might sound like a serious contradiction. But it’s true. For instance, I can still be happy when Dad and I see a ball game at Nat Bailey Stadium. I can still be happy when I am kicking my best friend Alistair’s butt at Stratego. And when Dad and I adopted Schrödinger the cat from the SPCA last year, I wasn’t just happy; I was over the moon.
    Of course, Schrödinger’s not even close to a replacement for my mom. He can’t have good conversations; he can’t cook my favorite from-­scratch chicken fingers; he can’t give me back tickles or kiss my forehead at night. But he needs me, and I need him. He needs me to feed him and cuddle him and scoop his poops. I need him to talk to, even though he never talks back. And I need him to sleep by my head at night, because then I don’t feel alone.
    So when Dad started...

About the Author-

  • Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series.

    Nielsen’s first two young adult novels, Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, won critical acclaim and multiple young readers’ choice awards. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two extremely destructive cats.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrators Jorjeana Marie and Jesse Bernstein flawlessly convey the alternating chapters in this outstanding YA novel. Thirteen-year-old Stewart and 14-year-old Ashley are thrown together when his dad and her mom blend their families. Two more opposite young people would be impossible to find! Bernstein's Stewart is articulate, caring, and grieving over the loss of his mother. Jorjeana Marie is a high-spirited Ashley, who struggles in school but is in the most popular social group. Both narrators deftly inhabit each character as Stewart helps Ashley accept her gay father and she helps him confront bullies at his new school. Listeners will become emotionally involved as Ashley and Stewart mature and grow to appreciate each other. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 11, 2015
    In this honest and funny portrayal of the difficult transitions that can come with blending families, 13-year-old Stewart is on board when his father decides they are moving in with his girlfriend, Caroline, and her daughter, Ashley. Socially awkward and cerebral, Stewart knows that it's time to move on after his mother's death and is excited to be gaining a sister. Fourteen-year-old Ashley feels otherwise ("My family is fubar" is her introduction to readers). Alternating between the teens' perspectives, Nielsen (The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen) humorously conveys Stewart's attempts to befriend Ashley, whose anger is actually about her father, who recently announced that he's gay and moved into the cottage in their yard. Stewart's analytical perspective and Ashley's sarcastic narration are as different as they are entertaining, though Nielsen perhaps has a bit too much fun at the expense of Ashley, who is prone to malapropisms ("Claudia hit the snail on the head") and thinks Idi Amin is one of her mother's colleagues. But both characters grow tremendously as they grapple with loss, navigate their differences, and find common ground. Ages 12–up. Agent: Hilary McMahon, Westwood Creative Artists.

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