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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, October 22, 2015

We Are All Made Of Molecules Blog Tour {guest post and giveaway}

I'm thrilled to have the We Are All Made Of  Molecules Blog Tour stopping by today with a great guest post and giveaway...

We Are All Made Of Molecules
by Susin Nielsen
May 12, 2015
Penguin Random House
Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless. 

Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.

Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, 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 are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules. 

“This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs.”
Kirkus Reviews starred review 

“There’s so much to love about this story . . . but what grabbed me the most is the humor.” —Christopher Paul Curtis, winner of the Newbery Medal

“Nielsen has expertly created two characters with strong personalities, each of whom is loveable and endearing in their own unique ways.”—VOYA

Can you tell us who are your top ten middle grade/YA characters, and why?

With pleasure! I’ll save my top three for last, although really the first seven could go in any order.

10) Junior from “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie.  
Part fiction, part memoir, this story of Native American Junior is such a powerful book. Junior is an incredible character, resilient even in the face of poverty, racism and injustice. Alexie deftly uses humor to help make all the b.s. Junior faces, infinitely readable.

9) Damien from “Millions” by Frank Cotrell Boyce.

I love this book (it was a good movie too, directed by Danny Boyle). Damian is a delight. Another first-person narrative (a lot of my choices, it dawns on me, are in first-person, which is probably not all that surprising since my own books have used first-person narrative). Damian interprets the adult world around him in a hilarious, authentically kid-like way. I wanted to adopt him.

8) Margaret from “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume.

A classic, which I read when I was about Margaret’s age. This book, and Margaret herself, meant so much to me. I had to make a big move in my life; so did Margaret. And as I was going through puberty, buying my first bra, getting my period, getting more interested in boys – so was Margaret. I feel deeply indebted to Judy Blume and her heroine for making me realize “I am not alone.”

7) Adam from Teresa Toten’s “The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B”

Teresa is a fellow Canadian, and her Adam is a wonderful, fully realized young man who has OCD. He made me love him and feel for him and walk in his shoes, and feel glad for his small triumphs.

6) Caden from “Challenger Deep” by Neal Shusterman.

I had the real pleasure of meeting Neal Shusterman recently when we were both on a School Library Journal panel at their leadership summit in Seattle. I was unfamiliar with his work, but heard his new novel was longlisted for the National Book Award. Now that I’ve read it, I can see why (and it’s since been shortlisted). Caden is a deeply empathetic character, dealing with mental illness, and we see Caden in both the “real world” and when he’s in the throes of his illness. A powerful, moving read.

5) Scout from “To Kill A Mockinbird” by Harper Lee.

No explanation necessary.

4) Adrian from “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 ¾” by Sue Townsend.

Oh how I adored this book when I read it many years ago. I believe this was the first YA novel I ever read that was told in first person narrative. It clearly burrowed deep in my mind, and influenced my own writing when I finally sat down to write my own novels. Adrian’s misadventures are so funny, and so painfully real.

3) Alice from Susan Juby’s “Alice, I Think.”

Juby is another fellow Canadian, and one of the funniest, most unique voices I know. Discovering Alice was like a really pleasant wallop to my funny bone. I beg anyone who loves YA to seek out this book. Also in diary format like “Adrian Mole,” Alice is deliciously wrong-headed, self-centered, but super-sympathetic and real. I really can’t say enough about Alice, except that you have to read it to believe it.

2) Bud from Christopher Paul Curtis’s “Bud, Not Buddy.”

Bud changed my life. I couldn’t believe how adeptly Christopher Paul Curtis managed to tell what is really an incredibly heartbreaking story, but through the eyes of Bud, an African American boy who’s lost his mom. Set in the Great Depression, CPC uses first-person narrative, and that allows the story to be filled with humor thanks to Bud’s perspective on things. I wanted to wrap my arms around Bud and never let go. This book encouraged me to try my hand at my first YA novel, “Word Nerd,” which is also rather sad in spots but leavened with humor thanks to a first-person narrative.

And now, drumroll please, for #1 …

1) Harriet from “Harriet the Spy,” by Louise Fitzhugh.

I read this book when I was eleven. Then I re-read it last year, the 50th anniversary edition. I was blown away at just how much Harriet, and Louise Fitzhugh, had influenced my own writing without my being aware of it. Harriet had clearly lived on in me all those years! She broke new ground. Harriet is the antithesis of a girly-girl and she can be really mean sometimes – in other words, she is utterly human and believable.

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog!

Susin Nielsen got her start writing a spec script for the popular television series Degrassi Junior High. She went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit show and four of the Degrassi books. Since then, she has received two Canadian Screenwriter Awards and a Gemini Award. She has written for many TV series, including HeartlandArctic Air, and Robson Arms, which she co-created. Her first novel, Word Nerd, won four Young Readers’ Choice Awards and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year Award, among others. Her second novel, Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, won three Young Readers’ Choice Awards and is a Winner of the Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers by VOYA and the Gold Winner of the Book of the Year Award in Juvenile Fiction by ForeWord Reviews. Her third novel,The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, won many awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, CLA’s Book of the Year for Children Award, and three Young Readers’ Choice Awards. It was also selected as one of the best fiction for young adults by the American Library Association and a Top Shelf for Middle School Readers by VOYA. Susin Nielsen lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and son.

Win a hardcover copy of
We Are All Made Of Molecules!
Thanks to Random House Kids, I have one copy for one winner.
-US only
-ends 10/30
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1 comment:

Jill the OWL said...

Yes Scout! Sometimes I wish I had been brave enough to name my daughter Scout :) She would've hated me tho!!!