The Canadian Library Association has announced its winning title for the 2013 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, by Susin Nielsen, published by Tundra Books.
Susin’s story centres on 13‐year‐old Henry, who begins to keep a journal at the suggestion of his therapist. His entries are at times heart‐breaking, often funny, and always thoughtful. Henry eventually reveals to the reader how his older brother, Jesse, the victim of relentless bullying, commits a desperate and horrible act. As it details the time leading up to his brother’s crime, Henry’s journal offers a compelling reflection on the way we all cope with tragedy.
Commenting on their winning choice, the CLA’s Book of the Year for Children Award Jury Chair Alexandra Yarrow elaborates: “Nielsen’s books typically are characterised by empathy for her characters. She has a particular gift for finding the unique voice of one child and embracing it, while also portraying with balance and sensitivity other, often unsympathetic, characters of all ages. In The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, Nielsen’s gifts are at their best yet, resulting in an unforgettable novel that explores a painful topic with compassion.”
The jury also selected two Honour Books this year: A Tinfoil Sky by Cyndi Sand‐Eveland (Tundra Books) and The Grave Robber’s Apprentice by Allan Stratton (HarperCollins Canada)