Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but "ungifted" socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed "It" girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to 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% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents' divorce; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they--like the rest of us--are all made of molecules.
Written in alternating voices, Susin Nielsen deftly explores family tragedy and family ties; sibling rivalry and union; and adolescent confusion and revelation.
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 Heartland, Arctic 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.
Selected, CBC's The Next Chapter with Shelagh Roger's list of Best Summer Reads for Children and Teens, 2015
“Stewart['s] disarming honesty about his intelligence and especially about his weaknesses holds the entire book together, allowing readers to take self-absorbed Ashley with a grain of salt as she goes through what her mother terms the ‘demon seed’ stage. This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs.” - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Alternating between the teens' perspectives, Nielsen 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 ....” - Publisher’s Weekly
“By turns humorous and heartbreaking .... the contrast between the two characters makes for a compelling read, particularly as they begin to challenge and influence each other .... The book will appeal to fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder and Jo Knowles’s See You at Harry’s .... This work of realistic fiction should find a place in most libraries serving teens.” - School Library Journal
“Drama, humour, poignancy, and suspense are rarely found in such perfect proportions as in Governor General’s Literary Award–winner Susin Nielsen’s new novel about a teen odd couple forced together in a blended family situation .... We Are All Made of Molecules is chockablock with timely and weighty issues, yet it feels feather-light thanks in large part to some truly funny writing. Teens will be so busy turning pages they won’t even realize they’re thinking. This is stellar, top-notch stuff.” - Starred Review, Quill & Quire
“.... no one–absolutely no one–captures the lovable flaws of the pubescent human creature like Susin Nielsen .... A joyful, effortless read with some squeal-worthy moments for Nielsen fans who will recognize character cameos from past books.” - The Globe and Mail