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The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Books for Yr7/8 students (2018) > The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

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Jane (janeboniface) | 123 comments This is not a new book (published in 2012) but I've just bought it - and it is now my favourite book that I've read so far this year (and I've read some good ones!)
We know something terrible has happened recently in Henry's life. The book starts with him visiting a psychologist, Cecil, (of whom Henry has a very low opinion). It is Cecil who suggests Henry keep a journal as it can be "therapeutic". And so begins the reluctant journal of 13 year old Henry. We find out fairy early on in the book just what the tragedy is that has befallen Henry's family. This explains why his older brother Jesse is no longer around, why his mother no longer lives with them, and why Henry and his father have had to move away from their home town and start a new life. It is a shocking secret that Henry and his father are burdened with. But somehow the author skilfully manages to inject humour into this very unfunny situation, largely through the voice of Henry, but also in interactions between some of the other characters. I loved this book! It is both heart breaking and heart warming. Themes of bullying, family breakdowns, dealing with guilt. Suitable for age 11+.

Fiona Mackie This has been popular with our Y7-9 students and even some of our Y10s who are struggling to find material they want to read. I think the journal format helps as it’s very manageable chunks. It’s a great read, with lots packed into it.

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