What to Read After... Judy Blume 20/01/20
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen
Publisher: Andersen Press
Henry’s just a normal kid: going to school, keeping under the bullies’ radar and watching wrestling shows on the weekends with his dad. Only, seven months ago, IT happened. IT was so bad that it meant he had move somewhere where no one knew his name or what happened to his brother, Jesse.
Henry’s mum is in a psychiatric hospital, his dad cries a lot, and Henry’s hippy therapist Cecil has asked him to keep a journal about IT. Reluctantly, he does.
Henry’s friends and fellow misfits Farley and Alberta are beautifully drawn, along with the realities of a family in crisis. Even their neighbours Karen and Mr Atapattu are, in their own ways, also survivors.
Nielsen tackles a hugely difficult subject with a deceptive lightness of touch. Henry’s life will never be the same, but day by day, he can begin to live again. A terrific, sad, beautiful and essential read.
Winner of the UKLA Book Award 2017.