Stewart is the quintessential nerd; an academic high achiever, eccentric and quirky but painfully awkward in social settings. Ashley is his complete opposite; shallow, self centered and obnoxious, her only interest fashion and social climbing. Following the death of his mother, and a budding relationship between their parents, Stewart, his father Leonard and his cat Schrödinger move in with Ashley and her mother. From the get-go, the relationship between Stewart and Ashley is strained, but as time progresses and events at home and school test them and their relationship, Stewart and Ashley make strides towards building a friendship and acceptance of their new family dynamic.
We Are All Made of Molecules is a heartwarming and endearing middle school tale of two young people brought together by circumstance, trying to make their way through the difficult and tumultuous years of middle school, all the while growing, changing and trying to stay true to themselves. Susin Nielsen has written a wonderful novel, told in a voice and language appropriate for any middle schooler. She tackles some tough issues such as death, bullying, acceptance and homosexuality realistically and accurately, providing outcomes and scenarios that both enlighten and educate the reader.
I make it a habit to read what my children are reading, especially when it is above their age and/or grade level, not necessarily to prevent them from reading certain books but to enable discussion between us in the event they do come across a theme or topic that they find difficult to understand or have actually come across at school or with friends. We Are All Made of Molecules is a wonderful discussion tool for parents and teachers alike, and I would recommend this title for children and parents of children entering Grade 7-9.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Canada (Tundra Books) for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.