Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Janet Jackson All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Grocery Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now Halloween
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $2.78 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Reluctant Journal of ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is in good condition. May include some wear on edges, corners, pages, and could have creases on the cover. SHIPS FROM AN AMAZON WAREHOUSE!! FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING FOR PRIME MEMBERS!! This is a ex library book, stickers and markings accordingly.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen Hardcover – September 11, 2012

12 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.99 $0.01

Old Wolf by Avi
Featured New Release in Children's Books
Check out Old Wolf, by Avi, a featured new release this month. Learn more | See related books
$15.17 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
  • +
  • Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan (Lost and Found Omnibus)
Total price: $31.27
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-Based on his therapist's recommendation, 13-year-old Henry begins to keep a journal of his experiences as he transitions to life in a new city, a new school, and in a new apartment with his dad. It's been a year since his older brother, unable to bear a bully's relentless torment, took a gun to school and killed the boy and then himself. Subsequently, Henry's mom has had a breakdown and has been in and out of a psych ward. Nielsen slowly reveals the plot, giving out clues as to what actually happened and the aftereffects of such a tragedy, always through the lens of the younger sibling. Farley, Henry's nerdy new friend who shares his family's love of wrestling, and classmate Alberta complement the story as they aggravate Henry and enrich his life, drawing him out of his anger and grief, and help him open up to others and try to find his way. With fully developed adult and child characters and a solid sense of middle school humor, the author has crafted an insightful and nuanced novel about bullying and suicide, and familial love and resilience.-Kathy Lyday, South Caldwell High School, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Henry, 13, is in therapy, hence this journal. So, fine, he will write all about how his mom is in a psych ward, how his dad is floundering without her, their weird new neighbors, and, oh yeah, the reason they moved in the first place. It’s been less than a year since Henry’s older brother, Jesse, buckled beneath the pressure of bullying and did the unspeakable “IT.” No, they don’t speak of it. Instead, Henry focuses on his dorky new friend, Farley Wong, and comes up with a big idea: he could reunite his parents by raising enough money to buy them all tickets to a Global Wrestling Federation event—their favorite family pastime before Jesse ruined everything. There is quirk to spare here (take, for instance, the home-shopping-addicted neighbor, Mr. Atapattu), but it’s in service of a highly emotional story about a family that blames one another, and themselves, for an unimaginable tragedy. Nielsen’s balance of humor and pathos is finely honed, making this a surprisingly breezy read for so heavy a topic. Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770493727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770493728
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 12 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Kennen on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For 13-year-old Henry Larsen, the move was supposed to be a fresh start. But with his parents broke and barely talking to each other, his psychologist a dweeb, and the least popular kid at his new school the only one angling to be his friend, things are not looking up. But none of that compares to the ever-present specter of IT - the event so horrible that it causes Henry to overeat, go into robot mode, and fly into furies. How can things ever get better when your world's been turned upside down?

Author Susin Nielsen's unflinchingly realistic book gripped me with dread early on, a feeling that did not dissipate until the final pages. Don't get me wrong - the book is filled with humor and love and laced with hope, but that doesn't make it easier to read. To say I was unprepared for this book would be putting it mildly. That's what I get for judging a book by its cover. On the other hand, if I had known what the book was actually about, I probably would not have read it, which would have been my loss.

This is a powerful, important story full of beautifully (and occasionally, horribly) flawed people, but it's not for everyone. Curse words are scattered throughout the book, but that is inconsequential compared to the story's examination of the worst kind of bullying and its devastating and far-reaching effects. I would, however, whole-heartedly recommend the book to anyone brave and mature enough to read it.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pam - because someone has to be GOOD TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Just wow. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen was nothing like what I was expecting. The book description was something along the lines of "Susin peoples this novel about the ultimate cost of bullying with a cast of fabulous characters, dark humour, and a lovable, difficult protagonist struggling to come to terms with the horrible crime his brother has committed."

Okay. I can deal with some dark humor. Especially when I look at the cover. Doesn't it look light-hearted? I was expecting something like The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Franscico Stork. Or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

NO WAY. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is NOT as light-hearted as TFOS. In fact, it's a very dark, very intense read that depressed the heck out of me. Yes, it's THAT GOOD. It totally involved me. I felt tremendous empathy for Henry and his family, but some times I just had to put it down and go for a walk with the dogs. Maybe hug my kids.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is not a perfect book by the way. Everything wraps up a tiny bit too fast, and the secondary characters aren't fully formed. But I found it poignant and authentic and what it had to say far exceeds any faults.

Pam T~
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meaghan on September 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This is an excellent depiction of a boy and his family family, ripped apart at the seams by violence and tragedy, and how they begin to stitch themselves back together again. The protagonist, 13-year-old Henry, began his diary at the request of his therapist. Although reluctant to write at first (hence the title), Henry came to depend on his journal as a confidant to help him deal with his pain and grief. The characterization of this boy and the people around him -- his parents, other residents in his apartment building, his new school friends -- is spot-on.

The big problem, though, is that this really doesn't sound like a real diary. In my experience just about every diary-novel has this issue. For the story to work, it has to be detailed. You have to actually hear the characters talk, and so on. But most people don't write in their diaries in that kind of detail; diary entries are usually summaries of the day's events instead, since the diarist writes for himself and he already knows what happened.

Try not to let that bother you. This is a very good book. But I think it would have been better in a more typical, episodic format.

If you liked this book you would probably also enjoy Ann Dee Ellis's This is What I Did:, Catherine Austen's Walking Backward and Susan Shaw's One of the Survivors.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By eckief on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was an outstanding take on the perspective of the younger brother of a school killer. The younger brother witnessed his older brother being bullied and harassed beyond his ability to take it any longer. The fact that his brother went mad and killed his main tormentor is only a testament to the human spirit's inability to suffer humiliation, defeat, and physical abuse on an ongoing basis. I read the book because I want to learn all I can about bullying - I was bullied as a child in school and at home. My children were bullied. We have all experienced the sense of shame, helplessness, and rage that both the killer and his brother suffered. Thankfully we lived through it and survived (as did the bullies) - but I experience and note the long-term effects in myself and family members: poor self-esteem, difficulty in forming close friendships, and an overall distrust of people. I think that Susin Neilson captures not only the tumult of mean emotions that are associated with this issue, but has managed to encapsulate this dark tale within a lively, charming story. I read the book in one day, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this problem.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
This item: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Price: $15.17
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?