Book Review - We Are All Made of Molecules

by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press) ISBN: 9781783443765 

In alternating chapters, nerdy, 13-year-old Stewart and one year older Ashley have to come to terms with their new lives after Stewart’s dad moves in with Ashley’s mom. 

Stewart was looking forward to getting a new (step) sister, although he dreaded leaving his old home that was still full of his mom’s molecules. It had been two years ago when his mom died and he doesn’t want anyone to forget her. 

Ashley couldn’t think of a worse thing happening to her, apart from the reason why her parents broke up. Her dad came out a year ago as gay and now lives in the garden cottage. Ashley doesn’t want anyone to know. The two teenagers have nothing in common, except that ‘we are all made of molecules’. 

I found this charming story of a modern family entertaining, especially because of Stewart who names his cat Schrödinger, talks about Einstein, and is full of science jokes.

It is a fun and light teen read with some serious themes about grief and loss, homosexuality, social media, and bullying. I can recommend it to all thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds. 

Pauline Vijverberg


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