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“This is the first day I’ve written in a diary. The reason I am, is ‘cos I love writing stories, and if I do grow up to be a famous writer, and later die, and they want to get a story of my life … I guess I should keep (one).” Susin Nielsen wrote this poorly constructed sentence when she was eleven years old. And while she isn’t exactly famous (although she likes to think she’s ‘Big in Belgium’), and no one has written the story of her life (maybe because she isn’t dead yet), she did predict her future. She got her start writing for the hit TV series Degrassi Junior High, and went on to write for over twenty Canadian shows. More recently she turned her hand to novel writing. She is the author of five critically-acclaimed and award-winning titles, including Optimists Die First (long-listed for the UKLA 2018 award), We Are All Made of Molecules (winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and long-listed for UK’s Carnegie Medal), Word Nerd (winner of multiple Young Readers’ Choice Awards) and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year, and the UK Literacy Award). Rolling Stone magazine put The Reluctant Journal at #27 in their list of “Top 40 Best YA Novels.”
Nielsen has been called ‘The John Green of Canada’ (and she once had a dream that he had been called ‘The Susin Nielsen of the United States’). Her books have been translated into many languages. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her family and two naughty cats.
From beloved Governor General Literary Award–winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you’re one step away from homelessness.
Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.