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Susin Nielsen is the author of five novels, including Optimists Die First, We Are All Made of Molecules, Word Nerd, and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen. She has won a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award, a UK Literacy Association Book Award, and multiple Young Readers’ Choice Awards. She got her start writing for the hit TV series Degrassi Junior High, and went on to write for over twenty Canadian shows. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two naughty cats.

Award History

Jury Citation

In one of her book titles, Susin Nielsen reminds us we are all made of molecules. Deftly, in her writing, she has managed to mould these molecules into unforgettable characters that lead us in and out of the seismic shifts of adolescence in the earthquake zone of Vancouver, where her stories are set. Nielsen celebrates the amazing resilience of young people as well as the adults around them as they face such trials as mental health issues, bullying, homelessness, and the deaths of siblings and parents. Few writing today can match her ability to make even peripheral characters memorable through a wonderful distillation of dialogue and details. A testimony to her talent is that she manages to put everything together with a humour that can only draw us in and keep us laughing even as we reach for a box of tissues. Witty, tender, fearless in the face of tackling big issues, Nielsen has staked out her territory in children’s literature — and it’s a place worth visiting often. — Jury Citation (Glen Huser, Kyo Maclear, and Susan Perren)

Works recognized by WT

No Fixed Address

Optimists Die First

We Are All Made of Molecules

Word Nerd