We Are All Made Of Molecules

We Are All Made Of Molecules

Paperback - 2016
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*" This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Stewart, 13: Socially clueless genius.
Ashley, 14: Popular with everyone but her teachers

Ashley's and Stewart's worlds collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. The Brady Bunch it isn't. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it--he's always wanted a sister. But Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.

They're complete opposites, but they have one thing in common: they--like everyone else--are made of molecules.

In this hilarious and deeply moving story, award-winning author Susin Nielsen has created two narrators who will steal your heart and make you laugh out loud.

NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Nominated for the George Peach Book Award for Teen Readers
Nominated to the Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Award
Texas Lone Star Reading List

"A laugh-out-loud story of two teens learning to adjust to unusual family life that neither expected...Everyone from teenagers to adults will enjoy this story of ups and downs, laughter and tears, and the healing power of love."-- VOYA

*"Drama, humour, poignancy, and suspense are rarely found in such perfect proportions..some truly funny writing...stellar, top notch stuff." --Quill & Quire, Starred

What Other Authors Are Saying
"Susin Nielsen is one of the best writers working today. In We Are All Made of Molecules, her astonishing ability to combine insight, tenderness, poignancy, and uproarious humor is in full flower. Susin Nielsen is a genius, and kids and adults alike will adore this book." --Susan Juby, author of The Truth Commission

"What a skilled, gifted writer Susin is!...There's so much to love about this story . . . but what grabbed me the most is the humor." --Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery Medal-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
Publisher: New York : Ember, 2016
ISBN: 9780553496895


From Library Staff

Stewart is brilliant but socially awkward. Ashley is part of the popular crowd. Their parents move in together.

From the critics

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Feb 24, 2018

Better than I expected!

esgouliaras Aug 22, 2017

Excellent book for teens and for parents of teens!

Aug 02, 2017

Susan Nielsen is the incredible author of the book, 'We are all Made of Molecules'. This book had me hooked from the very first page because of the way she portrays her characters and the way that she relates to the readers throughout her story.

Ashley and Stewart are completely opposite people. Ashley is a popular 'It' girl who seems to only care about herself and her glam whereas Stewart is an academic whiz who seems to know everything...except how to survive in high school. When Stewart's dad and Ashley's mom get together, their two families decide to move in together. As Stewart is trying to analyze the situation and put it into the most positive way possible, Ashley is completely against it. Stewart gets transferred to Ashley's school and soon makes her life a living hell by even existing.

As the story moves forward, Stewart realises that not everything in life can be solved by some mathematical equation and that sometimes you have to let loose a bit and in the same way, Ashley realises that popularity and status should never be held above your family, friends, safety and happiness. Because in the end, 'We are all Made of Molecules'.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11 and is looking for an interesting and beautiful story.

Apr 02, 2017

I loved this book so much. I loved how the chapters changed in between the two characters, and I loved how the main characters were very different, but at the end, they came together and cared for each other! 4.5 rating

samcmar Mar 29, 2017

To be honest, I am aware that Susin Nielsen is a house hold name in Canadian Kit Lit, having written quite a number of middle grade novels and was a writer on Degrassi (which I enjoyed as a youngin'). This is my first Susin Nielsen book, and I can easily say it will not be my last. We Are All Made of Molecules is just such a peculiar book, chock full of humour and heart.

Stewart has lost his mother to cancer, his father is remarrying, and he gets himself a new sister. At first he's completely thrilled, thinking he and his new sister will be besties. Scratch that out when Stewart meets Ashley, a dippy, full of herself girl who wants nothing more than her father to NOT be gay and her mother to NOT remarry. She wants nothing to do with Stewart, and that's where the novel begins.

For the record, Nielsen plays with a lot of different stereotypes, but she does it in such a wonderful and charming way. Ashley is very ditzy, but speaks in such a matter of fact way, and yet she's not actually as stupid as she comes across. Part of it is a defense mechanism, the other felt like she was sincere when she didn't know something. She's quite the frustrating character, and reminds me a bit of my own sibling in terms of having to always be right, always needing the approval of others, which really is what makes her work so well contrasted to Stewart.

Stewart simply wants to be accepted. He's hyper-intelligent, kind, and social awkward. He feels as though he has some great qualities and yet he doesn't entirely understand why he's at the bottom of the food chain at school. He's a character that wants to build relationship with others his own age, and yet he gravitates to those much older to him. I could totally relate to his character, especially at his age because I did a lot of the same things because I felt like people didn't understand me or want to accept me. Nielsen does a great job making both Ashley and Stewart feels so natural.

And the humour in this book is wonderful and cheeky. There are so many moments where both Stewart and Ashley just made me burst out laughing because they are both crazy and yet neither of them see it. I also liked how Nielsen handled parents in this novel, as they all felt just real enough, especially when they would intervene between the two protagonists.

I found myself very fond of Ashley's dad, who came out very late in his life, and admits to changing his family's dynamic, but never ever loving them any less. Ashley struggles throughout the novel with having a gay parent -- she feels it will make her less popular or people will pick on her, and yet her father gets it, respects it, but tries to make her see that this is something she must either accept or walk away from. Nielsen nails this with ease, and she makes the problems between Ashley and her father complicated, but really moving at the same time.

I loved, loved, loved this book and I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to check it out. Susin Nielson really knows how to balance humour, complicated emotions and heart with such ease, and writing is just a lot of fun. I found myself constantly thinking about this book well after I finished it, because I loved the complexity of the characters in this story, even if they really were built off of simple stereotypes. This one is definitely worth checking out, especially because Stewart really will warm his way into your heart.

JCLEmilyD Jan 30, 2017

For me, this book was so so. Stewart, the 13 year old boy, is very smart and is trying to make it through freshman year. Ashley's mom and Stewart's dad are in a relationship and now going to live together. Ashley is not having it but Stewart always wanted a sister. I disliked the 14 year old girl, Ashley, so much that I didn't want to read her chapters, she was just snotty and selfish. It made the book annoying to read.

Oct 28, 2016

Ashley and Stewart come from two different walks of life and are merged together as a family when their parents decide to move in together. Would recommend to a mature middle-schooler as there are some issues (almost rape, bullying, gay issues) that are sensitive to some readers. Ashley is part of the popular crowd in school and Stewart, who is advanced a grade because he is smart, is considered a nerd. Stewart tries hard to get along with Ashley but Ashley doesn’t want to be his friend, let alone his brother. Stewart is missing his mom and Ashley’s dad lives in the garage apartment behind the house. Strange circumstances but a good story behind it all and in the end, Ashley and Stewart learn that family and acceptance is important.

Oct 20, 2016

this is one of those books where when your finished, you stare at the cover thinking, "o my gosh this is the best book ever!"

Aug 27, 2016

This book is a really good book to read in this certain day and age. It covers topics that are extremely relatable to for both girls and boys today. Susin Nielsen did an excellent job writing this book. I would advise this book for mature readers as it does contain some profanity. Preferably to 13 and above. Ashley and Stewart are two different people. They have different interests, different types of people in their lives and different social statuses. However, when Ashley's mother and Stewart's father end up getting into a relationship which means that they will have to live in the same house and talk to each other. Stewart is 89.9% happy about it as this means that his life-long dream of having a sister will come true but Ashley on the other hand is 110% horrified. This might be partly because she has a very high position on the social ladder and Stewart might bring it all crashing down. They have one thing in common though- they (just like everyone else) are made up of molecules. Christopher Paul Curtis, a Newbery Medal winning author, had this to say about the book. "There is so much to love about this story- most of all, the humor... How do I join the Susin Nielsen fan club?"
- @WizardingInitiate of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 20, 2016

A truly magical novel about family, loss, love and many other topics. The struggles both Stewart and Ashley face are relatable and very real. A book that'll make you say "wow" when you've finished.

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Mar 08, 2018

Purpliciousforever thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

FriendsDragonsCats44 thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

Aug 02, 2017

anisamusic thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 28, 2017

red_sheep_101 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 20, 2016

TANYANG thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 25, 2016

em_dancer thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 21, 2016

SashaE thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 25

Jul 27, 2015

lshastine thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Mar 08, 2018

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Jun 29, 2016

" I like science!!!!"

Jul 15, 2015

I miss her like crazy, since she was a quality human being.

Jul 15, 2015

"Aorta tell you I think you're awesome"


Add a Summary

Mar 08, 2018

Stewart has always wanted a sister. So when his father's co-worker/girlfriend invites them to move into their home, he feels ecstatic. However, his father's girlfriends daughter is not so excited about having new members in their home.
This story is realistic and interesting. Susin Nielsen's wonderful novel is filled with ups and downs, pains, doubts, but overall, I enjoyed it. I'd recommend this novel for those who love to hear both sides of the story. For those who seek drama, love, and excitement. This book is for you. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Or even better.

Jul 27, 2015

Stewart is excited to move in with his dad's new girlfriend and her daughter,Ashley. Ashley is not excited at all. She is very popular and Stewart is not. They come together to make a new family.


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