GUEST WRITER JOHN HARLEY RECOMMENDS TREMENDOUS THINGS BY SUSIN NIELSEN
A novel that leaves you with tugged heartstrings and the biggest grin on your face, Susin Nielen’s Tremendous Things, is an incredible experience. Following a teenage boy named Wilbur, we live through the challenges of growing up through his eyes, feeling his insecurities, experiencing a variety of his hardships, and watching as he learns how to build his confidence. While partaking in an exchange program and meeting Charlie, he, with the help of his friends, pushes himself to become more confident, all while dealing with many social difficulties.
This novel tackles themes such as bullying, love, friendship, and self-worth, allowing its readers to see how you are able to find a happy ending, even in the most unlikely places. This is a personal journey that we have the privilege to take, showing us that it is not about how we look on the outside, but who we are and how we feel on the inside.
This novel is recommended for readers 12 years of age and over, as it does contain some content that younger readers may not be ready for. However, I believe that many students will be able to see themselves in Wilbur’s shoes and discover that they too can build confidence and stand up for what they love.
John Harley is an Education student at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton Campus. This is his first book recommendation and he hopes that he is doing a good job. John’s interests include theatre, including comedies, Shakespeare, and musicals, hockey, music, and YA novels.