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Tremendous Things

Written by Susin Nielsen

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Tremendous Things Review

Books of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Funny Romance / Relationship Stories School Stories Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

An adorable insecure Canadian teenager becomes his best self, with a dash of Parisian panache

June 2021 Book of the Month

Susin Neilson has such talent for creating pitch-perfect characters and immersive story-worlds that ring with real-life authenticity. Much like her excellent My Messed Up Life, Tremendous Things packs in plenty of humour and heart as it tells a page-turning story underpinned by big emotional themes, in this case finding confidence through battling the effects of bullying.

At eleven, Wilbur (Wil) resolved to grow taller, cry less, have his writing published, make friends, fall in love, “learn to be my best self”, and learn to be “confident and brave”. Three years later, while he’s yet to become brave, Wil has grown, he’s still writing poetry and he’s made some friends, among them his best friend, 85-year-old Sal. Going to “Aquacise for Seniors is definitely one of the highlights of my week,” he happily admits.

With his two mums, Mum and Mup (collectively known as The Mumps) struggling to make ends meet, it’s a bit of a challenge for pay for his French exchange trip, but boy is it worth working extra hours at Foot Long Subs to help fund it. Wil’s exchange partner, Charlie, turns out to be a confident, clever girl who appreciates Wil for who he is, and so his gay friends pledge to give him a confidence-boosting makeover before he goes to Paris. But then, as Wil feels a flicker of self-love, the merde hits the fan (to paraphrase a chapter title) and he’s showered with a succession of unsettling events.

Reader, I balled, I beamed, and was bowled over by every step of Wilbur’s life-affirming journey, with the wonders of Charlotte’s Web woven through it.

Joanne Owen

Tremendous Things Synopsis

Wilbur has spent his teens being bullied and now he's sure he's nothing but a loser: his best friend is 85 years old, and his only talent is playing the triangle in the school band. Things start to look up when a mix-up with the French exchange programme results in Wilbur being assigned a girl to look after - an amazing, sophisticated, beautiful French girl called Charlie. Wilbur is sure he's in love, and his sometime friend Alex has a plan to give Wilbur the makeover that will get Charlie to love him back. But the course of true amour never did run smooth . . .

From Canada’s Queen of Teen and UKLA Award-winning Susin Nielsen.

Tremendous Things Press Reviews

Praise for Susin Nielsen;

‘Susin Nielsen is an amazing writer’   Hilary McKay

‘Relatable, moving and funny. Susin Nielsen is simply wonderful’  Sarah Crossan

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781839130618
Publication date: 03/06/2021
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781839130618
Publication date: 3rd June 2021
Author: Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 288 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Funny, Romance / Relationship Stories, School Stories, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Books of the Month
Collections: Anti Bullying Week & World Kindness Day,

About Susin Nielsen

Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series. Nielsen's first two young adult novels, Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, received critical acclaim and multiple Young Readers' Choice Awards. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association's Children's Book of the Year and ...

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