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We are all Made of Molecules by Susin Nielson
The first song I picked was for one of my all-time favorite characters, Stewart! He is 13 years old and academically gifted, but doesn’t have the best luck in his social life. He is sweet, funny, and brave. I picked “Stronger,” by Kelly Clarkson, because that’s what Stewart is more than anything: strong. The lesson in the song is all about gaining strength through experience, and standing tall even when it feels impossible. After the death of this mother, Stewart is understandably devastated and heartbroken. At times, he feels like he can’t go forward. With the help of his father, and his beloved cat, he finds the strength. A year later, his father moves in with his girlfriend who also has a teenage daughter. Everything changes, and that’s when we meet Ashley.
The song I picked for Ashley is “Smiling Faces, Sometimes.” Ashley is an interesting character, for sure! She is all about shopping, friendships, gossip, and boys. Ashley feels angry at her mother for allowing Stewart and his father to move into their house. She doesn’t always make the best decisions, she is somewhat clueless, and laugh-out-loud funny at times! I picked this song because “Smiling Faces, Sometimes” really describes what she deals with at school. Her friends are often fake. They will be sweet and bubbly in the hallways, then talk about each other behind closed doors. Ashley is guilty of this, too! Throughout the book, she is forced to handle some new and intense situations head on with her friendships, a new crush, and her family. She and Stewart have a very tense relationship at first, but learn to live together and rely on each other in surprising ways.The final song for this book is “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. I picked this song because it represents the message in We Are All Made Of Molecules. Sometimes, change can be hard, and life throws us curveballs. When the people in our lives are not strong, or cannot hold themselves up, we need to let them lean on us. With family, that message is even more important. After experiencing a number of heartbreaking, hilarious, life-changing, and powerful moments, the amazing characters in this book learn how to lean on people, and how to allow others to lean on them. As the song says, “We all need somebody to lean on!”