Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

December 5, 2013

Keeping it real

Andover child psychologist returns to grade-school corridors in new book

Kevin isn’t a real-life middle-schooler, but every one of the situations he encounters comes from real-life events.

That’s what Larry Larsen, PhD., a youth psychologist and longtime contributor to the Andover Townsman’s sister paper, The Eagle-Tribune, says about the protagonist in his new book for tweens and their parents as they navigate adolescence.

“Middle School Chronicles” is written from the perspective of an “almost” 13-year-old. In addition to being the main character’s name, Kevin also is the pen name that Larsen uses as the book’s author. He garnered all the material from conversations he has shared with middle school students in his Andover counseling offices during his career.

“My mom was a fourth-grade teacher and one of her greatest regrets was that she didn’t keep notes,” Larsen said. “I said to myself, ‘I will try to remember as many as I can.’”

The stories are funny and outrageous, showing the way that middle-school students move toward adulthood, while keeping one foot firmly planted in childhood. Kevin begins noticing girls (including his beautiful art teacher), but also keeps a “pet” sandwich in his locker for a year — mold, stench and all.

For Larsen, the book has a serious side, too.

“I wanted to find a voice that kids and parents could appreciate,” he said. “I wanted to give a humorous and informative look at the nature of middle school — the untold story.”

He hopes that Kevin will help children realize that they aren’t alone and will help adults understand a little bit what their teens are going through.

“Children experience things in a different way than parents,” he said.

Larsen said that to write the book, he had to get in touch with his inner child.

“All adults have a child inside,” he said. “The issues only change in terms of the looking glass.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Townspeople
  • AT HOWARD KOH

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 11 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 11 days ago
  • AT HANNAH CURRIE

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 11 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 18 days ago
  • AT BOYS GIRLS CLUB GOLF1

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 18 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT LOCKS SISTERS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 18 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 18 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 25 days ago 2 Photos
  • COMMUNITY TRUST2

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 25 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT TABIT

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 25 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week
Stocks