Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Everybody Sees the Ants

Lucky Linderman's life sucks.  His father is emotionally distant, his mother is in denial, he's been bullied his whole life, and now his school has identified him as a suicide risk because of a misguided social studies project.  But every night he escapes...to the jungles of Vietnam to rescue his MIA grandfather from a POW camp.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King is Left Banks Books' holiday pick for Best Book for Teen Boys.

While this is serious subject matter dealt with respectfully, in Lucky, King has given us an extremely likable character who infuses the story with wry humor and self-awareness.  Through his narrative, we find the not-so-happy events unfolding in a manner that instead of being depressing is highly entertaining.  Magical realism is added as Lucky's dreamscapes start to enter real life, deftly introducing a literary style not often encountered in young adult fiction.  While bullying is a hot topic for teenagers right now, this is definitely not a book that gets bogged down in message or resolves itself with contrived redemption.  However, Lucky is an admirable character while remaining a realistic recognizable 15-year-old boy.  Bottom line, isn't a book that boys will be embarrassed to read.  (Just look at the cover!)

Everybody Sees the Ants is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and retails for $17.99.  I got my Advance Reader Copy from the publisher (although this review was not solicited or compensated).  You can get yours from Left Bank Books today!

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