Thursday, January 12, 2012

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

I loved Please Ignore Vera Dietz (review here) by A. S. King.  It was even on my top 10 list for 2010.  I loved the smart, well-developed main character, the fully-dimensional secondary characters and the engaging, quirky storyline. And I loved the writing--King is a very, very good writer who respects her audience.

But for some reason, I hesitated to pick up Everybody Sees the Ants, I think probably because I knew it had something to do with bullying and I was maybe afraid it would either be too hard to read or too didactic rather than just a good story. Well, please don't you make the same mistake I did.  Read this book. Now.

Fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman has to deal with way too much stuff.  He's been relentlessly bullied by Nader McMillan since grade school.  The adults around don't help much. Lucky's father (the turtle) never really got over his own father going M.I.A. during the Vietnam war and deals with life by not dealing.  Lucky's mother (the squid) is an obsessive swimmer, racking up lap after lap in the local pool--that's her way of (not) dealing. The thing about his Granddad Harry being missing in Laos is a big deal to Lucky, too.  He regularly dreams about finding and rescuing him in the jungle.  After a particularly brutal encounter with Nader, Lucky and his mom go to Arizona, where he makes friends with a girl named Ginny and starts looking at life differently. 

So that's the bare bones of the book. It's everything in between that will blow you away. Seriously.  Check out the trailer and then get your hands on this book.

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