Penny Johnson's Reviews > Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
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's review
Apr 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-yalsa-best-of-the-best
Read in March, 2012

Sleep is important to me, so when I stay up most of the night engrossed in a book.... well, that says something about the book, doesn't it!

This book invoked some strong emotions as I read. Anything about the Vietnam War is emotional for me, and this book spotlighted the draft and the MIA/POW issue as Lucky learns about his grandfather. I also felt deeply for Lucky's fear of the horrific bully who has made his life miserable for years. I wonder how many young people in my community are, like Lucky, too afraid or too cynical to blow the whistle on bullying. Makes me sad to think about it. And angry.

So why do I like this book? Well, amidst the bullying and the war stuff there are a lot of great characters, all trying to figure life out. Lucky's comments on life are humorous and insightful. His parents and aunt and uncle care about him and they are trying to help him smile again, each in their own quirky way. There's a touch of fantasy in the story that kept it from getting too maudlin. I was gratified to see how Lucky works through his issues. The book ends on a positive note, although it's not "happy ever after". In other words, this is a great account of dealing with the yuckiness that life can bring us with courage and resolve.

And I really love the ants. Everybody sees the ants.

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