Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants

Book - 2012
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Overburdened by his parents' bickering and a bully's attacks, fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War, but during a visit to Arizona, his aunt and uncle and their beautiful neighbor, Ginny, help him find a new perspective.
Publisher: London : Little, Brown Young Readers, 2012
ISBN: 9780316129275
Branch Call Number: FICTION (PAPER) (TEEN) King, A.S
Characteristics: 280 p. ; 22 cm


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Jul 31, 2017

This book really grew on me.

Lucky Linderman shows us his world via flashbacks, current narration and dream descriptions. The dreams are fascinating and just as our dreams do often show a mismash of what is happening in our lives as well as revealing our inner selves.

This book deals with two difficult subjects in a very satifsying way. Those topics are: bullying and POW-MIA soldiers from the Vietnam war. Even though there was a surreal aspect to Lucky's dreams, I loved the resolution way he achieves in both of these areas.


SCL_Justin Jul 25, 2017

Everybody Sees The Ants is a YA book about a kid named Lucky Linderman who gets bullied and goes to Arizona with his mom to recuperate. Put like that it doesn’t sound too exciting. But because this is A.S. King writing the story things aren’t that straight-forward. She uses a fragmented storytelling technique to show us scenes from the present, from Lucky’s freshman year at school, from his childhood, and most importantly from his dreams where he tries to rescue his grandfather from a Vietnamese POW camp.

The story features adults being idiots and perfect lives being not so perfect. The relationship between Lucky and his dad is really interesting and a big part of the story. It’s interesting because his dad is kind of an absentee father, spending all his time at his fancy restaurant and caring more about cooking than anything else. By the end of the book, his dad hasn’t changed, but everyone has a bit more perspective and tolerance for why people act the way they do. The same goes for Lucky and his mom. King is really good at setting up situations where characters seem unreasonable and then showing us a key to understanding them (even if we don’t have to like them).

It’s a really good book. Probably the best I’ve read that’s expressly about bullying since it never ends up in a clichéd place. Kudos to King on another great read.

Jun 01, 2013

Recommended by Courtney

LocketLibrarian Apr 08, 2013

This is a 280 page gut-punch. This is amazing. Lucky is a freshman who has been bullied by the same boy since they were 7 year old first graders. No one really believes Lucky at first, even the first incident is almost too terrible to believe. His parents see what is going on, but since the bully's dad is a bully, too, they take no action, and tell Lucky to ignore it. Adding to the story is Lucky's nighttime dreams, where he is trying to find and rescue his grandfather, a Vietnam POW, who he had never met. He somehow manages to bring back souvenirs, adding a little fantasy to this already amazing book. Finally, the bullying becomes assault, and rather than deal with the problem, Lucky and his mom go to Arizona to visit family. Lucky meets a girl, gets a better male role model than his "turtle" dad, and has some major epiphanies. Timely, without feeling like an afterschool special. Well-written with characters you could love and hate.

Mar 31, 2013

This is a story about a bullied kid, and how he learns to deal with the fact that no one else can really save him except himself. Part of this process includes him having to accept that those around him may fail him and to decide what kind of treatment he deserves and what he doesn't. It's definitely not a dark book by any means, and could serve as a tool of empowering a kid who might be in a similar situation.

Dec 15, 2012

No one can pee on your sole without your permission. I really like this book because it talked about how your the one who builds your own prisons so your the only one who can tear them down. I also liked that whenever he woke up from a dream he had an object from the dream. That was COOL.

Nov 19, 2012

Lucky Linderman has been bullied by Nader McMillan for years. And Lucky is not the only one Nader bullies. But all of the adults involved seem completely unable to cope with the situation. Their advice is ineffective, and they are intimidated by Nader’s father who is a lawyer. Nader’s bullying escalates until he finally goes too far.

Read my full review at: https://writingboutreading.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/best-of-the-best-challenge-week-1-update/

Nov 03, 2012

Recommended by Courtney

Sep 06, 2012

This is one of those books where you wonder if you are going to like it but you keep reading anyway, not so much because you want to know what's going on (though you do) but because the prose is intriguing and characters are fascinating despite (or perhaps because of) the surreal elements. The voice is authentic and touching, and despite elements of sorrow, loss and emotional pain threaded through the narrative, the story is ultimately hopeful.

LibraryK8 Dec 30, 2011

Lucky Linderman is dealing with a lot of problems: 1) his mother is a squid who would rather swim hundreds of laps a day than deal with the problems in her life 2) his father is a turtle chef who would rather hide in his shell or at work, or on the sofa watching the food network than talk to his son 3) Lucky has been tormented by the same bully since he was 7 years old, and no one will believe him or do anything about it 4) everyone things he is suicidal after a school statistics project where he circulated a poll about how students would kill themselves, this has led to regular appointments with a guidance councilor 5) his house looks like the headquarters for the MIA/POW movement after his grandfather never returned from the Vietnam War 6) Lucky escapes all of this in his dreams where he is transported to Vietnam with the mission to rescue his grandfather, only they aren't just dreams when Lucky awakens with bullets, cigars, and more clutched in his hands.

After Nader assaults Lucky at the pool (again), his mother decides to get out of Pennsylvania, and takes Lucky to visit her brother in Arizona for three weeks. The strangest and most important three weeks of Lucky's life.

There are not words to describe the awesome power of A.S. King's writing...but I will try. I was trying to think of a way to describe this book and I could put two of my thoughts into concrete language. First, this book is surreal, like all of King's writing. It is real in that the story deals with real problems, but there is this great surreal element when Lucky can go into his dreams and try to save his grandfather in Vietnam.

My second thought that I would like to share about this book (and it applies to all of King's novels) is that it is like a tree. Outside my house we have an oak tree, and every year it drops about a million acorns on our yard. We try to get most of them raked up, but we always miss a few, and in the spring we begin to notice little tree sprouts in the yard. But the catch is that although they only have a leaf or two on the surface, when you go to pull them up, they already have a huge root system, deep underground. King's novels and characters remind me of this. I always start her books thinking, well this is odd, I wonder if I can get into this, and by the end I am crying and never wanting to say goodbye to the characters. They are like the acorns, you don't notice them but they are slowly building a root system inside of you, and by the end of the book, as you try to turn the last page, or pull up the plant, you realize how deeply embedded they are in you. She is sneaky, and cunning, and utterly brilliant!


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