Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants

by A. S. King


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Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret—one that helps him wade through the mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos—the prison his grandfather couldn't escape—where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King's smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you—and taking a stand against it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316129275
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/18/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 134,358
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed Everybody Sees the Ants and the Edgar Award nominated, Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz, described as "deeply suspenseful and profoundly human" by Publishers Weekly and picked as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books for Teens 2010. She is also the author of The Dust of 100 Dogs, described as "undeniably original" by Booklist and picked as one of ALA's Best Books for Young Adults. After returning from Ireland, where she spent over a decade living off the land, teaching adult literacy, and writing novels, King now lives deep in the Pennsylvania woods with her husband and children. Learn more at www.as-king.com.

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Everybody Sees the Ants 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
I see the ants. This is a touching, funny and nuanced story about Lucky Linderman, a fifteen year old who has a long legacy of being bullied by a horrible kid that no one seems to be willing to stop. But that's not all it's about; there is so much in this book that I bet everyone who reads it gets a little something different out of it. Here's what I took from it: Lucky Linderman is a good kid in a bad situation. He's a good kid who finds himself the victim of Nader McMillan, the community bully/jerk/a-hole. Lucky is also the son of clueless parents who don't mean to be neglectful, but kind of are due to their inaction. He's a good kid who is a product of the crappy things that go on in his life until he realizes he doesn't need to be. I'm not going to talk about the magic realism in this book, because I don't want to take away from it, but through certain scenes, Lucky realizes what life is about, no, what HIS life is about and how he needs to be an active participant in it if he wants it to change. There's so much I loved in this book, from the character Lucky himself, to Ginny and Lucky's mom, to the little things that made it so different from anything I'd read before, like Lucky's healing wound, frank talk about the Vietnam War draft lottery, the way Lucky sees his parents and...well I could go on and on, but I'd rather leave it up to you to discover. Another great book from A.S. King!
EvanRoskos More than 1 year ago
The kind of book that bebds reality bur never loses reality. A fantastic exploration of family and friendship. Lucky linderman will linger in my head foquite some time, I know it.
bookittyblog More than 1 year ago
I usually like reading from a female's POV. For obvious reasons I can identify myself more with them. But reading from Lucky's POV was different. I felt very protective of him. I couldn't get why "mom" and "dad" couldn't protect better their son, but as the book progressed I kind of got why everything was happening. I don't want to get into details because I will spoil the book. All her characters were amazing and realistic. One of the characters that impact me the most was Aunt Jodi because it reminds me of someone close to me. It amazed me how much they were so alike (Aunt Jodi and that someone). Oh and the ants!! One of my favorite things about the book were the ants. They were hilarious! This book touched my heart, broke it and made me laughed like a crazy person. A.S. King is incredible with words, and I admire that she decided to write about bullying, to educate us about how bad the situations is for some kids out there. I want to say something to people who witness bullying, if you see someone getting bullied do something don't stand there and act like nothing is wrong. You might save a life VIVA THE ANTS!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book, “Everybody Sees the Ants,” by A.S. King explores a boy named Lucky Linderman and how Lucky tries to overcome his school bully Nader. The conflict in this story is external and character vs. character. Lucky has been repeatingly bullied by Nader since second grad, and now Lucky is in high school. For example, like how Nader says,”Don’t help her” because Charlotte’s bikini top fell off in the pool which shows how rude Nader is. So, Lucky and his mom go to their Aunt Jodi’s house for a vacation from everything, and met a girl there that changes him. The second conflict is Lucky’s parents. Lucky’s mother is absolutely addicted to swimming as it says,”My mother is addicted to swimming. I don’t mean this in a cute, doing handstands-in-the-shallow-end sort of way.” Then, there is Lucky’s father who knows Lucky is getting bullied, but doesn’t do anything about it. Which shows as Lucky says,”maybe she thinks being a squid means she won’t be swallowed by the hole in our family,” […] Dad says was ,: It would have been better if my dad had come home in a bag, because then at least we could know.” Then he transforms into a turtle,” which shows how Lucky’s mother and father are cowards and won’t face their problems. I like this book, because how it shows Lucky growing and learning a lesson through all of this. For example, how to stand up for himself and to be independent. Also, it teaches you there can be ups and downs in life. For example, “ NO matter what I do, I can never get away from it. It’s like we’re cursed.” I also like in this book is Lucky can see imaginary ants because that symbolizes his self-concious and how he feels or what he sees. For example,” […] You’re bleeding a little, and hand me a tissue. The ants say: aren’t we all bleeding a little?” Also how Lucky’s scab symbolizes how much hes grown and the more he gets stronger physicaly and emotionaly. For example,” I feel the fresh, smooth parts and marvel at how soft they are. New skin amazes me. New skin is a miracle. It is proof that we can heal.” I would recommend this book to anyone goinig through rough times, getting bullied in high school, or anyone because, “Everybody Sees The Ants,” teaches you a lesson.
Rita913 More than 1 year ago
A book club I belong to had this as their book of the month. No one anticipated we would like it, but we all did. It was entertaining, and we could see ourselves in the characters. The people and dialogue were true to life. The situations were believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a surprisingly good read about a young man's coming off age, dealing with his parents' benign neglect and his experience with bullying. I liked it.
elizardkwik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was such an extraordinary book! From the chapter titles and the comedic insects to the way that topics such as bullying, marital problems, depression, and war were covered, this was brilliantly written. Lucky was a believable and honest narrator who managed to capture so much truth without having to say too much. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time after you finish it.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lucky Linderman's mother is a squid. She spends all her time swimming laps at the pool. His father is a turtle and spends most of his time working. Lucky's grandfather is missing in action from the Vietnam War, and Lucky dreams of rescuing him. Lucky is a victim, tormented and physically abused by a local bully. Lucky wants to bring his family together, and stop the torment.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a powerful and accessible story about one kid realizing that he's not alone and figuring out how to take charge of his life.
bibliophyte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is unexpectedly poignant and tends to linger in the back of your mind. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really looking forward to reading it. I had read some rather unsavory things about Everybody Sees the Ants here on Goodreads and was tempted to simply return it to the library and pick up a different book instead. I suppose another reason I was hesitant to read it is because YA books that claim to discuss teen issues have the unfortunate tendency to come off as angst-y and superficial and discuss "teen issues" instead of actual teen issues. For example, books that suggest dating is the single biggest issue teens deal with annoy the heck out of me, not to mention always made me feel a little insulted. I mean, even at my angst-iest I did, in fact, have more on the brain than dating. Anyway, this book does not fall into that category, thankfully, and far surpassed my expectations. I really like the main protagonist and narrator, Lucky. He is believable and relatable, a normal kid dealing with several years of bullying culminating in a traumatizing locker room experience. He has a flair for honesty that tends to get him into trouble, especially with the adults at his school who prefer to delude themselves into believing Lucky's problems are inside his head rather than the result of them ignoring the obvious signs of bullying for years. Most of the adults in this book are portrayed as being schmucks in one way or another: Lucky's father neglects his wife and son, incessantly working so as to avoid facing his personal problems; his mother cares deeply for Lucky but ignores the bullying to please her husband (who insists that confronting Nadar [the bully]/Nadar's parents/the school will count as coddling); his teachers and school principal are more concerned about politics (upsetting Nadar's father) than making sure their most vulnerable students are safe; and the only man Lucky has ever really looked up to is discovered to be a serial-cheater. Even though this cast of weak and ineffective adults may appear prejudiced and unreasonable, it seems to me to be a pretty fair appraisal of the reality of a lot of kids and teens: no real support at home and no protection at school. This book is, in a way, a social commentary and strives for change in the school system as well as perceptions of bullying (i.e. it is not inevitable, it can be prevented, etc.) through the student body itself, rather than through the adults (though it is hoped, of course, that at least some adults will take the time to read it and change their perceptions as well). It encourages empowerment and a refusal to allow yourself to be a victim, while at the same time being sensitive to those who have been or are being victimized. I feel Lucky sets a good example by refusing to become disillusioned and mean himself, instead believing he can be better than Nadar and his buddies and acting on those convictions. Possibly the most interesting aspect of this book, though, concerns Lucky's paternal grandfather, Harry, who has been MIA ever since he was taken prisoner in the jungles of Laos during the Vietnam War. Lucky has vivid dreams about going to the jungle to save his grandfather, seemingly harmless until they become a form of escape for him and he begins to retreat into sleep to avoid real life. Harry is instrumental in helping Lucky face his reality and realize life is what you make of it, no matter how hard it may seem. Harry should know about this first hand since his fate was decided by the draft lotteries, a rather cruel system that dictated, according to the men's birth dates, in what order they would be drafted. The most unique aspect of this book is the author's use of the ants. They are literally a little group of ants that Lucky starts seeing after Nadar beats him up badly. Sometimes they comment on a situation or a thought of Lucky's, act out a farcical scene, or simply provide insight. They are one more way it is demonstrated to the reader that we
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
EVERYONE SEES THE ANTS by A.S. King is the haunting story of a boy confronting issues related to bullying and at the same time dealing with the multi-generational impact of the Vietnam War.I really enjoyed this book. I think it would be of interest to both male and female teens. The characters were well-developed and reacted realistically throughout.I loved the fact that this book doesn't fit into a traditional genre. It's one of the things that makes the novel unique and compelling¿ just like real life. We all have family history could easily reach fantasy status with the right trigger. We've all been impacted by bullies in different ways throughout our lives. It was interested to see the many types of bullies that were represented beyond teen bullying. I was thinking about the way Ginny's parents bullied her into modeling and her act of defiance.It's probably my teaching background, but I found the school's reaction to the suicide/draft project particularly interesting because we were viewing the teen's perspective of the adult reactions. In the same way, I found the family dynamics aspect of the book very real-world and well-described from a teen's point of view. The author did a wonderful job showing what a teen "sees" of the adult world.I could go on and on about the interesting elements of this book. I think that says it all.
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
This is my first A. S. King book, I was really looking forward to reading a book by her, I had heard nothing but great things about her books, all of them good, none bad. So I had a choice to make, which one should I read first, luckily someone offered to loan me this book to try it out in case I didn’t like her writing. I’m now buying this book and all of her books, it was really good, I was worried about the magical realism aspect of it because the ones I had read before I wasn’t a fan of, but this one was totally different for me, the story is easy to understand, easy to get into and easy to care and even love some characters (some characters you just can’t love!). Lucky is a very complex character even if he doesn’t seem to be at the beginning, it would seem every characters is like that in this book and they are all interesting and they all seem very real to me, I could actually see some of them in real life, some I could even draw comparisons to people in my life! and I think that was really what helped me really get into the story. For me the book felt quite and nostalgic at times and at other times it felt loud and rebellious. It was a fantastic reading experience one I’m looking forward to repeating with her other works.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good read. I can see how some people would not like it but everyone has different tastes and views, so reviews are just oponons... i reccomend giving this book a try :) who knows? You might just like it.
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MissPrint More than 1 year ago
There are some things you need to know about Lucky Linderman. First: His mother is a squid. She swims more than two hundred laps every day. No matter what. Even when Lucky has some new bruises courtesy of Nader McMillan or her husband once again flakes on his familial duties. Second: His father is a turtle. Lucky's grandfather never came home from Vietnam and Lucky's dad never recovered. He spends all of his time hiding in his shell or working at the restaurant instead of actually being a father. Third: Lucky doesn't smile. Ever. Not since asking one stupid question for one stupid project in Social Studies (the class actually isn't stupid--Lucky kind of likes it). He is definitely not going to smile since that one stupid question brought him nothing but trouble and the renewed hatred of Nader McMillan. Fourth: Ever since Lucky was seven he's been having strange dreams. Now the dreams are his only refuge as he spends each night in the war-torn jungles of Laos trying to finally bring his grandfather home from the war he could never leave. But even dreams that seem as real as Lucky's can only last so long before it's time to really wake up in Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King. Everybody Sees the Ants is King's follow-up to her Printz Honor book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It was also a finalist for the 2011 Cybils in Young Adult Fiction which is how I came to read it. There are certain books that I enjoy upon first reading them. But the more I think about them, the more I really look at all of the little details, the more problems I have. Everybody Sees the Ants was that kind of book. While not actually a mystery, Everybody Sees the Ants is structured in such a way that readers do not initially get a linear story nor do they get the full story. Anyone looking for a puzzle to put together will enjoy the multiple angles of this book. Lucky is a shockingly authentic* narrator with a voice and story all his own. King's writing is painfully intense and quirky as Lucky drags readers through dense Laos jungle and the even deeper problems of his own life. Unfortunately these strengths are not complemented by the book's plot which is filled with numerous holes and seemingly random details that added little to the plot itself. Without delving into specifics, King never fully explains the nature of Lucky's dreams which creates a fundamental problem with the structure of the book. Similarly, readers never really understand why one teenaged boy is able to not only bully but literally terrorize an entire town with absolutely no intervention from any adults or the authorities.** Other moments were easily predicted or simply heavy-handed as King was at pains to make certain points about Lucky's relationships with his parents and the world at large. If you aren't looking for a book that needs to answer all of your questions or stand up to a close reading, Everybody Sees the Ants might still appeal. *Unlike me, you probably already knew that King was a female author. I didn't know that while reading the book and was completely floored to find out A. S. King was not a man. That's how authentic Lucky's voice is in this story. **I maintain my stance that Nader should have been institutionalized as a psychopath long before the events of this book started. Possible Pairings: Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, The Piper's Son by Meli
Anonymous More than 1 year ago