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Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants
By A.S. King
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
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 daily 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?

A.S. King needs to write more. I liked Please Ignore Vera Dietz better, but this was still a great read. Though it was difficult to read at first, I thought she did a great job at addressing the bullying issue. It was very accurate, I thought. My favorite thing about this book was how going somewhere new helped Lucky learn about himself and grow. I liked the ending, I liked how Lucky learned about life. I liked how Lucky's personality was portrayed, and how he didn't even admit things to himself. I didn't feel sorry for him, either -- I didn't want any of this to be happening to him, but I didn't pity him. I don't think bullied kids should be portrayed as pitiful, so I really appreciated that about this book. I really recommend it.