Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The 2011 Cybils Awards: My perspective on the nominee Everybody Sees the Ants

Appetizer:  As a freshman, Lucky Linderman took a vow to stop smiling.  Since the age of seven, he has been bullied.  His tormentor, a boy named Nader, has always gotten away with his pranks, bullying and threats.

The one person who seems to help Lucky is his grandfather.  A prisoner of war in Vietnam who visits with Lucky in his dreams.

When Nader's bullying grows worse, Lucky's mom uproots them both for a vacation and Lucky finds himself guided by his uncle and maybe even facing a romance.

Opening Quotation:

"All I did was ask a stupid question.
Six months ago I was assigned the standard second-semester freshman social studies project at Freddy High:  Create a survey, evaluate data, graph data, express conclusion in a two-hundred-word paper.  This was an easy A.  I thought up my question and printed out 120 copies.
The question was:  If you were going to commit suicide, what method would you choose? (p. 3)

My Thoughts:  I really liked that Everybody Sees the Ants took on the issue of bullying.  I also liked that it would lend itself to discussing the Vietnam War.

A.S. King's writing was clear.  She created a great voice for Lucky.

However, the magical realism of Lucky's conversations with his grandfather did not work for me at all.

Nonetheless, check this one out!  I was glad the Cybils Award gave me an excuse to pick it up.

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