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We Are the Ants
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We Are the Ants
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A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021) From the "author to watch" (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes an "equal parts sarcastic and profound" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)...
A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021) From the "author to watch" (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes an "equal parts sarcastic and profound" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)...
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  • A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021)

    From the "author to watch" (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes an "equal parts sarcastic and profound" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.
    Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

    Only he isn't sure he wants to.

    After all, life hasn't been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer's. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend's suicide last year.

    Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

    But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it...or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

About the Author-

  • Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, At the Edge of the Universe, and We Are the Ants. He also edited the anthologies Violent Ends and Feral Youth and wrote the memoir Brave Face, which chronicles his struggles with depression and coming out during his teenage years. He lives in Seattle, where he enjoys drinking coffee, yelling at the TV, and eating cake. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com or on Twitter @ShaunieDarko.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 14, 2015
    Henry Denton's life is in tatters—he was abandoned by his father; his boyfriend, Jesse, hanged himself; and he is regularly abducted by aliens who have put Earth's very fate in his hands. The 16-year-old, nicknamed "Space Boy" by his tormentors, is self-destructing until he finds a friend in new kid Diego and an ally in Jesse's former pal Audrey. In a style reminiscent of Slaughterhouse-Five, Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley) intersperses Henry's experience aboard the "slugger" spaceship with his trials on Earth, where he's "a punch line at school, a ghost at home." The extraterrestrial scenes are less the makings of a SF novel than a metaphor for Henry's isolation and alienation from his family and peers, including a gang of bullies who brutally assault him in a shower and then publicly shame him. Hutchinson has crafted an unflinching portrait of the pain and confusion of young love and loss, thoughtfully exploring topics like dementia, abuse, sexuality, and suicide as they entwine with the messy work of growing up. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Boggs, Donald Maass Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Henry has been tasked by aliens to determine if humans deserve to live, but Henry is a teenager who is trying to deal with the suicide of his last boyfriend, the passive-aggressive abuse of his current romance, and a budding relationship with a new classmate. The rest of his life is falling apart as well, so he's doubtful that humans deserve any future. Narrator Gibson Frazier's youthful projection captures this first-person story well. He delivers tonal shifts that reflect Henry's emotions as the story progresses and produces realistic voices for the other characters. He also captures Henry's wry humor as he contemplates what it means to control the fate of the world. L.E. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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