Everybody sees the Ants by A.S. King
This story is called, Everybody sees the Ants, written by A.S. King. It’s realistic fiction writing with a little bit of fantasy mixed in. The story is about a fifteen-year-old boy, Lucky Linderman, who is unfortunately bullied through out the story. One key characteristic about Lucky though is that he is able to dream about his grandfather who was a POW/MIA soldier in the Vietnam War. In his very vivid dreams Lucky is able to help his grandfather try to escape his imprisonment. Lucky is under a lot of pressure in this novel as he is consistently bullied and his parents and the school administration does nothing to help. Eventually he is able to find inner strength to overcome his obstacles.
The character I favored in this story is Virginia (Ginny). Lucky met her when he and his mom went to go visit Lucky’s aunt and uncle in Arizona. Ginny belongs to a very strict family that keeps a tight leash on her activities and whereabouts. What I admire about her so much is her individuality and how she is totally against her whole hair gig. Her parents made her out to be a shampoo model since her hair is so beautiful but she sees otherwise and completely shaves it off. Lucky is the character that I can relate to somewhat. The differences in our ages and personal issues set us apart but he does one thing that I can relate to which is being a creative thinker. The day lucky visits the Grand Canyon with his mom, aunt, and uncle he watches a group of older teenagers standing out on a rock and thinks to himself, “Its like one of those cartoon images—a stalagmite of rock that supports a platform where the Road Runner would stand to taunt Wile E. Coyote”(166). Lucky has his way of relating everyday situations with cartoons and other imaginative thoughts. One thing that set us apart though is that Lucky was bullied throughout the story and I have never really experienced anything like that.
One of the major themes in this book is bullying. Lucky has been bullied by the menacing Nader McMillan since 7th grade. Lucky has tried everything to be on Nader’s good side. He even tried becoming his friend, which later on just backfired on him. The bullying is part of the reason why Lucky and his mom took the trip to their aunt’s house. Lucky's mom had had enough of it and felt that it was a good idea to take him away and try to get his mind off things. In the end, it was life transforming for Lucky. He came back with a whole new perspective on life and was ready to stand up to his battles. Another underlying theme was Lucky's dysfunctional family. His dad was like a turtle, only paying attention to his work and cooking mostly because of the loss of his father, Lucky’s grandfather. His mom was like a squid, obsessive over swimming laps in the community pool everyday. This made it very hard for his family to have time to bond. One day while patching up the back patio at his aunts house he thinks, "It would be nice to be able to fix my life the way I'm fixing the patio. I wonder, is there enough terracotta-colored cement to fill the hole where my Father should be? Or where my mother's spine should be? Or where my guts should be?" (129). Lucky's visit to his aunts gave him a break to sit back and think of ways to possibly patch up his family so that they were