We Are the Ants

by Shaun David Hutchinson

Henry Denton is struggling with grief and guilt over his boyfriend Jesse’s... read more

Henry Denton is struggling with grief and guilt over his boyfriend Jesse’s suicide the previous year. Henry also has a history of being abducted and released by aliens, and recently those aliens have given him a choice: press a button and save all humanity or let life on earth perish. As the calendar counts down toward the day when he will have to make a decision, Henry is looking for reasons to save his fellow humans but coming up short. His grief is compounded by intensified bullying at school, where he is known as “Space Boy”; a secret sexual relationship with a closeted classmate whose actions can be cruel; and difficult relationships at home. Then new kid Diego Vega offers Henry friendship that gradually blossoms into romance, challenging Henry’s perspective on everything from his own self-worth to the ability of humans to rise above the grittiness and hateful things we sometimes inflict on one another. The big ideas Henry contemplates as well as his rough emotional state are balanced by his sharply funny voice, while the complexity of the primary and secondary characters and their relationships adds to the texture of this mature work. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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