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We are the ants
2016
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Summary
From the "author to watch" ( Kirkus Reviews ) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new 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.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Henry Denton is abducted by aliens who tell him that by merely pushing a button, he can save Earth from annihilation. What seems like an obvious decision becomes a complicated thought process for a teen who has experienced the worst of humanity-bullying, loss, and grief-and who wonders if oblivion is the answer. This strikingly original work will grip readers and force them to ponder tough questions. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Self-hating teenager Henry is caught in an existential trap: finding life to be absurd, he thinks humans are not the apex of civilization on the contrary, they are no more significant than ants. Are they even worth saving? A relevant question, for Henry has a secret: the aliens who have abducted him a dozen times or more have told him when the world will end. Strangely, they have also given him the choice to prevent doomsday; he can simply press a button, and the world will live on. Yet will he take that action? His boyfriend, Jesse, has committed suicide, and Henry, blaming himself, doubts that life is worth living. Certainly, his is a grand parade of suffering and humiliation (because of his belief in aliens, he is called space boy at school). But then charismatic Diego shows up in town, and suddenly life has renewed purpose. But does Henry really have the freedom of choice he thinks he has? Hutchinson's excellent novel of ideas invites readers to wonder about their place in a world that often seems uncaring and meaningless. The novel is never didactic; on the contrary, it is unfailingly dramatic and crackling with characters who become real upon the page. Will Henry press the button? We all await his decision.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2015 Booklist
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