Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
This book was a wonderful surprise. I enjoyed The Schwa Was Here several years ago and I had forgotten what a great character Antsy Bonano is. This is the sequel to that book, but I believe with its new plot and characters it could stand alone. It's hard to describe the plot because there's a lot going on. In a nutshell, Antsy befriends a boy named Gunnar who has only six months to live. Antsy comes up with a symbolic gesture of donating a month of his life to Gunnar and suddenly everyone wants to donate their time also. Antsy is awkward, funny, earnest, and fully aware that he is not the coolest guy in the school, but somehow he becomes famous for his "time donation" scheme and ends up dating Gunnar's beautiful older sister. There's tons of humor in this story, but the real charm of the book is Antsy and his realizations about family relationships, his girlfriend, and how precious time is. This is Neal Shusterman's writing at its very best and I think this book ought to be recognized as one of the best middle school books of the year. It would make a fantastic read-aloud. I highly recommend it to readers in grade six on up.