We Are the Ants

We Are the Ants

For Ages: 14 - 99
  • 7
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.
  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481449649 | 
  • May 2017 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile ® HL800L
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Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

We Are the Ants

By Shaun David Hutchinson

About This Book

All Henry wanted was to be left alone, to live his life in peace. But that was not to be. King-of-the-jocks Marcus won’t leave him alone, alternating between bullying Henry and hooking up with him. His grandmother won’t leave him alone, as she needs more and more help from her family as she slides into dementia. His brother, Charlie, continues his brotherly torture of Henry, even with the distraction of a pregnant girlfriend. The kids at school won’t leave him alone—most of them taunt him mercilessly, while Audrey and Diego insist on trying to get close. Even the memory of his former boyfriend, Jesse, who committed suicide, continues to haunt him. But worst of all are the sluggers, the aliens who have been regularly abducting Henry since he was young. They have stepped up their game, presenting him with a terrible choice.

The sluggers know when the world is going to end, and they are forcing Henry to decide whether or not to save it. But how can Henry be persuaded to save a world that seems to contain nothing but suffering for everyone on it? Does saving humanity mean letting them be destroyed, or forcing them to continue their pitiful lives?

Discussion Questions

1. We Are the Ants begins with a quote by famous sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, “Two possibilities see more

More Books from this Author

Feral Youth
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
At the Edge of the Universe
Violent Ends

About the Author

Shaun David Hutchinson
Photograph by Chris Piedra

Shaun David Hutchinson

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.