Book of the Week - Antsy Does Time

Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman

Antsy is back and believe me he is as funny as ever. Antsy Bonano and his friends Ira and Howie are hanging out on Thanksgiving, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade when they watch a tragedy unfold. One of the giant balloons takes off with three men (or idiots as Antsy refers to them) dangling from its ropes. Next thing they know, they are taking a train to watch the tragedy in person. Once the attempted rescue is over, Gunnar, an aquaintance from school, turns to Antsy and says, "I have 6 months to live."

Antsy has never had a friend who was dying before, and he has a need to do something Meaningful for Gunnar. Antsy comes up with the grand idea of donating one month of his own life to Gunnar. Sure it's symbolic, but it's the thought that counts, right.

The problems arise when everyone in school hear about it and wants to be involved. Which would be perfectly fine, unless Gunnar is not telling the whole truth.

Antsy has such a memorable and hilarious voice, that it is worth having a second book featuring this amazing kid. Even if you haven't read The Schwa Was Here this book stands on his own. Antsy's family is having problems during this time, and apparently so is Gunnar's. The topics discussed in this book are heavy. Divorce, gambling addiction, death, funerals, dating an older woman, neglect. But the thing that makes all of these things bearable, even light, is the way Antsy tells the story. He tells it in his honest, humorous way, sparing no details and yet always leaving us with the same questions he has. A few Antsy quotes:

“A family is a collection of strangers trapped in a web of DNA and forced to cope.”

"It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are."

"Howie, Ira, and I were hanging out in the recreational attic. We used to have a recreational basement--you know, full of all of our cruddy furniture, a TV, and a big untouchable space in the corner that was going to be for a pool table when we could afford it in some distance Star Trek-like future."

Just a little snippet of the fun you are missing.