This is how I pictured Nader at seven.

Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King

when Lucky Linderman was seven, Nader McMillan followed him into the restroom at a family restaurant and peed on his shoes.  


Then Nader McMillan went out to tell the manager that a boy had just peed all over the restroom floor.  The restaurant manager went to get Lucky's father and came in to berate Lucky.  Lucky gets jerked out of the restaurant, humiliated and stinking of pee; crying all the way home because no one believes him when he tells them that Nader did it.  (Nader's father is an influential attorney and has clout in the town.)




to me Nader looks exactly like this:



(If you haven't seen the tv commercial, you can view it here: )


Finally, his father heaves a big sigh and says something like, well, maybe he peed on your feet, but he can't pee on your soul.  For Lucky Linderman, that was the day his world changed.


everyday since then has been staying out of the way of Nader or, failing that, recovering from their encounters.


The themes of bullying, aspirations of parents for their children, and the ability of children to survive in spite of the shortcomings of those very same parents and other adults; social status and image are all handled with a deft touch.


There is a very good discussion between Lucky and Ginny on the problems of puberty, how we should respect each other, the impact of sex on young adults,  and the repercussions of disrespecting each other.  I love that Ginny spells it out and I love that Lucky gets it.


it's about family, and relationships and love.  My second A. S. King, but definitely not my last.


Favorite quote:  ". . I finally face Ginny.  . . Her confidence is lifelong and enormous, the way my lack of confidence is lifelong and enormous. . .  I am the only one who can't laugh at funny jokes about myself.  I am the only one who can't face the truth about myself.  I am the only one who is pretending."


but this is the summer that Lucky will grow up, discover new strength within himself, learn how to confront his problems and make them go away; to repair his relationship with his parents and to put his past to rest.


don't you like this cover better?