The Natural Genius of Ants

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Harvard’s dad, a doctor, made a mistake and a baby died. It has been really hard. Dad isn’t working and decides to take Harvard and his little brother, Roger, to Dad’s childhood hometown for the summer. They rent a house from a good friend of Dad’s, and Harvard and the friend’s daughter, Nevaeh, become fast friends. Dad thinks making an ant farm will be a fun project, so they build one, which Harvard stocks with native ants when the mail-order ones arrive dead. Harvard really wants Dad to be happy again and go back to doctoring, so he decides to write a letter to the mother of the baby who died, but is it the right thing to do?

Betty Culley has written a rich, complex story with characters who will grab readers’ hearts and keep them turning pages all the way through. Although the story deals with death and grief, Culley has enough humor and lightness in the characters and story to keep anything from getting bogged down in the sadness. The writing is simply gorgeous, and the first-person narration by ten-year-old Harvard carries the story perfectly. Do not miss this wonderful book.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Crown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date 10-May-2022
ISBN 9780593175774 Buy this Book
Issue July 2022
Category Tweens