Thursday, January 31, 2013

Anteater-Boy by Dean Ammerman

Title: Anteater-Boy
Author: Dean Ammerman
Publisher: Kabloona
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 80% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
The school year is coming to an end and high school freshman Zak Dale wants a summer job to earn some money. His fish-eyed science teacher, Dr. Cyrus B. Fletcher, has a job opening but wants Zak to clean the science classroom, improve his grades, and deliver an award-winning speech to get it.

As Zak tries to prove he’s the best person for the summer job, he helps his best friend Miles search for the holy grail of junk food, falls in love with the beautiful and mysterious Mia Holmes, locates his missing grandmother, neglects his bladder-challenged dachshund, and takes a journey through the American Revolution with Darius Brown, his substitute history teacher.
My Thoughts::
It isn't on purpose, but I rarely read books from small publishers. I'm not sure why, but the biggest possible reason is that whenever I get emails about them for review I am rarely interested in the book that they are offering. It just isn't for me. Also, most of the books I haven't heard of or read reviews for, so I would have to put myself way out there to read something that doesn't seem like what I like. But this book definitely captured my interest enough for me to step out of my comfort zone.

I was happy getting to know Zak, because I always feel like I don't read enough books with male main characters. He was a fun character that had a really good and innocent heart. I really wanted him to succeed. But this brings me to one of my few complaints. Maybe it's because I don't read enough books with male narrators, but Zak seemed really typical and bland. I liked him enough, but he didn't capture my interest and make me want to learn all about him.

Not a whole lot happens, but since this is contemporary YA, I didn't expect explosions. The book went in a few different directions, including the romance. I appreciated the romance, but lucky for Ammerman, the book didn't need it. Miles was funny, so his scenes were very enjoyable. My favorite parts though are the ones that include the substitute teacher Darius Brown. It made the novel more than just another run of the mill story about an awkward teenager. It really made me think about some current and past issues that this country has with not only racism, but with race in history and what is taught.

Overall I think that Anteater Boy was a pleasant reading experience that was on the verge of being pretty meh overall until we get into history class.

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