144 Days - Save the world. Or not. What would you do?


Henry Denton is a teen trying to handle his stressful life. His boyfriend committed suicide and his family is struggling to stay afloat. Now his alien abductors (with whom he has had previous interaction) have told him that the future of humanity is up to him. He can push a giant red button and save the planet OR let the aliens destroy the world. He has 144 days to decide. Given the pain he feels and his family's struggles, he's not sure why humanity sould survive. But as a man of science, Henry decides to figure out if the world and its people are worth saving. What lies ahead is a dark journey, where Henry tries to find beauty and meaning in his chaotic world.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
Hutchinson’s book is full of incredibly relatable and real characters, all with their own struggles. With Henry’s incredible journey, Hutchinson throws out a lifeline to readers who also struggle to find their place in the world. Readers will feel for Henry in his heartbreaking and heartwarming moments. I certainly appreciated Henry’s words of wisdom and life lessons.

The story itself is thought-provoking, and the author provides an insight into navigating different kinds of relationships. Henry meets and interacts with many people, some of whom help him see the world in a better light, others not so much. The philosophic language and slow pace made it too "angst-y" for my taste.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Teens, young adults, and adults who like realism and thought-provoking content will find everything they love about great science fiction - and more - in We Are the Ants.

Content Awareness Factors:

This is a book for teens and young adults, despite the elementary-aged reading level. Characters use a lot of profanity, and the plot includes violence, sex, and suicide, as well as alcohol and drug use.

Type of Book:
This is a science fiction novel ...
Educational Themes:

Despite being science fiction, the story incorporates some very realistic content that can catapult into some big discussions:

  • Who influenced Henry's choices? Why? How?
  • Did Henry's "scientific" approach change what you think his original decision was going to be?

You can also find a set of topical questions for We Are the Ants on Goodreads (among other places).

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:

Title We Are the Ants
Author Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher Simon Pulse, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2017 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781481449649
Material Paperback
Cost $11.99
Genres Family, Health & Wellness, Social Issues
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Shaun David Hutchinson
Simon Pulse, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2018 (Reprint Edition)
be the star you are Cybils