Hardcover: 240 pages
Praise for THE NATURAL GENIUS OF ANTS
“Endearingly executed, this gentle tale will see readers applauding as they reach the end.” —Booklist, starred review
“Quietly and emotionally intelligent, this tale satisfies.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This hopeful story that explores the reality of hardship and mistakes amid themes of forgiveness and resilience.” —Publishers Weekly
A summer ant farm grows into a learning experience for the entire family in this lyrical coming-of-age story from the award-winning author of Down to Earth.
Harvard is used to his father coming home from the hospital and telling him about all the babies he helped. But since the mistake at work, Dad has been quieter than usual. And now he is taking Harvard and his little brother, Roger, to Kettle Hole, Maine, for the summer. Harvard hopes this trip isn’t another mistake.
In the small town where he grew up, Dad seems more himself. Especially once the family decides to start an ant farm— just like Dad had as a kid! But when the mail-order ants are D.O.A., Harvard doesn’t want Dad to experience any more sadness.
Luckily, his new friend Nevaeh has the brilliant idea to use the ants crawling around in the kitchen instead. But these insects don’t come with directions. So the kids have a lot to learn—about the ants, each other, and how to forgive ourselves when things go wrong.
Betty Culley’s debut novel in verse Three Things I Know Are True, was a Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten Pick, an ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee, and the 2021 Maine Literary Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature. Her first middle-grade novel Down to Earth is inspired by her fascination with meteorites, voyagers from another place and time. She’s an RN who worked as an obstetrics nurse and as a pediatric home hospice nurse. She lives in central Maine, where the rivers run through the small towns.