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Welcome to The Natural Genius of Ants Blog Tour!
by Betty Culley
Just like ants, ant books come in all sizes and colors! When researching for The Natural Genius of Ants, I looked through a big, heavy book called (of course) The Ants by the world-renowned biologists Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. I also read kids’ books about ants, too, which had great photos and lots of fun and interesting facts. Some of the plot points in the book ended up being inspired by things I read in all these books. Hint: Ant stomachs and ant naps!
The Ant Keeping Handbook was very helpful when I was trying, like Harvard and his friend Nevaeh, to keep the ants in my ant farms alive. It was equally essential when I was caring for a carpenter ant queen and her offspring.
In TThe Natural Genius of Ants, Harvard’s dad brings home a very special book about ants from the Kettle Hole Bookstore in the small town in Maine where they’re staying. It’s not any one of these, so you’ll have to read the book (hint!) to find out the title!
On Shelves May 10, 2022!
“Culley gives readers characters that are natural, fallible individuals, which add credibility and tenderness to the story. Endearingly executed, this gentle tale will see readers applauding as they reach the end.”
—Booklist (Starred Review)
"Quietly and emotionally intelligent, this tale satisfies."
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 was 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.
- One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Natural Genius of Ants, as well as a copy of Betty's first middle grade novel Down to Earth and a bookmark!
- US/Can only
- Ends 5/22 at 11:59pm ET
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
“A captivating middle-grade novel.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
“Heartwarming and absorbing, this is a solid choice for middle grade collections. Perfect for readers who want a great small-town story mixed with STEM.” —School Library Journal
Counting by 7s meets See You in the Cosmos in this heartwarming coming-of-age story perfect for the budding geologists and those fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.
Henry has always been fascinated by rocks. As a homeschooler, he pours through the R volume of the encyclopedia to help him identify the rocks he finds. So, when a meteorite falls in his family’s field, who better to investigate than this rock enthusiast–with his best friend, James, and his little sister, Birdie, in tow, of course.
But soon after the meteorite’s arrival, the water in Henry’s small Maine town starts drying up. It’s not long before news spreads that the space rock and Henry’s family might be to blame. Henry is determined to defend his newest discovery, but his knowledge of geology could not have prepared him for how much this stone from the sky would change his community, his family, and even himself.
Science and wonder abound in this middle-grade debut about an inquisitive boy and the massive rock that came down to Earth to reshape his life.
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