From Ant to Eagle

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

I have said I wouldn't recommend this book to the children I work with, only because it would have to be handled carefully and isn't something I would just have freely available on the shelf. 

The book deals with some really difficult issues and is incredibly sad in places (I often get a bit teary at sad bits in books or films but I stayed up into the early hours to finish this book and then properly sobbed for quite a while!) I feel that this just shows the skill of the author in making a reader feel so strongly about the characters and events. 

I don't want to give too much away but this book deals with a family's grief in a way that isn't sugar-coated or pretty (I was not surprised to read that the author is a pediatrician) and shows a very real view of the different ways people grieve.

Despite all of the above, this book has many funny moments and some really lovely, believable relationships and is a thoroughly worthwhile read - just don't forget the tissues!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for this ebook in exchange for my review.

Amazing book. The writing, the story, the heartbreak, but the strength. Wonderful book, and I hope to read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
This novel was an absolute treat. The narrator was the older brother Calvin, known as Cal. He starts the novel off by saying he killed him little brother. It sucks you into the novel and makes you want to know what could this 12 year old boy have done to kill his little brother. Their summer antics make it seem like the story is going go in a certain way, especially since the author Alex Lyttle is an allergy doctor. 

I loved how Lyttle wrote Cal to have thoughts and feelings that I perceived an actual 12 year old boy would go through when the different events happen through out the novel. He is 12, who should he really care about other than himself. I know I was very self centered in middle school as well. 

This novel was so good. I can not wait for my son to read it one day.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a bit different than I anticipated and I am unable to give it a fair and favorable review. I appreciate your understanding and patience and I apologize for this.
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful story that will pull out a range of emotions. The author speaks in a voice that is relatable. This is worth reading.
Was this review helpful?
From Ant to Eagle was an excellent read. This book was not only a very good story but it helped provide an understanding of things would normally be difficult to understand in an excellent way. And while the story is very realistic, the author handles the serious issues in a very sensitive manner.

FROM ANT TO EAGLE is a well-written novel. I thought this might be a very upsetting read due to the subject matter, and I did shed quite a few tears, but this is a story about more than just illness and sadness. There's love, family, friendship,forgiveness, hope, and much more.

An unforgettable, entertaining, and inspiring read. Alex Lyttle did an excellent job of bringing his characters to life. Sammy and Cal are terrific characters with an incredible bond that shines throughout the story. They are characters that won't soon be forgotten
Was this review helpful?
The summer before sixth grade Calvin meets Aleta and he is instantly smitten. Since moving from London Calvin has had less to do, having to spend most of his days with his little brother Sammy. Now with Aleta around though Calvin begins to spend less time with Sammy, sneaking away in the mornings and leaving Sammy with 'missions' to complete to keep him occupied. Sammy spends the summer trying to dunk 100 basketballs in one day, to try and make Calvin happy and complete his 'mission', but eventually gives up on trying to get Calvin's attention. Though Sammy is sick through out the summer and loses a lot of weight, it gets attributed to the physical activity. Then on the first day back to school, Sammy collapses and has a seizure, and everything changes for Calvin. 

I know this is a children's book so like maybe I'm being unfair but like the book was just depressing and made me feel bummed out but I didn't enjoy it much. I just don't get why right off the bat we're told Sammy dies. What is the point in reading the book if we already know that. And in the beginning of the book it's made to seem like Sammy gets sick because Calvin is too busy with Aleta all summer to notice that his brother is sick but then  at the end Sammy dies from pneumonia and Calvin is suddenly blaming himself for giving him the flu  and like what the heck which one is it Calvin, because he's telling us this all in the past tense after reflecting but like there should be more cohesion then. 

It's not a bad book, it's just probably not written for me because I'm like 22 and belligerent and just cried because it was such a sad thing and so then I was just kind of angry that I had to read about a dying child and there wasn't enough of a cohesive story line and I just got nothing out of it because I'm just upset like what the heck. It probably be better for kids though, especially those starting to learn about death and loss and deal with those things.
Was this review helpful?
Ah geez, this made me bawl. I absolutely loved it. Wonderful characters, engaging narration, and such a vivid setting. It's like you're there with them.
Was this review helpful?
From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle is heart breaking but incredible story about family and the special bond of two brothers. Make sure to grab your tissues before you jump in here. And be warned, once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.

So first of all, I dove into this book totally blind. I simply LOVED the cover and requested it immediately from NetGalley. If you haven't already read the synopsis, I recommend doing the same and checking out this review later.

After reading the very first chapter, I said right out loud: "Holy cow!" The first chapter certainly hooked me! I thought that it set the scene very well. After that, I could not put the book down.

The last line of the first chapter is alluded to in the synopsis; "I'm the one who killed Sammy." When I read this line, my brain immediately starting thinking of all the things this could mean. Then as I read, I realized that there was a nervousness that was always looming. Every situation seemed like it could be the one where things went wrong- but I could have never seen what was coming.

I absolutely loved the narrative and how it circled right back to the beginning. Overall, it all just flowed so well and seemed so real! It followed a format where the main character was writing the story down, so as the narrator described things he occasionally got ahead of himself and then said things like, “That’s not quite right” and then backed up to clarify.

I also thought that the author wonderfully captured the personas of eleven-year-old, Calvin, and six-year-old, Sammy! They both seemed so incredibly real; everything from their quick back and forth banter to the looks they would give each other to communicate silently was incredible. Having a close younger brother, I related to a lot of the things Calvin experienced or discussed.

One small element of this book that was really wonderful to me was that Sammy and Calvin shared a love of Goosebumps books. Whenever there was a scene with these books, I couldn't help but smile.

It is clear that this author is incredibly talented. I'm a bit sad that this was his first book, but only because I cannot wait to get my hands on another! I will definitely be watching closely for new releases.

This story was just so beautiful. And while I cried and got angry from time to time, these situations quickly passed into moments of hope and love. I cannot recommend this one enough. Go pick From Ant to Eagle by Alex Little up today.
Was this review helpful?
It has been a long time since I was so deeply moved by a book. Well written, and great for middle school students. I couldn't put it down.
Was this review helpful?
from ant to eagle made me feel a lot of things from the start to the end, however I didn't love it.
Was this review helpful?
Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of From Ant to Eagle.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Calvin Sinclair, age 11, loves his 6 year old brother Sammy, but is tired of being his constant companion.  Having just moved to a new area, the brothers only have each other to provide entertainment.  Calvin passes the time by making his brother do a series of tasks, under the guise of having him reach Calvin's level.  When Cal meets Aleta Alvarado, who is his age and is new to town as well, he neglects Sammy for weeks.  When illness threatens all that Calvin holds dear, will he be able to right what he feels he did wrong before it is too late?

From Ant to Eagle is not an easy book to read because of its realistic quality.  Author Alex Lyttle clearly knows his subject matter and has drawn such realistic characters that I feel an emotional connection to them.  Dealing with a life threatening illness is not easy for adults and just as devastating for kids, so this is a book that parents can give to children who are facing similar circumstances.  It can help open a dialogue and help parents to provide comfort and support.  I highly recommend From Ant to Eagle and look forward to reading more by author Alex Lyttle in the future.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book for children. But it's not a book about dragons and princesses or magic schools. No. It's a book about cancer. From Ant to Eagle is beautifully crafted story about grief, hope, family and friendship. It's a tear-inducing, hear-wrenching novel that will stay with you long after finishing the last page.
From Ant to Eagle is such an tenderly, compassionately and respectfully written book. It spreads awareness among children about truly serious topics but does it sensitively and in such a way that even young children will have no trouble understanding the message. 

In some places, the book felt a little bit too maturely narrated. Of course it's hard to switch into the mindset of an 11-year-old, but the phrasing of the sentences wasn't very close to the way a 6th grader would talk. It doesn't take anything from the story but maybe it would have been more authentic-feeling if the writing was a little bit more childlike.

From Ant to Eagle is truly masterful work, definitely not only for middle graders.
Was this review helpful?
By the end of the first chapter of From Ant to Eagle, eleven-year-old Calvin Sinclair has confessed to killing his younger brother. And with that—just a dozen or so sentences into the book—author Alex Lyttle had my undivided attention.

From Ant to Eagle is the story of Calvin and his six-year-old brother Sammy. Calvin loves his brother, but he also loves picking on him and manipulating him, and he occasionally excludes or neglects him. 

Like many sibling interactions, Sammy adores his big brother. And Calvin takes advantage of Sammy’s hero-worship. Calvin has created a Level System to make Sammy do nearly anything he can think of—like try to eliminate a wasp’s nest with a can of WD40. When Sammy completes a “mission” with bravery and courage, Calvin awards him a Level. Sammy began at Ant, and is eager to reach the highest Level: Eagle.

Two years ago, Calvin’s family moved to Huxbury, a small town in Southern Ontario. They live in the country, surrounded by fields, trees, and, far in the distance, Lake Huron. There is nothing to do, and no one around to play with except Sammy.

Then, the summer Calvin is eleven and Sammy is six, a new family moves nearby. They have a daughter Calvin’s age named Aleta. Calvin is instantly smitten, and reaches out to become Aleta’s friend. As he gets closer to Aleta, he spends less and less time with Sammy. What happens during that summer changes everyone’s lives forever.

I can’t praise From Ant to Eagle enough. This book was absolutely phenomenal. The interactions between Calvin and Sammy were all-too realistic (and may have hit me a little too hard, since my kids are about the same age as these brothers). This book grabbed hold of my emotions and twisted me into an emotional wreck as I watched the brothers’ relationship change, Calvin’s friendship with Aleta grow, and, of course, the aforementioned killing of Sammy. (It’s always hard to explain tears over a book in public!)

Author Alex Lyttle is a pediatrician living in Calgary, Alberta. He has a website serving his “duo-life” at Listen to him “ramble” on his blog, learn a little about him (he credits R.L. Stine and the Goosebumps books for teaching him to read!), and maybe even check out his guidance as a pediatric allergist.

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I am so grateful for the opportunity—this is one of those books that stays with you, that makes you thankful for your own family, and gives you a little perspective into the challenges some families face.

Have you read any great books lately?
Was this review helpful?
Calvin Sinclair has a confession to make. He’s 11 years old and he killed his brother. This striking line from the very first page hooks the reader into the story. Expecting a tragic tale of a horrible accident or misadventure, readers will be left grasping for tissues as they soon realize that no, this is actually a story of two brothers who love each other, two brothers who have their differences (after all, what older brother wants to have a younger sibling around them all the time?) but most of all, two brothers who face an incredible challenge and may not come out unscathed. With a wonderful cast of supporting characters, including two very realistically portrayed parents, and a new best friend for Calvin, “From Ant to Eagle” will grab readers and refuse to let them go long after the last page has been read.
Was this review helpful?
Quite the emotional read. What I love is that Lyttle wrote about big emotions and situations but scaled it down for young readers to be able to understand and work through as the book progressed. The subject matter could be quite overwhelming but the tone of the MC and his processing are what keep the book together for a variety of age ranges to enjoys.
Was this review helpful?
Dynamic plot with a triumphant story! I'll be passing this gem along!
Was this review helpful?
This is my favourite children's novel so far this year.
Humour is lacking for young readers, but this novel has it plus it is also heart wrenching. I laughed & then I cried.
I can't think of any other story for this age group that really makes the reader feel as if your right there with the main character as he deals with his brothers situation, how his parents also deal with it as well as what it's like to be in a hospital for an extended period of time and developing new friendships.
Was this review helpful?
This is a deeply moving and sad story about a family dealing with the death of their youngest child.  The story is told from the perspective of the oldest child, who blames himself for the younger child's death.  The characters are very believable and show how different people deal with the death of a loved one in lots of different ways.  This is going to be a good one to have the in the library.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed getting to know the characters and how real they felt. The family dynamics are very accurate and the brotherly relationship between Cal and Sammy felt all too real. The writing makes you truly connect with the characters and what's going on in their lives. It's a heartbreaking story,  but very worth the read. I think it's an important book to read at a young age because it reminds us that there is only so much time and that anything could happen to our loved ones, and we should make time in our lives for those we love.
Was this review helpful?