cover image The Trouble with Ants

The Trouble with Ants

Claudia Mills, illus. by Katie Kath. Knopf, $14.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-385-39161-0

Fourth-grader Nora Alpers is determined to defy the odds in this entertaining tale, first in the Nora Notebooks series. The youngest child of scientist parents, Nora wants to follow the path where experimentation and data govern decisions. Utterly devoted to her colony of pet ants—“She was probably already the leading 10-year-old expert on myrmecology”—she records ant facts and experiments in her notebook, attempting to capture the world record for youngest published author in a science journal. When Nora brings her ants to class, she is shocked by the hostile reactions of her classmates, who will spar over their love for cats and dogs but have no use for ants. In drily funny writing and b&w illustrations, Mills (the Franklin School Friends series) and Kath capture Nora’s delightful enterprising and willingness to push the boundaries—sometimes (she knows the limit when it comes to sitting with the boys at lunch). Nora’s genuine love for ants will resonate with children who have a passion for something out of the ordinary. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)