Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman


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“It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are…I called the idea ‘time shaving,’ which probably isn’t what you think it is…Me, I was just trying to help a friend. I never meant for it to blow up like a giant Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon that gets taken away by the wind. Which, by the way, is exactly how the whole thing began.”

Antsy Bonano has a knack for making strange friends. Last year, it was Calvin Schwa, who literally blended into his surroundings no matter how outrageous his behavior was. Now, as a result of a Thanksgiving Day Parade mishap, Antsy gets to know the dark and moody Gunnar Ümlaut, who tells him that he has only six months to live. Gunnar is obsessed with the topic of death, even going so far as to carve his own tombstone and browse a coffin catalog. In fact, he seems to enjoy thinking about death, which Antsy finds disturbing. To help Gunnar take his mind off his fate, Antsy comes up with a plan:

“[O]n a whim, I reached into my backpack, pulled out a notebook and pen, and began writing something.

‘What are you doing?’

‘You’ll see.’

When I was done, I tore the page out of the notebook, held it up, and read it aloud. ‘I hereby give one month of my life to Gunnar Ümlaut. Signed, Anthony Bonano.’”

Word gets out about Antsy’s “Time Contract” and soon, everyone at school wants to donate time to Gunnar, even the principal! Proclaimed the “Master of Time,” Antsy struggles to keep his idea from spiraling out of control. On top of that, Antsy finds himself dating “a Swedish goddess,” and appearing on the front page of the newspaper, pouring a pitcher of water over the head of…well, you’ll find out! Read Antsy Does Time, by Neal Shusterman, the sequel to the award-winning book The Schwa Was Here.

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