The Ant Colony, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


A stunning new look for the irresistible novel from Guardian-award-winning novelist, Jenny Valentine.

Number 33 Georgiana Street houses many people and yet seems home to none.

To runaway Sam it is a place to disappear. To Bohemia, it's just another blip between crises, as her mum ricochets off the latest boyfriend.

Old Isobel acts like she owns the place, even though it actually belongs to Steve in the basement, who is always looking to squeeze in yet another tenant.

Life there is a kind of ordered chaos. Like ants, they scurry about their business, crossing paths, following their own tracks, no questions asked.

But it doesn't take much to upset the balance. Dig deep enough and you'll find that everyone has something to hide...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780007283590



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

It was a pleasant afternoon spent yesterday reading this book. I was taken by surprise at how grown up it was. When I selected this book via Amazon Vine I wasn’t aware of the target age group and I would suggest slightly older readers, maybe 12 or 13 upwards, simply because of the writing style. Even though the book cover is neutral unisex colours, I do think it might appeal more to girls than boys because even though the book has two narrators, it is Bohemia (our 10 year old female narrator) who tells most of the story.The story is narrated using the first person, which in this case works well as both narrators are distinctive in style. Bohemia is a 10 year old girl struggling (without realising it to begin with) with her mum’s boyfriends and Sam who I don’t know if we find out how old he is, but he’s a teenager at school so I’m going to guess at 14 or 15. With it being first person, the chapter headings are the name of the narrator, although you can tell from reading who it is narrating.Both Sam and Bohemia have experienced some form of trauma in their young lives and although there are many children who won’t have experienced their lives; equally there are hundreds of children we will all know who have. I didn’t think the reference to ant colonies was particularly relevant to be honest unless, on reflection, the ending of the novel is designed to show the significance of ant colonies. Either way, it is still a highly readable novel that has you hoping for something positive for both Sam and Bohemia.

Review by

Jenny Valentine for me is fast becoming the new (better?) Jacqueline Wilson. She deals with difficult issues for children in the same simple and poignant but never patronising way. I really enjoyed reading the Ant colony, and Sam and Bohemia are both likeable, realistic characters with real emotions and motives. Recommended for anyone over 10.

Review by

PLUS - * A lovely simple idea, intertwining the lives of several people living in one set of flats in London. * Superbly written characters - even the minor ones are rounded and interesting.* Raises lots of interesting questions about the nature of family and friendship, taking responsibility for our own actions and taking care of other people. MINUS - * Perhaps a bit slow paced in places, but on the whole I think that's a good thing in this case. Nothing is over dramatised despite some of the difficult issues dealt with. OVERALL - * A lovely simple story with some serious underlying messages. I read it in under two hours!