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Swing
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Swing
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New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell this lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that speaks to anyone who's struggled to find their voice. And the...
New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell this lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that speaks to anyone who's struggled to find their voice. And the...
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Description-

  • New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell this lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that speaks to anyone who's struggled to find their voice. And the surprise ending shines a spotlight on the issues related to our current social divide, challenging perspectives and inspiring everyone to make their voice heard.

    When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they've got to find cool.

    Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah's love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt's Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt's "Hug Life" mentality. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he's always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out?

    At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it's a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can't shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.

    As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

    Swing:

  • Is written by New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award-winner Kwame Alexander
  • Is a young adult fiction novel told through Kwame's one-of-a-kind free-verse poetry
  • Is ripe with themes of hope, courage, and love
  • Masterfully combines jazz, art, baseball, friendship, and love into what many are calling "Kwame's best book yet"
  • Tackles some of the most painful social issues of today, including racial prejudice

About the Author-

  • Kwame Alexander is the New York Times Bestselling author of 32 books, including The Undefeated; How to Read a Book; Solo; Swing; Rebound, which was shortlisted for prestigious Carnegie Medal; and his Newbery medal-winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. He's also the founding editor of Versify, an imprint that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time. Visit him at KwameAlexander.com

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2018
    Seventeen-year-old Noah struggles with the feelings he has for Sam, a childhood friend, and is encouraged to express himself by an ebullient buddy. Noah and his friend Walt Disney Jones, aka Swing, are linked by a love of baseball. Swing is also obsessed with jazz and tries to make Noah a devotee as well. Along with their various personal dramas--Swing's new stepfather, the romantic advice Noah is receiving--someone has been planting American flags around town, leaving folks to speculate who and why. At a thrift store, Noah purchases a travel bag as a birthday gift for his mother and inside he finds long-hidden love letters. They encourage him to put his feelings on paper, but Swing forces his hand by anonymously giving his writing to Sam, causing a rift between them. Then, out of nowhere, everything changes, and the innocence of their lives is shattered as their friendship troubles are put into perspective by something far more serious. The free verse tells a story as complex as the classic jazz music woven throughout. Noah is the narrator, but it is Swing, with his humor, irresistible charm, and optimism, who steals the spotlight. All the secondary characters are distinctive and add texture to the narrative. Swing is African-American, while Noah is white. Despite the easy flow of verse, there is a density to this story with its multiple elements. Lively, moving, and heartfelt. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2018

    Gr 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old Noah Wallace is not having any luck. He got cut from the baseball team, again. His secret crush on Samantha Worthington is unrequited. She is dating an oafish baseball rival. Noah's best friend, charismatic Walt Disney "Swing" Jones, has plans for them to get back onto the team and become the kings of cool. Noah gets his inspiration to woo Sam from love letters written during the 1960s, which he finds at a thrift store. The love letters and Swing's vast love for jazz music motivate Noah to repurpose the letters and make them his own. Swing has issues with his future stepfather, meets and falls for slightly older thrift store employee Divya, and awaits the return of his older brother, Moses, from military action in Afghanistan. Noah and Swing's party, an American flag mystery, and Moses's return significantly alter their lives forever. Alexander and Hess strike gold with this fun, witty, and intellectual YA novel. It is a free verse poetic narrative fused with collage art and manga influences. Noah's dialogue differs from the italicized dialogue of the other characters. Readers will fall in love with scene-stealer Swing. Jazz music fans will enjoy this focus and its intersections with art, history, baseball, and literature. VERDICT This important and recommended contemporary YA will inspire young people to find their own voices and take a swing at life. A must-have.-Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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