Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool.
To go from lovelorn to ladies’ men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru—his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd—and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant, but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom’s birthday gift at the thrift shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a gold mine of love letters from the 1960s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up for Noah and Walt, a chain of events alters everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice and take a swing at life.
*Thank you to Blink Books and The FFBC for providing me with a copy of SWING in exchange for this honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Noah and his best friend Walt are many things, but cool and talented baseball players isn’t one them. Noah has been in love with his best friend for longer than he can remember and all Walt wants is to be able to get on the varsity baseball team.
The writing style for this novel was very different. It was written in the style of poetry, and it was a really interesting way to read. I had never read any novels written that way before.
Noah and Walt have a very strong friendship, they have been friends for a while. Noah and Sam are good friends too, but what Sam doesn’t know is that Noah loves her.
I really enjoyed this book and I liked the writing style. Besides for being a story about high school, baseball and first love its also a story about PTSD and police brutality. Its about young black kids being killed by the cops for things that a cop wouldn’t even look twice at if it were a white kid. I found the juxtaposition of the stories throughout the story line to be very interesting.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF’S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and He Said She Said, a YA novel.
Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.
Mary Rand Hess:
Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, mixed-media artist, and New York Times bestselling author of notable and award-winning books such as Solo and Swing(Blink YA), coauthored with Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Children’s Books), also coauthored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Little Larry Goes to School (National Geographic Children’s Books), written with renowned photographer and filmmaker, Gerry Ellis, and the forthcoming picture book, The One and Only Wolfgang: From Pet Rescue to One Big Happy Family, coauthored with Steve Greig of @wolfgang2242 Instagram fame. She is currently at work on a few novels in verse, picture books, and screenplays.
Prize: 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing by Kwame Alexander) (USA)