My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: Review of ARC from NetGalley. Thank you to Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess for having me on the Swing Launch Team.
CeCe Librarian’s Summary
It’s junior year and best friends, Noah and Walt are navigating their way to cool the best way they know how. But they have some trouble along the way because, well for one, neither one of them made the baseball team and that’s a big deal for someone who loves to play the game, but this setback is simply “a setup for a comeback.” You see, Walt is about that HUGLIFE. He fully embraces YES and wants Noah to do the same. No more shying away from their childhood friend, Sam. It’s time to tell her how he really feels. Speak to her though? Face-to-face? Nope. Inspired by some old love letters he finds in a purse he bought his mom from the thrift store, he begins to write his own; pouring his heart out on the pages infused with his art, anonymously signed, X. Sam loves the mystery of it all but does she have room in her heart for Noah?
All the while, flags keep popping up throughout town in the most random places and no one knows who’s doing it or why. And while seeing a lone American flag shouldn’t be cause for alarm, the community doesn’t exactly know how to interpret the sudden appearance of these flags. Is it an act of a patriot or of one with ill intent? At the very least, seeing them has people considering what the flag represents.
CeCe Librarian’s Review
From the very beginning, until the end, Swing is baseball. Swing is jazz. Swing is family, love, friendship, and American flags. Swing is dreams longed for. It is daring to live life to the fullest against all odds. It is another novel in verse brought to us by the dynamic duo, Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess who also gave us Solo in 2017.
I enjoyed Swing a great deal and especially loved Walt and his appreciation for jazz music. He was an avid listener and had a wealth of knowledge about so many musicians, including how they died. Noting that a good number of them actually passed away on a Friday, which was interesting. He had such a hopeful outlook on life and believed that anything was possible. I think this is why he was my favorite character. Because when faced with a NO, he instead chose YES.
I loved Noah’s artistic creativity and that he used it to give voice to his feelings for Sam. I think that it is also pretty awesome that they each were frequent customers of Dairy Queen. Of course, this makes me happy because I am a fan of a good DQ ice cream sundae. Lastly, the fact that they shopped at a thrift store was pretty cool. My 14-year-old daughter is suddenly into thrift store shopping and I think it is owed in part to the back to school clothing hauls she’s been watching on YouTube. Someone or multiple someones has made it trendy to shop the Salvation Army and Goodwill. A YouTuber (according to my daughter) even filmed right at the Salvation Army we’ve frequented all summer. Now let this suggestion have come from me…I digress, mostly because this “new” trend has helped my no-check teacher summer life out a great deal.
Anything Kwame Alexander writes (since I read The Crossover) is an instant add to my shopping cart. Swing even more so, because he and Mary Rand Hess did such a great job with Solo that I knew I would enjoy this one too.
Kwame Alexander | https://kwamealexander.com/
Mary Rand Hess | http://maryrandhess.com/
Blink YA Books | http://blinkyabooks.com/