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Swing

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  638 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
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 pla ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Blink
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Tonya Colvin I am about half way through it and I say yes. It does have to do with high school students and being in love, but the message is more about empowering…moreI am about half way through it and I say yes. It does have to do with high school students and being in love, but the message is more about empowering yourself to be the best you can be. So far, it isn't focused on baseball, like I expected it to be.(less)
Cat They are written in a similar style, but the characters have nothing to do with each other. Kind of like how Crossover and Booked are similar, but…moreThey are written in a similar style, but the characters have nothing to do with each other. Kind of like how Crossover and Booked are similar, but different sports, characters, settings, etc.(less)
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Clare Lund
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just finished listening to the audiobook, and if you have the chance to do the same, I highly recommend it! Author Kwame Alexander reads it himself and brings the story to life, and I loved the jazz music played in between chapters. I am still in a state of shock from the heartbreaking ending, so I'll have to come back and write more later. Ages 12 and up.
Pernille Ripp
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for this one, much to love but also much that could have been left out for the story to come alive more. The ending while heart wrenching came out of nowhere and seemed like it didn’t fit. It will be interesting to see how my students react to this one.
PinkAmy loves  💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
Kwame Alexander is a gift to YA literature. He brings readers like me, a middle aged white adult, to a world I know only from the media, making me feel like I was part of Noah’s community. For teenage YA readers, his books have wider appeal, including for reluctant readers who have yet to find stories and writing styles to engage them. SWING tackles issues of friendship, family, mental illness, dreams, sports, music and the scary realities of a rush to judgment.

I recommend anything he writes.
Tara
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Music, art, poetry, baseball, love, and war make this YA novel in verse unique. Noah has been in love with one of his best friends for a while, and he is inspired to start creating found art love poems for her after finding some love letters from the 60s. His other best friend Walt, aka Swing, is obsessed with getting back on their school baseball team, and he teaches Noah to appreciate jazz and to be more bold.

**Read via NetGalley
**Publication date: October 2, 2018
**Member of Swing Launch Team
Becky R.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swing is one of those novels that you won't soon forget. While I really enjoy novels told in verse form, I can't say that I've gotten lost in the story quite as much as I did here. The development of the story is slow but thoughtful, helping you to fully connect to all the characters involved. The most important characters are Noah and Swing. Told from Noah's point of view, we come to see how his friendship with his best friend, Swing, works. I love their friendship, their connection to baseball ...more
Laurie
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-school
Have you ever been best friends with someone but you really want to move past the friend zone into something more? Noah, Walt, and Sam have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Noah has feelings for Sam that go way past the best friend zone, but Sam only has eyes for the star baseball player (even though he treats her bad). To help move Noah and Sam's relationship on, Walt takes Noah to see the guru of love, his cousin Floyd who works at the Dairy Queen. Floyd helps produce a podc ...more
Amanda
They do it again!!

I’m always amazed that Kwame & Mary evoke such depth of emotion from so few words. This book is full of memorable characters and will leave you changed.

At one point in the story I did think there were too many plot points happening that diluted the story slightly but they tie them up, if not happily, then succinctly.

This is a story that will stick with me and is easy to champion for, much like this team’s book Solo and Kwame’s books overall. An accessible and essential vo
...more
Jana
Oct 14, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
unfortunately couldn't really get into this one
Daisey
The poetic rhythm and the figurative language in this story are amazing. It was so enjoyable to read all of the fun facts and allusions that are included. The combination of jazz, baseball, and poetry made for a fascinating mix in this story of friendship and love. However, the overall story is one that is tough for me to review because I just don't feel I'm the right audience. There was too much love story, or more accurately the story of a lovesick teenage boy, for me to completely enjoy the c ...more
Kristen
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, verse-novels
Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I can't even tell you guys how excited I was to get an ARC of this one. I ADORE Kwame Alexander's work, and I wasn't disappointed.

Swing is one part romance, one part coming-of-age, one part social commentary. (Although it's a little heavy on the romance and light on the commentary.) Our narrator, Noah, is in love with his best friend--but she has a boyfriend. He loves art and baseball and his kooky friend Walt (aka Swing),
...more
Keri
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to read Swing via NetGalley. I am a huge fan of Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. I love what they offer the world through literature. I have read everything by Kwame and have loved it all. I am constantly amazed how beautifully he can express feelings and ideas through poetry.

For that reason, I expected great things from Swing. It did not disappoint! The friendships, hopes, goals, feelings, and disappointments fit right in to what we can all remember from our teenage ye
...more
Meg
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Newbery Award winner, Kwame Alexander, along with Mary Rand Hess has written and illustrated an awesome realistic fiction novel about the intersections of baseball, jazz, life and love. Noah and Walt have been friends since grade school. Walt (Swing) is crazy about baseball and jazz; Noah is crazy about their friend Sam (Samantha). In this teenage love story, the characters go through their days trying to find out about life in poetic fashion. As a talented artist, Noah finally has the courage t ...more
Theresa
I read an ARC via NetGalley. Kwame Alexander is a fabulous writer whose prose are intelligent and engaging. Walt (AKA Swing) and Noah are lovelorn high school boys who are passionate about many things, including baseball, jazz, art, and ladies. While neither boy is great at baseball, they strive to be their best selves. I liked that they didn’t feel an obligation to fit in to stereotypical high school roles.

The story follows their ups and downs with relationships and how they each find outlets
...more
Maureen
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess have another hit on their hands. Noah and Walt are high school juniors who want to fit in. Walt has decided he is gong to make the varsity baseball team their senior year and works hard to make it happen. Noah is carrying a torch for his long-time best friend Samantha, who happens to date baseball star Cruz. Over a four-week period in their lives, we learn so much about Noah, Walt, Sam, and Cruz. This novel in verse is perfect in every way. I am so thankful tha ...more
Karen Reed
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how Kwame / Mary do this? Pack so much into a book with few words. Nothing is lacking, not character development, not storyline, and definitely not emotion. This story schools us all in jazz, art, and life. We all need reminders to "Hug Life" and keep striving and working towards our dreams, but possibly teens need to be reminded of this lesson the most. They need to be reminded not to just be okay maintaining the status quo but to strive for more, both personally and globally. Kwam ...more
Whitney
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
As much as I want to say this one "hit it out of the park," that is both a cliche and a bad pun for the book, but it really did. Kwame Alexander is such a poetic storyteller. He uses the format of writing in verse to tell the story, and while sports plays a role in each story, it's a sideline to the actual plot line. In this book, he was able to weave allusion to Jazz music and Harlem Renaissance poetry through the plot of a boy head over heels in love. This is also a great book to teach foresha ...more
Melissa
Kwame Alexander hits it out of the ballpark again! I have not read a book of his that I haven't loved and this one does not disappoint. Add this book to your pre-order list today.

This time around the background is baseball, but the story is really about friendships, first love, family struggles, and perseverance through difficult times. I can't wait to get the paperback and share this with students over and over again.

Melissa
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first Kwame Alexander book, and I was impressed cover to cover; word for word. His writing is quite lyrical. His dialogue is hilarious and realistic for teenagers. His characters are engaging and his plot twists are shocking and sad but with a life-affirming message.

What a remarkable book. I can't wait to read more by him.
Kari
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book took its time setting up the story and then ended more abruptly than I expected. In between those two things, I fell in love with Noah, Sam, and especially Swing. I can see how Swing might be interpreted as a pushy or overbearing character, but I found him to be funny and charming, drawing Noah out of his shell and helping him thrive. I enjoyed the sophisticated twist on the unsupervised party storyline, and liked that these teenagers were more interesting (and interested in the world ...more
Kate
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Baseball, jazz, friendship, and crushes, what more could you want? I have read all of Kwame Alexander’s middle grade/YA fiction and this is another novel in verse. His themes of friendship and finding yourself are again present, this time with the background of baseball and jazz music. I enjoyed the main storyline along with the side stories that became integral parts of the main story as the novel progressed. As usual, by the end of the book, I was invested in the characters and I think the tar ...more
Kaci
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love all thing Kwame Alexander. I always try to get my hands on the audio to listen to him narrate. The ending had me in tears as the staccato narration by Noah explains what he is hearing in the climatic ending.
Erica
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-ahs
Novel in verse about
- Noah and his unrequited love for his best friend, Sam
- Walt (Swing) and his motivation to make the baseball team
- Walt's relationship with Divya (an older girl by 2 years)
- Walt's brother, Mo, coming home from war with PTSD
And, I can't ruin the ending.
Jennifer Mangler
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-verse, ya
I really love Walt and his friendship with Noah. Their conversations and adventures are the best part of the book. Often, it seemed like there was a lot going on - maybe too much - but when the book focused on their relationship it was a book I very much enjoyed.
Kelli  C.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and the SWING
LAUNCH TEAM, I had the honor
of reading the ARC of this book.
All the stars for this book! Baseball,
Jazz, friendship, and love all in one
fabulous novel in verse. Funny, sweet,
heartbreaking, beautiful Kwame and
Mary hit another one out of the park.
Meg
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously written. Fantastic book to listen to. The poetry is powerful.
Karyn Lewis
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has music, baseball, poetry, friendship, and love. An unconventional combination that produces an unforgettable story!
Mari Bianco
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
SWING, Kwame’s new book, is a love story intertwining jazz music and art with a bit of baseball thrown in. Through verse, Noah’s first-person narration comes alive on the page with lovely figurative language and profound allusions to jazz music and art, especially mixed-media. I loved the story, and the shocking ending came too soon.
Jenn
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, books-in-verse
Just a little too much going on in this story. There are pieces that I liked but it didn't come together as cleanly as I would have wanted.
Agbillman
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-to-ya
So much to process in this fast paced read! I’ll likely have to re-read it at some point to take it all in but it’s a timely, engaging read - I recommend it!
Brevin
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly supprising twist at the end.
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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 ...more
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