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Publisher's Summary

In this YA novel in verse from best-selling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo), which Kirkus called “lively, moving, and heartfelt” in a starred review, Noah and Walt just want to leave their geek days behind and find “cool” but in the process discover a lot about first loves, friendship, and embracing life...as well as why Black Lives Matter is so important for all.

Best friends Noah and Walt are far from popular, but Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan that includes wooing the girls of their dreams and becoming amazing athletes. Never mind he and Noah failed to make their baseball team yet again, and Noah’s crush since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. While Walt focuses on his program of jazz, podcasts, batting cages, and a “Hug Life” mentality, Noah feels stuck in status quo...until he stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each one contains words Noah’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his art 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, American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of 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 important when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

Swing:

  • Is written and narrated by New York Times best-selling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner Kwame Alexander
  • Features a diverse array of characters and perspectives
  • Tackles the biggest social issues of today, including racial prejudice and Black Lives Matter
  • Is perfect for the classroom or community-wide discussions
  • Is a 2020 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • Contains original music

If you enjoy Swing, check out Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. 

©2018 Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess (P)2018 Blink

What listeners say about Swing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful and important read especially for boys

I. Loved. This. Book. The two main characters, Noah and Walt, are each exceptional in their own ways. The threading of jazz through the book made my boys curious about it.

My one criticism is the performance. There simply wasn’t enough of a distinction btwn Walt and Noah as read by Kwame.

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  • HannahS
  • 02-27-20

Must read

Absolutely loved it. And great reading by the author. Short, but packs a punch. With a great plot twist.