Swing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

This much-anticipated book did not disappoint. In a similar format to Solo, Alexander and Hess weave a story amongst a musical backdrop. With Solo, it was rock and roll, this time it is jazz. This compelling novel in verse takes you on a journey of two friends trying to find their way amongst the social circles of high school. There is also a backdrop of baseball and one character's failed attempt to make the team again and again. There are subtle references to social justice issues and the ending packs a punch that I didn't see coming. I am still trying to process it all. I highly recommend this book and know that it will spark lots of great discussion that will hopefully be followed by some action.
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I usually don't like Kwame Alexander books all that much, and this one was not an exception. "Elsa, then w h y did you pick this up?" Good question, someone I definitely do not know. I picked it up because I thought I was actually going to like this one. Yeah, bad idea past-Elsa, very bad idea. 

It was not all that bad, I guess. I just expected a bit more. The only thing about it that I liked were the extremely well developed characters. I also liked the great number of issues that were brought up. And that was also a big problem because I felt like the authors wanted to include them all into one book, and it just did not work for me.

2.5/5 stars
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Swing was the 5th book I’ve read by Kwame Alexander. I teach Crossover as a class novel and my students absolutely adore him. I loved that this title was a little bit milder content-wise so that I could keep it on my mainstream shelf, whereas I require a parent signature for Solo (I teach 7th grade in a Catholic school). The characters in Swing were lovable and the addition of the Podcast made for a cool twist. My real problem with the book was the ending. I think this story had the potential to say something powerful about PTSD or racial violence, but not both. The ending felt random and forced, unless I missed out on some serious foreshadowing. The connections to sports, high school/middle school themes, and verse style made it extremely palatable though, and I think my students will continue to enjoy it!
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Swing was a relevant and enjoyable read. I appreciated the relationship between Noah and Walt and found it to be very authentic. While the book covered many issues such as friendship, love, art, and so much more, the plot was slow in the beginning. Once it gained momentum, I felt a bit overwhelmed with the number of points being tackled in the story. The ending felt abrupt and somewhat of a last resort to an extent. I enjoyed the poetry and metaphors throughout the story though and felt that the intertwining of jazz and baseball were done well.The audiobook was the perfect way to read this because Kwame Alexander's narration never fails. 

3.5 stars
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Kwame Alexander knocks it out of the park with his latest book, Swing. The characters come alive through his verse poetry so that the reader becomes completely invested in the lives of Walt, Noah, and Sam. Kwame's use of blackout poetry to woo Sam enhances the story and offers teachers a tool to engage students in creating poetry of their own. The surprising twist at the end broke my heart. This is a book that needs to be read by every middle school student in America. Many of my students have already read and fallen in love with this book - much like the rest of Kwame's books.
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This book reminds me of Horrorstor. They are both funny and light with some tension around the edges. They both go from 0 to 100 with the turning of a page. However, I might need some time to get over this one.
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3.5 Stars for the latest Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess book.  The positive is that there are so many great issues that are brought up in this book.  That is also the negative.  I thought that too many things were forced to come together in the book especially at the end.  That being said, I still look forward to a book from these two again in the future.
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This book follows Walt and Noah in another beautiful written book by these two authors..  These two friends are trying to find their cool while also dealing with some big issues at school and in their neighborhood.  They get through it with each other, baseball, and art!  Another great book that my students will love and I can't wait to add it to my classroom!
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This is a powerful book for middle grade and YA readers. It gives a glimpse into the daily lives of two average boys trapped in the middle of a war they shouldn't have to fight. I would highly recommend it.
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I liked this book, but not as much as others by Alexander (for example, I LOVED the Crossover books). The verse is enjoyable and well-written. The plot is pretty standard teen love triangle and friendships-- not my cup of tea as an adult, but I think it would go over well with teens (especially younger teens) who are working through these issues on their own. I think the ending came out of left field a bit and therefore felt cheap (though to be fair, it was unfortunately realistic). 

Finally, I recommend reading this in print or audio, as my eBook formatting of the verse made it a bit hard to follow at times.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was enjoyable but has more of a niche type reader than Solo, which had a broader audience. Jazz music fans in particular will be entertained. Kwame has great poetry, as always.
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Another excellent book from Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess.  The verse here is beautifully crafted and allows for interior exploration of the main trio in a way that is open and moving, uplifting and heartbreaking.
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Awesome!  Kwame Alexander continues to be a classroom favorite.  When I can't reach a student, Mr. Alexander does.
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Perhaps not as adventurous as Solo, Swing managed to keep me reading and enjoying the Journey, though I would most likely recommend Solo first to those interested in Kwame Alexander.
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This book both tugs at your heartstrings and shatters them. I could not put it down. Kwame and Mary at their finest.
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This is best as an audio book. The ending seemed to come out of nowhere, but I think kids and teens will be deeply moved by it and I'm certain they will benefit from reading it.
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This novel in verse follows high school student Noah and his best friend Walt who also goes by Swing. Noah, Swing, and Samantha are best friends. Noah also has had a big crush on Sam for the past eight years. Swing is determined to get a spot on the baseball team and he passes his determination on to Noah by convincing him to win Sam's heart. Jazz is key in this novel. Swing loves jazz and he gets Noah into it.

This doesn't have the adventure as Solo did, but like Solo, the characters are interesting, and keeps the novel moving along.

I will recommend this book to students who enjoy novels in verse, music, and friendship stories.
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Following a book like Solo is no easy task, but Kwame and Mary knocked it out of the park with Swing. The relationships between characters grew deeper and more intriguing and the lyrical flow of the book meant I didn't want to put it  down. I was enraptured by the writing and the story. It was beautiful to the depths of my soul. It was joy and heartbreak, pain and inspiration throughout the pages. Amazing!
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I normally enjoy Kwame Alexander's works, but this one just didn't connect for me. I found I was regularly bored and became increasingly so as the novel continued (it is, at least, a quick read).I did share portions of it with a family member who is a male reluctant reader and he was swiftly hooked, which is something I've never seen happen with him before. Every book has it's reader, I'm just not the right one for this book.
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This was like one book at the beginning, and another book by the end - and I didn't like the switch.

The story was good. At the beginning, it focused on Noah and his friendship with Swing, his relationship with Sam, and the mystery of the flags. The emphasis, at least to me, seemed to be on Noah's crush on Sam. That seemed to be the center of everything else that happened... until the end, which seemed to come out of left field (pun intended.) I suppose life can be like that. Everything revolves around one thing, until the rug gets pulled out from under you and then everything changes. However, I wish that Swing hadn't ended so abruptly. 

The ending itself had so much potential. The book could have been shorter and the ending moved to the middle, with more of a resolution after that. I would have preferred that structure, honestly. I suppose that Alexander wanted to surprise the reader and leave him or her with an emotional ending. However, I didn't like that technique. I hope that there will be a sequel that builds on the ending.

Now that I have finished Swing, I realize why it was titled that. However, the main character is Noah - not Swing. Honestly, because of that, I would have preferred a different title for this book or that it would have been from Swing's perspective. I'll still read any Kwame Alexander book, but this wasn't my favorite.
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