Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman

The odd, quirky premise of this book reflects the odd and quirky sense of humor of the author. His humor is just one of the reasons I particularly liked this story. This author hits all the right notes.

Calvin Schwa has a strange quality of being invisible-ish. He kind of blends in with his environment and tends to be unnoticed. He could leave his hand up the entire class period and never be called on because his teacher just didn’t see him.

“The Schwa” meets up with Anthony, and they in turn meet up with an eccentric old man and his blind granddaughter whom both Anthony and the Schwa fall for They find their way through this and two personal traumas: Calvin’s mom disappeared when he was five, and the old man is agoraphobic. Only a fine author could weave this all into a believable, consistently funny, appealing tale. Shusterman soared. I certainly won’t forget the supposedly forgettable Calvin Schwa.

There’s mild adolescent language and humor throughout. Things like: the “middle finger syndrome,” the words ‘butt’ and ‘piss,’ two minor making-out and “being felt” jokes.
It turns out that Calvin’s mom left him because she was depressed and unhappy. That is resolved about as well as it can be. He does find her, confront her, and receive her apology. For mid-older tweens, I found it a great read.

I haven't read any other books by this author, and I didn't like the covers of his books on his website, so if anyone else reads his others, please let us know...

Safety Rating: 2 Vatican Flags


max June 6, 2009 at 5:19 AM  

I appreciate any efforts to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it.

That's because I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write Christian action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

My blog, Books for Boys recently reached # 1 on Google.

Keep up your good work concerning reading.

Max Elliot Anderson

Tween Lit Crit June 7, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

Max, I find that generally girls readers will like the boy books as well, but not always vice versa. I have a long list of boy books I would like to add because boys need some extra attention paid to their unique preferences. Non-fiction is another area I'd like to add. I'll check your blog soon.

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