Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

How I Heard About It:  I can't believe it took me eleven years to read this book.  I have heard about it forever, but just never got it to.  The more I learned about Neal, his writing, and books; I knew I wanted to read more from him.  During my last visit to the public library, I came across this title and others by Shusterman and added them to my pile.  When I started to listen to the story, I knew I was in for a real treat. 

What It Is About:  Antsy Bonano is the narrator of this young-adult story.  He is the first one to notice the "Schwa" even though the Schwa seemed to be invisible to the rest of the world.  Schwa has made it a point to go unnoticed, blend into the backgroud, and not be seen.  Antsy realizes he can use this to his benefit.  Antsy and Schwa set up a "business" to bring in some cash and help their fellow classmates.  At first both boys enjoy this new "venture" and find success using the Schwa to help their friends.  After awhile, life gets very complicated for both of them.  As much as Schwa doesn't want to share his past and his mother's disappearance; he begins to share his story with Antsy which puts in motion a plan for the two of them to really find out about that fateful day when the Schwa was left in a butcher shop and never saw his mother again. 

What I Thought Of It:  A complete joy to listen to.  The author narrated the story himself and was absolutely perfect.  I loved every minute listening to the adventures of Antsy and Schwa.  There were so many layers to the story.  I was laughing during some parts, frustrated during other parts, and teary-eyed at other moments.  There were so many aspects to the plot that it is difficult to put into words how much I enjoyed it.  The Schwa was a character that was unique, full of depth, and one that was larger than life.  I can't believe it took me years to read this must publicized novel.  I can't wait to read more by Shusterman. 

Who Should Read It:  There are so many awesome novels for our young-adults to read and this is one of them.  Even though the publication date is a bit older than some novels I review, I highly recommend you read this if you haven't.  Readers in middle-school and high-school will not be able to put it down.  I don't think it should be read by readers under seventh grade because of some of the content and themes throughout the story.  Happy Reading! 

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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