To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend; to read it a second time is to meet an old one.
-- Selwyn Champion

WIRN - The Schwa Was Here

08-04-06 – YOU MUST CHECK THIS BOOK OUT!!! I just started this new novel and so far I love it! How can you NOT love a book that starts with a chapter called "Manny Bullpucky Gets His Sorry Butt Hurled Off the Marine Park Bridge"?!?! Plus, it's written in first-person Brooklynese (like they speak in Brooklyn, New York). It's making me laugh out loud so far and I don't even really know what it's about yet! I think it has something to do with a kid named Calvin Schwa that is "invisible" to most people. I'm loving it so far. You should check it out!

08-05-06 – Okay, so the guy telling the story is named Anthony ("Antsy"), and he's hanging out with the Schwa because he likes that there's someone who's noticed even less than he is. He describes the Schwa as functionally invisible. His friends Howie and Ira, especially Ira, are kind of leery about hanging out with the Schwa. They discover that they can win basketball games with the Schwa because the guys on the other team don't notice him until it's too late. So, Antsy gets an idea and starts hiring out the Schwa to do things like spy on the teachers for the student officers. They also make lots of money taking dares like walking through the girls' locker room! Now, somebody has dared the Schwa to take a dog dish from the apartment of Mr. Crawley, the meanest, scariest old man in all of Brooklyn!

08-06-06 – Doh! They got busted by old man Crawley, so now they have to work for him for 12 weeks! Then, in the middle of it, Crawley gives Antsy a special assignment: he wants Antsy to keep his granddaughter company. What a twist! Ends up that there is something special about this girl. I won't tell you what it is; don't want to ruin it for you when you read it yourself. I do want to let you know that a really interesting situation develops between Antsy, the girl (Lexis, "like the car" but spelled different), and the Schwa. It's really getting good now!!

08-07-06 – I don't want to scare you away, but it just got deep. I mean, like serious, mature themes in this book! But even if you miss that stuff, everything else that's happening is so good. Crawley fell in the shower and broke his hip and wants Anthony to go with him. Seems old man Crawley actually likes the kid. They talk a while and find out more about each other and turns out that Anthony even kinda likes Crawley. Then Anthony finds out something that Lexie said about him, which makes the whole Antsy-Lexie-Schwa triangle even more complicated! Antsy tries to remember to head to the Schwa's house to smooth things over but gets sidetracked by a family meeting at his own house. Dad has some serious news about the aftermath of a major fight between him and Antsy's mother!

08-08-06 – You know, I tried to make it last but I don't think it's in my nature. I finished the book today! The last 80 pages I just couldn't put the book down, not even to answer the phone. I have a friend, Ms. Castañeda, who slows down at the end of really good books. She says she wants the pleasure to last as long as possible. I wish I could do that, but I can't. I'm that way with food, too. If it's really good, I just gobble it up!

Anyway, so much happened here. Lexie and Antsy take Crawley out on a "trauma therapy" ride to try to get him to change into a nicer person. Meanwhile, the Schwa cooks up a pretty interesting plan to make sure he is noticed. Unfortunately, it doesn't turn out quite the way he wanted. Later, Lexie and Antsy take the Schwa to see the Night Butcher, a guy who was actually there and knows what happened to the Schwa's mother. It doesn't stop there. Lots of threads get tied up at the end. I really enjoyed this book! I don't want to ruin it for you!

(Last modified:08/08/2006)

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