The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.
--James Bryce

Magnifying glass (search link)
Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readersHigh school readers
10 stars

The Schwa Was Here

AR: 5
Lexile: 790
RC: 4.5
by Neal Shusterman
Long Picture Book
Genre: Realistic Funny Fiction

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book

Anthony Bonano's new friend may or may not be invisible. Antsy, as most everyone calls him, has a friend named Calvin Schwa. For most of Calvin's life, he has not been noticed. They say if you stare at him long enough, you can see what's written on the wall behind him. After "scientific" experiments prove this to be (mostly) true, Antsy goes into a partnership with the Schwa, hiring him out to do spying or to do dares like walking through the girls' locker room without being noticed. But when they try to steal a dog dish from old man Crawley, the local rich recluse, a very interesting series of events begins. Anthony learns a little more about himself and a lot more about the Schwa. On top of that, Crawley's granddaughter comes into the picture between Antsy and the Schwa. All this drama even begins to threaten Antsy's home life. In spite of it all, Antsy decides that he is still glad to be the Schwa's friend, even if he does find it hard to remember him from time to time. You see, the Schwa can be "invisible-ish" to most people. And he just may disappear completely. Or maybe he was never there to begin with...

Let me start off by saying "I LOVED THIS BOOK!" The characters seemed very real, and even though the events could seem fantastic, it was all very believable. Plus, the narrator, a 14-year-old kid, tells the story in language that is straight from Brooklyn, all colorful wisecracks, sly similes, and meandering metaphors. I would read out loud to myself for fun! Even though the story is kind of serious (there are only a couple events that I would call funny), the way Antsy tells it is really funny! This is the kind of book I love best! Great writing, very original story, and completely satisfying ending! If you like books that are fun to read, you should love this book, too!

(Last modified:07/18/2008)


Name: (required)
Email: (optional; will not be displayed or shared)
Comment: (no HTML please!)

All comments must be approved before being displayed.