Patrick's Reviews > The Schwa Was Here

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Dec 26, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: novelist-reviews
Read in January, 2005

There's a story I tell in trainings about a high school where teachers were given a list of students and asked to put a gold star next to students they knew. At the end of the day, the result was a classic bell curve: a small group of over-achievers known by all, a larger group of average kids known by some, and a small group known by just about no teacher: that's Calvin Schwa. The Schwa is a human magic trick: he seems to vanish into thin air, that is until Antsy (Anthony, the book's M.C.) and his friends make a point to notice him. The story of the Schwa's seeming invisibility is a mystery that Shusterman slows unwraps, but there's plenty of action, humor, and character development along the way. There's a timeless quality to the book: the smart-alek prank-playing nickname-heavy friendship seems more like Brooklyn kids in the 1950's (or maybe the early adolescence of the young men in the movie classic Diner) in part because there have always been teens so far on the outside they can't be seen. As the losses in the Schwa's life become visible, his story becomes less comic and more tragic.
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08/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jennifer Well put.

message 2: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth What a great activity to do with teachers! I might suggest trying that with my teaching team someday! I also want to read this book now!

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