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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  767 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
In this funny, moving novel, ten-year-old Cass takes a roadtrip with her dull-as-dirt dad, only to learn that he has a few surprises up his sleeve, including the power of Sway, a family secret that just might be magical.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
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Caden Fern I wouldn't say too old, but definitely not too young. (I remember I read it once when I was like six and I understood absolutely nothing) I suppose…moreI wouldn't say too old, but definitely not too young. (I remember I read it once when I was like six and I understood absolutely nothing) I suppose around 9-12.(less)

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Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks-library
Cass has been waiting for her mom to come home for months. When her mother returns to them and they throw a party for her, her father springs the news that they were all going to go on a road trip together as a family. Cass's mother has other plans and abandons them to Florida where she has replaced them with another family. Cass and her dad decide to continue on their road trip and try to make a difference in people's lives with the power of Sway, but will they succeed? Read on and find out for ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Turner wrote an interesting, child friendly novel that looks into the thoughts of a ten year old girl in an out-of-the ordinary situation. Cass’s mother is a volunteer rescuer and her father is a janitor. Douglas, Toodi, and Cass Nordenhaur live next to her Uncle Clay, Aunt Jo, and Cousin Syd. Douglas and his brother Clay planned a party to honor Toodi’s return home after being gone four months. Rather than celebrating, however, Cass’s mother comes home with life-changing news. Toodi is leaving ...more
Tiffany Neal
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I fell completely head over heels for Sway, Amber McRee Turner's writing, Casstanea, the Nordenhauers, MB McClean, and the heartbreaking, wondrous, and magical tale. Within the first page, I knew that this book was going to be different than other MG books out there - between the characters, the setting, the story line, the inventive words, and the way that the writing was so unique, yet smooth. I connected with the main character right away and felt that the honesty that this story kept with ho ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’m always hesitant to begin a piece that seems to have some fantastical element to it, but I’m thrilled that I picked up this book. Amber McRee Turner’s writing was consistent and enjoyable throughout the entire book and she created characters we can root for as Cass and her father work on their relationship. I was very impressed Turner’s debut novel and look forward to getting into the hands of my students in room 107!
Paul  Hankins
We'll have more to say about SWAY as the May 2012 release date approaches.

In the mean time, if you have trusted my recommendations in the past, go ahead and put SWAY in your TBR piles.

Get ready for the best cross-country trip your heart will ever take by way of RV.
Carol Royce Owen
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cass is a 10 year old girl who worships her rescue-worker mother. Sway opens on the day her mother is returning home from a 4 month rescue mission in Missouri (Misery, as her 12 year old cousin, Syd calls it), a day that promises great celebration and delight, but turns disastrous. In his attempt to pick up the pieces, her boring, but steadfast dad loads them into an RV given the name "the ROAST," for a whirlwind cross country tour of magic and discovery, stopping only when a shoe is found on th ...more
Elizabeth Norris
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book had me within the first chapter. The writing is beautiful, the characters are so real, and I could not put it down.
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a magical book! A great read for kids who are always trying to figure out their parents.

The honesty throughout the book is refreshing.

Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I flew through this... I was really conflicted on how to rate this since its not my usual fare but it was free from Starbucks iBooks, and the cover is so sweet. This is written with the hyper-drama of a typical pre-teen( that's a complement BTW). It was different in that it didn't center around the typical plot that most books seem to cling to these days.
Not a rich family, not even middle class Cass, her mom and dad barely get by. Dad is the local fix-it guy who sells meat door to door. Mom thin
Destinee Sutton
Things I liked about this book:

1. CAN IT! When Cass's cousin's family argues, they literally write down their complaints and put them in cans.
2. Shut up dot com. Do vegetarians have to speak Fig Latin instead of Pig Latin? And all the other wacky stuff Cass's cousin Syd says.
3. The idea that Sway is both magical and realistic.
4. The rhymey punniness of the language.
5. Cass's dad, who just wants his daughter to like him.

Things I did not so much like about this book:

1. The rhymey punniness w
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advanced-copy, kids, nook
4-6 grade
when cass finds out her mom is leaving, cass's dad takes her on an adventure in an attempt to bring cass's hero worship from her rescue/adventurer mom to her plain old boring blah dad. mr. nordenhaur's attempt to bring some magic into cass's life is at first met with disdain, then met with enthusiasm and eventually comes crashing down on both their heads. a tender story of redemption with a really likeable main character. i especially loved her 'noodles' and wished i could see a real r
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely musical.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story!! Absolutely fantastic debut novel by Amber McRee Turner!

The story begins with 10 year old Cass, named after the Castanea dentata tree, waiting for her Mother to return from a 4 month rescue mission in flood ridden Missouri. Why Mother Toodi is off saving widows and orphans in nature torn areas, Cass is home with Dad Douglass, who is a janitor in the school year, meat sales man in the summer. Cass keeps a journal called the Book of In-Betweens where she doodles and takes notes fo
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
When ten-year-old Cass Nordenhauer's mother Toodi comes home to Olyn, Alabama from her work as a disaster relief worker, Cass looks forward to all the fun they'll have. Cass looks up to Toodi and tries not to mind all the traveling she must do for her job. But when her father proposes a plan for a road trip in an old RV called The Roast, Toodi takes off again, leaving Cass to deal with her boring, rather ordinary father. In Cass's eyes, he is decidedly unheroic, and although she agrees to go on ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story had that Newbery-esque feel. Not that I’m saying this book was Newbery material, it wasn’t quite that good, but I did really enjoy it. I liked seeing the journey Cass made from believing something and trying so hard to fix it, but ultimately realizing she needed to change her view to gain a better perspective. The story was bittersweet. I liked how hard the father worked to keep his daughter and how much Cass and her father grew together as they took this trip.

I was so glad to see ho
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I got this book from Starbucks as a free pick of the week, and boy am I glad I gave it a try.

I love this book, and in my opinion it's a classic. I love Cass, her story and her voice. "Sway" is a story, lovingly told, with characters that are believable, and with whom you really come to care about. What an absolute pleasure to read.

I will place this book with my other beloved "Father/Daughter" books "To Kill A Mockingbird", "The Lovely Bones", and "Addie Pray" also known by the title "Paper Moo
Gwyn Ryan
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Cass idolizes her mom, who does disaster recovery and travels a lot. Cass's life is marked by long stretches of time alone with her boring father in between mom's visits home. But when Mom comes home this time Cass immediately senses something's not right. Seems Mom's decided to get herself another family. Cass blames her father - maybe if he wasn't so boring, Mom would have stuck around. The last thing she wants to do is take a road trip in the beat-up RV her father's been restoring. But Dad's ...more
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
314 pages of deliciously unique language, quirky but believable characters, realism that is oh-so-magical, tears, laughter, a life-changing message and the perfect heart-swelling ending. Oh, and lots and lots of old soap. It's like nothing I've ever read. I can't decide which of Cass and Dad's adventures I love the most...the Belfuss Family Crawfish Boil/funeral? Nimble Creek and the first "Soapernatural Wonders"? Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig Riiiiiiiiiiiiights? It's the shoes what choose? The sad trip to ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I could almost give it 5 stars, but I save that for books that were incredible. This book was great and fun, but just shy of 5 stars. After a huge disappointment, Cass's dad takes her on a road trip to help them move on. On the trip he introduces her to the "soapernatural" wonder of Sway. The book is real with just enough implied fantasy to add interest. It is not a fantasy story; it's a book about the complicated relationships so typical nowadays. I really liked the ...more
Kris Potratz
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to meet the marketing genius who decided to put out a new free iBook next to the tip jar at the Starbucks every Tuesday. A book with my coffee? Why thank you, I would love one! Well played marketing genius...

The second part of the genius of this ploy, is that I would have never have picked up this sweet little novel if it weren't on the iTunes card. This book sat in my iBooks queue for a long time but I am really happy that I finally had a chance to get through it.

Full Thoughts:
Paper Po
Clare Cannon
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
A cute contemporary story about a girl trying to deal with her parents' separation (or rather, her mother's abandonment of herself and her father for another man). It's cute mainly because of the girl's perky way of speaking, and because of her father's creative efforts to become the inspiring parent his daughter needs at this time. An endearing though involved story that give serious themes a lighter feel, it would be helpful for kids suffering through a similar predicament.
Reading this book, I sometimes got the feeling that it was trying too hard to be quirky. But I enjoyed its eccentricities all the same, especially Douglas' nicknames for Cass. It's not a superficial story, as Cass deals with her mother's departure and the reasons behind it, but it's well done. I can totally see this as a movie!
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-ya
As I said in my book club discussion, this was a book I didn't love while reading but enjoyed more during the discussion. My 10-year-old daughter liked it a lot, despite me thinking that some of the themes were too mature for her (what do I know?). She seemed to understand much of what was going on, despite the author's frequent language play and long descriptions.
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just fell completely in love with this book! So many special things..."wrength" is now part of my vocabulary, I will always get the first slice of pizza from now on (because it IS the mom slice) , the Memphis bridge will forever be the "Mercy" bridge, and I will never be able to sing "It Is Well With My Soul" without blubbering like a baby. I can't wait to see the movie :)
Sandy Brehl
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Universal concerns (abandonment, anger, honesty) are portrayed in a plot structured around a unique premise. The characters and story are equally credible and engaging. A great choice for any reader, but especially one who is struggling with trust issues.
Too many character affectations. Too clever. So over-the-top it was impossible to fall into the story. I felt that the soaps were a blatant history lesson.

There were beautiful moments, too. Ms. Turner knows how to write likable, fun characters. I look forward to reading what she writes next.
Bryan T.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has such a Big Fish feel to it. Full of magic in a real-world wonderful kind of way. Full of heartache, hope, and humor.
Rebecca Willingham
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is so well written. It is an absolutely delightful story.
Ms. K's Reading Class
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cass learns the hard way that Sway can be found in all of us if we truly believe.
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. It is so thought provoking and has an amazing moral compass. May
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Amber McRee Turner ( lives and writes in Germantown, Tennessee. She is a proud mother, a fan of Mary Poppins, and an easy laugher. This is her first book for children.
More about Amber McRee Turner

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“Forget your troubles! Try these bubbles! You can’t say nope to extraordinary soap!” 0 likes
“And then I did the best thing I knew to do with the strange concoction of sadness and hope brewing inside me. I prayed. I prayed for the people whose initials were on those slivers. Not just for those people, but for the cave people before them and the robot people after them. For real orphans. For all the people who have lost shoes in the road. For kids whose parents play war. For Toodie Bleu Skies and Toodi Bleu Nordenhauer, for M. B. McClean and Douglas Nordenhauer. And all the people who need to find the magic in Make Believe. That, I figured, just about covered the whole world.” 0 likes
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