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The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman
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The Schwa was Here (2004)

by Neal Shusterman

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Apparently books aimed for the younger teen boy are not my cup of tea. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either. Told from the perspective of Antsy, the story tells of the his new friend, The Schwa. The Schwa has a very indistinct personality that is quite a problem most of the time. It is a talent other times. The method by which he chooses to deal with this problem moves the story ahead. The story is funny and sad with a pretty tidy happy ending. It is a unique story with interesting and entertaining characters. I'd recommend this to teens that who don't love to read and want a simple, but funny story about kids with whom they can identify. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 21, 2013 |
While most of us probably don't have acqaintances who have perfected the art of fading into the background like Calvin Schwa, this story of his friendship with Antsy will speak to many teenagers who feel unnoticed. The audio version, read by the author, is a delight to listen to. Give this to middle school students who like their humor offbeat, their characters quirky, and a story that leaves plenty to think about at the end. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Children's Literature
Calvin Schwa is a boy so bland and colorless, so utterly unremarkable and unmemorable that his new, and only, friend, Anthony (Antsy) Bonano, does science experiments to investigate the "Schwa Effect"—the degree to which Calvin can be present but utterly unnoticed by everyone. But the Schwa Effect fails on the doomed day that Calvin is dared to enter the dark and dog-ridden apartment of Old Man Crawley, a famous neighborhood recluse, to steal one of his dog bowls. The incident leads both Antsy and the Schwa into ever deeper involvement in Old Man Crawley's life, as he sentences them to walk his fourteen dogs, named after the seven deadly sins and seven cardinal virtues, and to befriend his blind (and attractive) granddaughter. Shusterman's characters are larger (and stranger) than life, and the events of the story are similarly exaggerated and bizarre, all narrated by Antsy in chapters with titles like "Which Is Worse: Getting Mauled by a Pack of Dogs, or Getting Your Brains Bashed Out by a Steel Poker?" and "Maybe They Had It Right in France Because Getting My Head Lopped Off by a Guillotine Would Have Been Easier." It all adds up to a thoughtful, though decidedly odd, parable on self-identity and the degree to which we need to have our existence recognized and validated by others ( )
  EBurggraf | Jul 6, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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I don't really remember when I first met the Schwa, he was just kind of always there, like the killer potholes on Avenue U or the Afghans barking out the windows above Crawley's restaurant.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142405779, Paperback)

They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. They say a lot of things about the Schwa, but one thing?s for sure: no one ever noticed him. Except me. My name is Antsy Bonano? and I was the one who realized the Schwa was ?functionally invisible? and used him to make some big bucks. But I was also the one who caused him more grief than a friend should. So if you all just shut up and listen, I?ll tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name, to what really happened with his mom. I?ll spill everything. Unless, of course, ?the Schwa Effect? wipes him out of my brain before I?m done?.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.

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