Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Schwa was Here *****

Schusterman, Neal. The Schwa was Here. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2004.

This was a great book. I put off reading this book for so long because I had a bad experience with his last book, Full Tilt, which I do NOT recommend. I disliked that book so much it negated the good feelings I had about the author after reading Downsiders, which I DO recommend.

In this novel, Antsy befriends a kid, Calvin Schwa, who is mostly invisible. Not that he is really invisible, but it seems that no one really sees him most of the time even though he is right there. During a scheme, Antsy and Schwa end up getting caught trying to steal a dog bowl from a local shut in, Crawley. Their punishment involves having to be the man's dog walker for his 14 Afghans. This progress and Crawley decides to switch Antsy's duties to entertaining Crawley's blind granddaugher while she is visiting him for a few months. She ends up falling for Antsy while Schwa ends up falling for her.

Meanwhile, Antsy tries to investigate the disappearance of Schwa's mother. The last he saw her was when he was 5, and she left him abandoned at the grocery store. He also gets involved with the Granddaughter and her plot to try to get her Grandfather out of the apartment.

Antsy is a real funny kid, quite witty and smart. The way he tells his story is entertaining. The story is made more interesting by reading it through his perspective. Even though he isn't the smart kid in his family, he is pretty darn smart. Overall, this is an entertaining read, and is recommended for most readers.

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