Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman

Antsy (short for Anthony) Bonano meets a kid at school named Calvin Schwa who has powers of invisibility. But it's not quite the magical invisibility reserved for Harry Potter novels you're likely thinking of. The Schwa's invisibility for him means that people don't notice him even when he's sitting smack dab in the center of an empty room. In some ways the Schwa is a tragic figure even though he doesn't die in the story. Much of that air of tragedy that surrounds the Schwa has to do with his surrendering to his fate of being invisible (the Schwa Effect as Antsy and his friends call it), but as the story progresses, the reader begins to realize that a moment in the Schwa's own family history is what set his invisibility fate in motion. 

This is one of those special books that hovers between middle grade and young adult. In some ways it's too old for middle grade and too young for YA so it's perfect for 7th and 8th graders.

Neal Shusterman not only wrote The Schwa was Here but also narrates the audiobook and he does an amazing job. Given that the story takes place in Brooklyn, I adore his perfectly on-point New York accent. I know Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn so it's not much of a stretch for him to do an on-point New York accent, but he still manages to rock it.  

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman
Audiobook narrator: Neal Shusterman
Original hardcover publication date: March 2, 2006
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group/Listening Library
Pages: 240
Audiobook length: 6 hours 3 minutes
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Disclosure: Library download

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound.   

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