The Schwa Was Here

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The book The Schwa Was Here, by Neal Shusterman, elevates fading into the background into an art form. This is Shusterman’s first book told from the point of view of Antsy Bonano. The Schwa is a classmate of Antsy’s that everyone overlooks. They don’t notice him, only to realize he’s been there all along.

This is a wonderful tale of a boy and his friends as they try to help each other and stay out of trouble. Of course they are not always successful. Old Man Crawley snags Antsy and his friends after they do something they shouldn’t, and Antsy becomes closer to the Schwa. Antsy determines to try to help him attract more notice. When they discover they both like the same girl, however, Antsy isn’t sure he wants her to notice the Schwa.

Themes of friendship through adversity, doing the right thing, and making choices echo throughout this book. The story is told with humor, so readers of all ages can appreciate the antics of these boys as they try to figure out how the Schwa Effect works. The characters are each quirky and lovable in their own way, and the action keeps the reader turning pages.

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