Book info

The Schwa Was Here (2006)

The Schwa Was Here (2006)
Rating
3.91 of 5 Votes: 1
ISBN
0142405779 (ISBN13: 9780142405772)
languge
English
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genre
publisher
penguin books
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The Schwa Was Here (2006)
The Schwa Was Here (2006)

About book: tWho or what is the Schwa? Where did “it” come from? Why is it the way it is? Turns out the Schwa A.K.A Calvin is just a normal kid for the most part; that is, if you noticed him enough to get to know him. That’s exactly how Antsy found out about him. Antsy was the first out of his friends, Howie and Ira, to notice the Schwa was tagging along with them one day out of nowhere. Antsy started to wonder… has he always been sneaking around and following us? How come no one has noticed him? Why is he with us? Confused, Antsy tries to be friendly without being too freaked out. Antsy tries his hardest to just forget about it and he almost did, until he comes to school and figures out that he sits right next to the kid in science! How could he not know that? It is almost like the kid is invisible. Antsy is just too interested to resist! tThis book is so creative is pulls you in! It’s hard to resist reading The Schwa!tThe Schwa was a great book to read and I would recommend it tto those who are interested. If I had to rate the book out of 10 (10 being the highest) I would give it an 8.5. These are my explanations why I rated it the way I did.This what I liked about this book:I thought the book was very creative and with such a new idea it kept me wanting to find out more. What is the Schwa? Where did it come from? What is so special about him? Why is he here? Who is he looking for? Where is it going? These questions kept popping up in my head as I read. I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted answers. Every solution came with new questions that kept me reading.The book was easy for me to read because of it’s funny comments and sarcasm. I love a good joke and this book had many! It made the story come to life for me and I felt like I actually knew the characters! It’s packed full of humor in every chapter that will make you laugh out loud!I liked The Schwa because the main characters are about my same age. I’m another crazy teenager who loves to entertain myself with extreme experiments just like they did. I may not throw plastic dummies off a bridge but I do love to try anything new to make life exciting! I felt I connected with and better understood the characters. I really liked stepping into a another person’s shoes because it was a whole new world or life just waiting for adventure. It was engaging see their perspective on things and how they handled they problems. It gave me good tips and advice which helped me learn new ways to overcome my struggles in life. Some of the situations in the story are super similar to my circumstances in my daily life.I do not do well with big long books that take forever to read so it makes it even better that this is a quick read. I liked it because it was simple, fun, and exciting in every part. It never got confusing and complicated. The best part was fact that it started right into the adventure. I don’t like booka that are boring in the beginning and take forever to get to the action. I didn’t have to read half of the book full of annoying dull chapters to finally get to the good stuff. It started quick and comical and stayed that way throughout the entire novel. This story kept me reading more and more. I couldn’t stop! tNo author can write a perfect book, or at least for me they can’t. These are my complaints or disagreements I had with The Schwa:I did not like that the book turned into a love story. The book was just a fun and silly read for me and I did not think that trying to add a little romance to the story fit the writing. I thought the author did not capture the character of Antsy very well. He is just a kid my age and I believe that he is not old enough and not responsible enough to take on a relationship like he did in the book. He was a crazy kid who all of the sudden falls in love! It was too grown up and just plain too weird for me. I think it changed the message of the book to something completely different and I could not figure out what the author was trying to say or express.Another problem that I had was when the Schwa ran away out of nowhere. He found his mom and then the book ended! It did not make sense to me that the author had written this great story with detail and humor all the way up to the end and then just ended it the way he did. Did he know how to end it or did he just get tired and go to bed? I also think that because many kids my age are reading this novel it will have an affect on them. He makes it sound so easy and happy when the Schwa runs away and finds his mother. I don’t think the Schwa solved his problem by running away but the author makes it sound like it was the best thing to do. When kids are faced with problems I don’t want them to solve them by running away, because that is not solving things at all. This sends kids the message that when times are tough you can run and hide from them and you will live ‘Happily Every After.’ This is not the case! Many teenagers are struggling with hardships in life and they should be taught to face their fears because when they are older and are adults they can’t run away. I think this book ended with a confusing message.tThis book made me think about things in a different way. Some people may have a hard time relating to or fully comprehending the idea and message of the story. I strongly suggest that the realistic group of the audience should stay away from this book because it combines real life with fiction to create a completely new concept. For people who love hilarious, crazy, and interesting but laid-back books, this is the perfect combination! I also suggest young teenagers to read The Schwa because the main characters are the same age and brings the book to life. I think teens are able to understand the characters better and it is easier to draw their attention. Read The Schwa!

New favorite middle grade novel...review pending. Loved it!So, I recently discovered how to request a book hold online at my community library. It's wonderful. I decided to "purge" my to-read listing of the books that I currently own and have not read yet. Then I decided to request the remaining to-read books (a few at a time) from the library to whittle my to-read listing down. This was how I finally received a copy of "The Schwa Was Here."I saw the author, Neal Shusterman speak at the Bethesda Library in Maryland shortly after the release of "Unwind" (which I also loved and am an evangelist for!) He spoke mostly on the topic of how he came up with the premise for "Unwind." (All "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" fans should try this series as well!) But, at the end of his presentation he talked about some of his other books -- The idea for "The Schwa Was Here" interested me and I looked for the book at every bookstore and library for the past couple years without success. I am really glad to have finally read it ~ it's very, very good!The Schwa (besides being a linguistic symbol of an upside down, lower case "e") is a teen boy who is so average in appearance that he is seldom noticed or even seen. Calvin Schwa is "functionally invisible" or "observationally challenged" as the narrator, Antsy, and his friends, Howie & Ira state. The dialog & humor depicting 13 year old boys in conversation is simply perfect. So typical! Example:"It's like when he's in a room and doesn't say anything, you could walk in, walk out, and never know he was there.""Like a tree falling in the forest," says Ira."Huh?""You know, it's the old question - if a tree falls in a forest and no one's there to hear it, does it really make a sound?"Howie considers this, "Is it a pine forest, or oak?"There are recurring themes - Manny Bullpucky, eggs, sins & virtues, paper clips, and the schwa - which I love in books. And, there are mistakes made, tears shed, life lessons learned - all beautifully incorporated by the author. I am a fan. Neal Shusterman has multiple writing strengths - dialog, pacing, originality and warmth. I returned this book to the library today, but, plan on purchasing for my home library. It's worth keeping. A book I would happily read again.
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Reviews
Katrina
Very interesting basis for a story. Eighth-grader "Antsy" Bonano recounts how his accidental relationship with three quirky characters winds up being mutually beneficial. The catalyst in this social collision is Calvin Schwa, a classmate who has an almost supernatural knack for going completely unnoticed. When Antsy decides to become an "agent" for the "nearly invisible" Schwa by entertaining wagers on what he can get away with by being able to fly almost entirely beneath the social radar, the boys enjoy temporary success until they accept a dare requiring "The Schwa" to enter the home of a legendary local eccentric and retrieve a dog bowl belonging to any one of his 14 Afghans. Crawley, a powerful restaurateur who also happens to be severely agoraphobic, nabs the unlikely young intruders, and the crusty shut-in orders them to return daily to walk his dogs in exchange for their impunity. Once Antsy has gained Crawley's trust, he is asked to perform another task: to act as a companion for the man's blind granddaughter, Lexie. Antsy is then flanked by two peers–one who cannot see and one who cannot be seen–and, together, they overcome their collective liabilities through friendship, improving their own lives and the lives of those around them. Self-perception/Friendship.
Alex Murphy
The Schwa was Here was my first book by Neal Shusterman that I read. The librarian at my school recommended it to me, and although I don't usually read recommended books because my list is so long anyways, I was so entertained by the title of chapter one ("Manny Bullpucky Gets His Sorry Butt Hurled Off the Marine Park Bridge") that I stopped what I was doing to investigate further.The title to chapter one is as dull as this book gets. The narration by Antsy has a lot of character and the whole concept of Calvin Schaw is fascinating. But the big thing that sold me on this book is that it's not about a kid who people seem to miss; it's about the details of a relationship between two friends as they live an unlikely life. It's about how they exist, what they do, and why they do it. It's about how they grow and learn and live. From the initial fun of showing off and living it up to the stresses and hardships of crushing on the same girl to feeling invisible. The story is real and rich and ultimately very satisfying.
Brittany Estrada
The Schwa Was HereAntsy is a regular teenage boy. He likes to blow thinks up and all that stuff. While he is busy blowing up a mannequin, he feels like someone is watching him. There is no one there. He begins to get a little creeped out but pushes it a side. When they try to find the head to the mannequin, it is floating in mid-air. As the look more closely they see a person. The Schwa. Calvin Schwa is the “invisible man.” To prove his invisibility Antsy and his brothers dress him up in a sombrero and put him in the girls bathroom, put him through airport security with a metal pole in his pocket, etc. Why didn’t people notice him before? This is what they are trying to figure out. As they try more tests to analyze there question, they run into an old man by breaking into his house. The old man makes them walk his dogs for as long as he wants instead of telling the cops. Antsy and Schwa come every day and walk the dogs. Soon comes that his granddaughter comes and tells Antsy he has to go on a date with her. They both fall for her. It is now a battle to see who gets her. Troubles begin and you better read to find out what happens next. I thought that this book was good. The content was descriptive and I felt like I was in the book at parts and having a good time. At the beginning it takes a minute or two to catch on to what is happening. Isn’t that the case with any book? It had a good way of explaining how things happened. I like how it starts kind of like a journal entry. At first Antsy is still discovering if the Schwa is a good friend or not. Late in the book they are better friends but will the girl tell them apart? I like how it shows different levels of their relationship like in real life. I wouldn’t read the last bit because I thought it didn’t have a good ending. It was a happy ending but I, personally, didn’t like it.I would rate this book about an 8. I liked it and couldn’t put it down at most parts. It was a good book but I wouldn’t recommend it to kids under 10. Just because they probably wouldn’t get it. It has a lot of good humor and is easy to get it if you understand the joke. I would recommend it to adults because they would get the humor. I would also recommend it to teens around the age of 11 to 17. They will get the humor of the book and the lesson. It is not about what other people think or how they see you. It is about what you think of yourself and how you present that to the world. I would love to read this book again. It is not one of the books that made me want to tread it 50 times in a week but maybe once in a while. It was a good book and I would recommend it to someone who wants a book to read.
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