Swing by Kwame Alexander


Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback eve...

Details Swing

Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
GenreYoung Adult, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Sports and Games, Sports, Fiction

Reviews Swing

  • Pernille Ripp
    3.5 stars for this one, much to love but also much that could have been left out for the story to come alive more. The ending while heart wrenching came out of nowhere and seemed like it didn’t fit. It will be interesting to see how my students react to this one.
  • Clare Lund
    I just finished listening to the audiobook, and if you have the chance to do the same, I highly recommend it! Author Kwame Alexander reads it himself and brings the story to life, and I loved the jazz music played in between chapters. I am still in a state of shock from the heartbreaking ending, so I'll have to come back and write more later. Ages 12 and up.
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    Kwame Alexander is a gift to YA literature. He brings readers like me, a middle aged white adult, to a world I know only from the media, making me feel like I was part of Noah’s community. For teenage YA readers, his books have wider appeal, including for reluctant readers who have yet to find stories and writing styles to engage them. SWING tackles issues of friendship, family, mental illness, dreams, sports, music and the scary realities of a...
  • Tara
    Music, art, poetry, baseball, love, and war make this YA novel in verse unique. Noah has been in love with one of his best friends for a while, and he is inspired to start creating found art love poems for her after finding some love letters from the 60s. His other best friend Walt, aka Swing, is obsessed with getting back on their school baseball team, and he teaches Noah to appreciate jazz and to be more bold. **Read via NetGalley**Publication ...
  • Becky R.
    Swing is one of those novels that you won't soon forget. While I really enjoy novels told in verse form, I can't say that I've gotten lost in the story quite as much as I did here. The development of the story is slow but thoughtful, helping you to fully connect to all the characters involved. The most important characters are Noah and Swing. Told from Noah's point of view, we come to see how his friendship with his best friend, Swing, works. I l...
  • Jake Miller
    This book had a lot going against it for my particular reading tastes: I rarely like YA that is focused a lot on romance, I rarely like verse novels that aren’t based on a highly tense/ emotional plots (this novel has emotional events but the story itself isn’t that emotional), and I always hate YA characters that are depicted as being super quirky. The romance plot (which takes up a majority of the book) is fairly annoying but maybe that’s...
  • Laurie
    Have you ever been best friends with someone but you really want to move past the friend zone into something more? Noah, Walt, and Sam have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Noah has feelings for Sam that go way past the best friend zone, but Sam only has eyes for the star baseball player (even though he treats her bad). To help move Noah and Sam's relationship on, Walt takes Noah to see the guru of love, his cousin Floyd who wo...
  • Amanda
    They do it again!!I’m always amazed that Kwame & Mary evoke such depth of emotion from so few words. This book is full of memorable characters and will leave you changed. At one point in the story I did think there were too many plot points happening that diluted the story slightly but they tie them up, if not happily, then succinctly. This is a story that will stick with me and is easy to champion for, much like this team’s book Solo and Kwa...
  • Renee Doucette
    Took me some time to get the back and forth of dialogue in verse, especially when more than 2 characters were involved. A bit of a slow start, but once invested in the characters, I finished this book quickly. Not my favorite Kwame Alexander. The ending was BAM.
  • Ms. Gennarelli
    3.5 ⭐ 3.5 ⭐️
  • Daisey
    The poetic rhythm and the figurative language in this story are amazing. It was so enjoyable to read all of the fun facts and allusions that are included. The combination of jazz, baseball, and poetry made for a fascinating mix in this story of friendship and love. However, the overall story is one that is tough for me to review because I just don't feel I'm the right audience. There was too much love story, or more accurately the story of a love...
  • Kristen
    Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.I can't even tell you guys how excited I was to get an ARC of this one. I ADORE Kwame Alexander's work, and I wasn't disappointed.Swing is one part romance, one part coming-of-age, one part social commentary. (Although it's a little heavy on the romance and light on the commentary.) Our narrator, Noah, is in love with his best friend--but she has a boyfriend. He loves art a...
  • Meg
    Newbery Award winner, Kwame Alexander, along with Mary Rand Hess has written and illustrated an awesome realistic fiction novel about the intersections of baseball, jazz, life and love. Noah and Walt have been friends since grade school. Walt (Swing) is crazy about baseball and jazz; Noah is crazy about their friend Sam (Samantha). In this teenage love story, the characters go through their days trying to find out about life in poetic fashion. As...
  • Leisure Library
    **Book Review** Swing by Kwame AlexanderRating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 Stars) --Swing by Kwame Alexander is one of the books on my January TBR List. I had not heard of this book until I was browsing my local library's selection of audiobooks. I ran across this one and thought, "YES! This looks like my kind of book." I am a musician so I really appreciated the jazz music that played between the chapters. Kwame Alexander read the book and truly was amazing. ...
  • Keri
    I had the opportunity to read Swing via NetGalley. I am a huge fan of Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. I love what they offer the world through literature. I have read everything by Kwame and have loved it all. I am constantly amazed how beautifully he can express feelings and ideas through poetry. For that reason, I expected great things from Swing. It did not disappoint! The friendships, hopes, goals, feelings, and disappointments fit right ...
  • Theresa
    I read an ARC via NetGalley. Kwame Alexander is a fabulous writer whose prose are intelligent and engaging. Walt (AKA Swing) and Noah are lovelorn high school boys who are passionate about many things, including baseball, jazz, art, and ladies. While neither boy is great at baseball, they strive to be their best selves. I liked that they didn’t feel an obligation to fit in to stereotypical high school roles. The story follows their ups and down...
  • Brittany
    This review was actually a pretty tough decision. Swing is another well-crafted novel by the much-acclaimed and beloved author, Kwame Alexander.I had the opportunity to hear him speak/read a few years ago, so I think I’m automatically biased now that Alexander’s work is always fantastic.Everything about swing is interesting and unique. I freaking love quirky Walt or “Swing”...he’s a focused, lovable dweeb who’s also a dedicated friend...
  • Kim Clifton
    This was going to be a five-star book until the sudden ending. Walt is probably my favorite character Kwame Alexander has written— he’s hilarious, passionate, and speaks in motivational posters and tweet-sized obituaries. I liked seeing his impact on Noah and following their respective relationship pursuits. What I didn’t like was how much other stuff was forced into this book. While I understand that no character lives in a vacuum, it stil...
  • Katherine
    Virtuoso Kwame Alexander again reminds me that a flowery vocabulary isn't necessary to reach in and grab someone by their soul, force them to take note. This story of two teen boys trying to hug life and find cool is hilarious at times, infuriating at times, and arresting throughout, never more so than when addressing the senseless injustice that exists in our nation. One thing that makes this novel so extraordinary, though, is that these boys wh...
  • Maureen
    Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess have another hit on their hands. Noah and Walt are high school juniors who want to fit in. Walt has decided he is gong to make the varsity baseball team their senior year and works hard to make it happen. Noah is carrying a torch for his long-time best friend Samantha, who happens to date baseball star Cruz. Over a four-week period in their lives, we learn so much about Noah, Walt, Sam, and Cruz. This novel in v...
  • Karen Reed
    I don't know how Kwame / Mary do this? Pack so much into a book with few words. Nothing is lacking, not character development, not storyline, and definitely not emotion. This story schools us all in jazz, art, and life. We all need reminders to "Hug Life" and keep striving and working towards our dreams, but possibly teens need to be reminded of this lesson the most. They need to be reminded not to just be okay maintaining the status quo but to s...
  • Whitney
    As much as I want to say this one "hit it out of the park," that is both a cliche and a bad pun for the book, but it really did. Kwame Alexander is such a poetic storyteller. He uses the format of writing in verse to tell the story, and while sports plays a role in each story, it's a sideline to the actual plot line. In this book, he was able to weave allusion to Jazz music and Harlem Renaissance poetry through the plot of a boy head over heels i...
  • Gabrielle Draxler
    The story line felt really disjointed compared to his other stuff. The "plot" was scattered, the ending felt forced and unncessary kind of like it was trying to fit in with the "police violence / racial profiling / black lives matter" issues that have become more and more prevalent in YA literature. I did like the jazz, baseball, and art influence and how the characters' interests in these aspects influenced the writing and prose itself. Overall ...
  • Melissa
    Kwame Alexander hits it out of the ballpark again! I have not read a book of his that I haven't loved and this one does not disappoint. Add this book to your pre-order list today. This time around the background is baseball, but the story is really about friendships, first love, family struggles, and perseverance through difficult times. I can't wait to get the paperback and share this with students over and over again.
  • Melissa
    My first Kwame Alexander book, and I was impressed cover to cover; word for word. His writing is quite lyrical. His dialogue is hilarious and realistic for teenagers. His characters are engaging and his plot twists are shocking and sad but with a life-affirming message. What a remarkable book. I can't wait to read more by him.
  • Kari
    This book took its time setting up the story and then ended more abruptly than I expected. In between those two things, I fell in love with Noah, Sam, and especially Swing. I can see how Swing might be interpreted as a pushy or overbearing character, but I found him to be funny and charming, drawing Noah out of his shell and helping him thrive. I enjoyed the sophisticated twist on the unsupervised party storyline, and liked that these teenagers w...
  • Kate
    Baseball, jazz, friendship, and crushes, what more could you want? I have read all of Kwame Alexander’s middle grade/YA fiction and this is another novel in verse. His themes of friendship and finding yourself are again present, this time with the background of baseball and jazz music. I enjoyed the main storyline along with the side stories that became integral parts of the main story as the novel progressed. As usual, by the end of the book, ...
  • Jks
    The story had many themes going on. It focused on many unnecessary ideas. The black lives matter theme should have been introduced earlier. I loved the last few chapters. The beginning and the ending are 2 different stories. I was disappointed. I genuinely love his books.
  • Kaci
    I love all thing Kwame Alexander. I always try to get my hands on the audio to listen to him narrate. The ending had me in tears as the staccato narration by Noah explains what he is hearing in the climatic ending.