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, Fiction, Sports and Games, Sports

Reviews Swing

  • 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.
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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, ...
  • Amy
    This book tore my heart out. Kwame does such beautiful things with verse, sports, music, friendship and love. Every book he writes feels as if the voice is a living, breathing student I could teach. Kwame gets it. He gets people and he gets life. This, with its interwoven jazz greats and pop culture allusions, feels like it will be one that speaks of our tumultuous time for generations. Read this. Then read everything else Kwame has written. Seri...
  • Erica
    Novel in verse about - Noah and his unrequited love for his best friend, Sam- Walt (Swing) and his motivation to make the baseball team - Walt's relationship with Divya (an older girl by 2 years)- Walt's brother, Mo, coming home from war with PTSDAnd, I can't ruin the ending.
  • Kelli C.
    Thanks to Netgalley and the SWINGLAUNCH TEAM, I had the honor of reading the ARC of this book.All the stars for this book! Baseball,Jazz, friendship, and love all in onefabulous novel in verse. Funny, sweet,heartbreaking, beautiful Kwame andMary hit another one out of the park.
  • Meg
    Gorgeously written. Fantastic book to listen to. The poetry is powerful.
  • Karyn Lewis
    This book has music, baseball, poetry, friendship, and love. An unconventional combination that produces an unforgettable story!
  • Mari Bianco
    SWING, Kwame’s new book, is a love story intertwining jazz music and art with a bit of baseball thrown in. Through verse, Noah’s first-person narration comes alive on the page with lovely figurative language and profound allusions to jazz music and art, especially mixed-media. I loved the story, and the shocking ending came too soon.
  • Agbillman
    So much to process in this fast paced read! I’ll likely have to re-read it at some point to take it all in but it’s a timely, engaging read - I recommend it!
  • Brevin
    Incredibly supprising twist at the end.
  • Deborah Hightower
    I read this ARC through NetGalley. This book is written in verse and emotional. The main characters are juniors in high school. Walt and Noah don’t make the baseball team for the third time. Walt is determined to practice baseball until he is good enough to make the team and to help his best friend develop the confidence he needs in his personal relationship with a long time female friend. It was a story about living life, taking chances, and n...
  • Heather Hites
    Read this book.
  • Kokie
    I liked the book and the ending is very powerful, but I think the authors tried to discuss too many issues in a short amount of time. They touched on so many heavily charged current event issues in the first quarter of the poems I didn't know which theme they would focus on. I understand the desire to discuss each of the topics, especially in today's politically charged chaotic news cycle, but I find the beauty of books is the ability to take one...
  • Deana Metzke
    Walt and Noah are high school best friends that are trying to navigate through the seemingly foreign world of girls. As a reader, I got so invested in these characters, and I find that that is always a sign of a good book. I haven't found the words yet that don't include spoilers, so I'm just gonna suggest that you read it. :) *I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley as part of the #Swingbook launch team.
  • Mrs. Porter
    I read the ARC of the first 109 pages of this book and am completely hooked. The characters are relatable and real. The story captured me, then the twist at the end of page 109 captured me again. I'm anxiously awaiting the publication of the entire book.