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, Audiobook, 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.
  • Carlos
    This was a very enjoyable book to read , it was fast paced and the plot was entertaining , that is until the very last 100 pages. Did not see the ending coming , it kind of put things into perspective and tries to make a point regarding cultural differences . This book deals with PTSD, love, friendship, current racial issues and idealized love.
  • Etienne
    This book was surprisingly good! I've got into it totally blind and I like it. Day to day casual life of a group of teenagers. Nothing that would normally blow me away, but I like the pace, the style, it felt true, the characters were interesting, funny and we get attach to them easily. A simple story but well executed! A good read!
  • Susan Crowe
    This was one of the AudioFile Sync choices for the first week in 2019.This was cute until the end. Then it was sad. I did enjoy it. And the author was also the narrator and he did a great job.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Mimi
    This isOne of those times that I RealizeSome books thatAre written in verseWould be way More powerful and Less disjointed narrativesIf they were In another Format.The forced EndingDidn't help mattersWith my rating.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Ashley
    Swing is both a hit and a miss for me. The narrative tended to focus more on the things I didn't care as much for (Noah's crush on Sam primarily) and not on the things I really loved - namely Swing and taking about music and art. While Noah is rather bland in many respects, Swing was a stand out character and I loved every moment that he spoke. The middle dragged a bit with the love plot and there were too many dangling plot threads at the end to...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Jayden A
    It is a great novel and verse, I recommend it to people who like Baseball
  • Laura Gardner
    Audiobook was the way to go, but parts felt like they didn’t fit together. I was so surprised by the end!
  • Crystal (theleisurelibrary)
    **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 ...
  • Janelle Dazzlepants
    This was a fun read, but it’s the embodiment of “jack of all trades, master of none”. Swing is written in verse, which makes for an enjoyable and quick read. The layout of the words on the page, and particularly the blackout poetry, really made an impact at the peaks and crescendos of the story. But frankly, I’m glad it was written in verse because I wouldn’t have cared for this as a full length novel. Noah is a boring af male protagoni...
  • Cailee
    *If you can get a hold of the audiobook, I highly recommend it. This story is best heard from Kwame Alexander himself. (And the jazz cuts between chapters are lovely.)On the surface, Swing is another coming-of-age love story. Boy loves girl but girl has a boyfriend. Boy wants to tell girl how he feels but saying it to her face is out of the question. Cue boy’s best friend who has a brilliant plan. Let the journey begin. Foolproof plot.However, ...
  • 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...
  • Heather Johnson
    This book devastated me. Like, really and truly...but I didn't feel that way until the very end. Up until the end, I found the book cute, quaint, perfect for other readers, but only because the content and the style aren't my typical preferences. However, author Kwame Alexander builds the story to a crescendo (see what I did there, with music references?) and utterly destroys readers.Noah Wallace and his best friend Walt Disney Jones are insepara...
  • DeRegan
    This one took a minute for me to get into but then I found myself really enjoying it. People who love music - jazz in particular- will for sure enjoy it. However I think maybe this book took on too much with love and feminism and racism and war and PTSD and police brutality and the importance of parenting and art and high school and baseball and jazz - it got to be a lot, and then it turned in some directions I never saw coming, but in a way that...
  • 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...
  • 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...