BOOK NAME: The Schwa Was Here
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Anthony Bonano is just a normal kid – well, look beyond his weird nickname “Antsy” and he is. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and goes to school like any other teenager his age. But one day, his life changes when he and his two best friends, Howie and Ira, meet a boy named Calvin Schwa. Calvin, or “The Schwa” as he is known to most people, isn’t a normal kid. Not a lot of people notice him–that is, he seems to fade into the background a lot, and some people can’t even tell he is there. Antsy and his friends begin to document the “Schwa Effect,” to help Calvin stay in existence (he is worried that once no one notices him, he’ll just cease to exist). On one of their missions to prove the Schwa Effect, Calvin is challenged to sneak in to the neighborhood curmudgeon’s house and steal a dog bowl. The grumpy old man, Mr. Crawley, has 14 different Afghan hounds, and while Calvin is trying to take a bowl, he is caught. Antsy and Calvin have to work for Mr. Crawley to stop him from calling the police, and they have to walk the dogs every day as their punishment.
Just in case this wasn’t too much, Mr. Crawley’s granddaughter is coming to visit, and he has offered to pay Antsy to spend time with her. Antsy figures that there must be something horribly wrong with her – but there really isn’t: she’s just blind. Her quick wit and lovable attitude bring both Antsy and the Schwa to fall in love with her, which causes tension between the two.
My favorite part of this book was the Schwa’s collection of paperclips. He has a huge collection of different paperclips from different worldwide occurrences, and at one point in the story, he shows Antsy. Some people might think that it is weird, but I think it’s quite cool. He even has one from the Titanic! Anyway, this is a heartwarming and unique story that I would recommend to all readers. Neal Shusterman really did a great job with this novel.