Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (March 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142405779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142405772
  • List Price: $6.99
  • I finished this book on Feb. 2
I somehow have never read anything by Neal Shusterman before, though I just got in a bunch of his books in our most recent order. So, I thought I'd give this one a try.
Our narrator, Antsy, tells us the funny and tragic story of the Schwa. Okay, actually, the Schwa's story isn't funny, but Antsy is. He speaks in annoying-ish Brooklynese, but it's not so annoying you're mad at him. Mostly, he's funny. Anyway, the Schwa: he's this kid who's invisiblish. The Schwa takes the normal easy to miss loner kid thing to new territories, there are times when he's in front of folks and they can't see him. His past is as shady as his present, and his mother (according to town legend) either disappeared, or was killed and her body was mailed to all 50 states (ouch).
Antsy, the Schwa and some secondary pals set out to find the limits of the Schwa Effect. It's all pretty impressive until they get big time busted and pull dog walking duty for the town recluse. This of course (because it is a YA novel) changes their lives. There is loving, losing, and truth-telling that is pretty realistic, actually.
Good plot, interesting characters and extra points for a cover that I keep looking at and seeing characters (oh, that's Ira! look, Manny Bullpucky's severed head!). The story was apparently optioned to Disney in 2006 but I don't think anything's come of it yet. Truthfully, I feel the story might be better if kept in book form. But that's just me.
Also: I wish other people would read this so I could call attribute things to The Schwa Effect, because that's pretty BA.

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