The Schwa Was Here (Antsy Bonano #1)
They say if you stare at him long enough, you can see what’s written on the wall behind him. They say a lot of things about the Schwa, but one thing’s for sure: no one ever noticed him. Except me. My name is Antsy Bonano—and I can tell you what’s true and what’s not, ’cause I was there. I was the one who realized the Schwa was “functionally invisible” and used him to make some big bucks. But I was also the one who caused him more grief than a friend should. So if you all just shut up and listen, I’ll spill everything. Unless, of course, "the Schwa Effect" wipes him out of my brain before I'm done....
I'm not sure what I think about this book. The concept was original and the writing was great. The Brooklyn accent of the narrator (Antsy) was not overdone, but seemed natural enough that as I read I could clearly hear Brooklyn in my mind.
Was this a comedy? fantasy? allegory? a combination? or something altogether different? I can't say. The Schwa is a kid who is invisible. Or maybe he's just very quiet and tends to be caught in the shadows. I'm not sure if we were supposed to believe The Schwa was actually invisible, or if we were supposed to believe that his friends and father were exceptionally unobservant. After all, some people could always see the Schwa.
I read this because its sequel Antsy Does Time has been highly recommended to me. I'm intrigued by the concept of this new book as well. Neal Shusterman is a great YA author who has some of the most imaginative books I've read. I would recommend his books for my more mature readers, not because of the subject matter but because his books don't fall neatly into predictable patterns, and some students would be frustrated that they can't figure out what's going on.
Reprinted here with author's permission.