The Schwa was Here

( 38 )

Overview


They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. 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 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 tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name, to what ...
See more details below
Paperback
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (99) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $3.92   
  • Used (84) from $1.99   
The Schwa was Here

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview


They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. 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 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 tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name, to what really happened with his mom. I’ll spill everything. Unless, of course, “the Schwa Effect” wipes him out of my brain before I’m done….
 
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Eighth-grade Brooklynite "Antsy" Bonano narrates this quirky tale of how a classmate, Charles Schwa, who seems to appear and disappear in thin air, acts as a catalyst among an unlikely crew. Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Calvin Schwa is a boy so bland and colorless, so utterly unremarkable and unmemorable that his new, and only, friend, Anthony (Antsy) Bonano, does science experiments to investigate the "Schwa Effect"—the degree to which Calvin can be present but utterly unnoticed by everyone. But the Schwa Effect fails on the doomed day that Calvin is dared to enter the dark and dog-ridden apartment of Old Man Crawley, a famous neighborhood recluse, to steal one of his dog bowls. The incident leads both Antsy and the Schwa into ever deeper involvement in Old Man Crawley's life, as he sentences them to walk his fourteen dogs, named after the seven deadly sins and seven cardinal virtues, and to befriend his blind (and attractive) granddaughter. Shusterman's characters are larger (and stranger) than life, and the events of the story are similarly exaggerated and bizarre, all narrated by Antsy in chapters with titles like "Which Is Worse: Getting Mauled by a Pack of Dogs, or Getting Your Brains Bashed Out by a Steel Poker?" and "Maybe They Had It Right in France Because Getting My Head Lopped Off by a Guillotine Would Have Been Easier." It all adds up to a thoughtful, though decidedly odd, parable on self-identity and the degree to which we need to have our existence recognized and validated by others. 2004, Dutton, Ages 10 to 14.
—Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA
Anthony Bonana, Antsy to his friends, is an eighth grade Brooklyn youth with a story to tell about the Schwa: a guy his age who seems to be practically invisible. As the middle child of his lively Italian family, Antsy feels a bit difficult to notice himself sometimes, so he befriends the Schwa. From their experiments on just how invisible the Schwa can be, to walking fourteen huge Afghan dogs named after the Sins and the Vices for the scariest old man in the neighborhood, to falling in love with the same girl, Antsy and the Schwa grow closer and then apart. But throughout their misadventures, Antsy remains stubbornly set on finding out how the Schwa's mother disappeared because he worries that the Schwa, too, might totally disappear and that is something he is determined to prevent. Through learning more about the Schwa, Antsy discovers a good deal about himself as well. Antsy is one funny narrator whose observations-"He's about as creative as a bar code"-imperfections, and escapades make him extremely likeable. Antsy deals with problems that middle school boys will understand: parents who argue, friends who can be too judgmental, and girls who are just tough to figure out. The supporting cast of characters-from cranky old Mr. Crawley and his lovely blind granddaughter, Lexis, to Antsy's friends and family-are quirky and enjoyable as well. Middle school readers will find Shusterman has created yet another very readable and refreshingly different story. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Dutton, 272p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Mary AnnDarby
KLIATT
A schwa is "a diacritic marking silence instead of a vowel sound," according to Webster's, and the name is appropriate for Calvin Schwa, who is "functionally invisible"—nobody ever notices him, even when they're standing next to him. Anthony, known as Antsy, "an eighth-grade wiseass" living in Brooklyn, befriends the Schwa, as he calls him. Antsy himself sometimes feels invisible as the middle child in his family, while the Schwa's mother vanished when he was five. There are lots of plotlines here, as the two pull pranks based on the Schwa's ability to be overlooked, and end up walking dogs for cranky Old Man Crawley and serving as escorts for his feisty blind granddaughter while becoming rivals for her affection; there are also subplots about Antsy's parents, Antsy's attempts to find out what happened to the Schwa's mother, attempts to destroy a crash test dummy, and more. There is also lots of humor: a typical chapter heading is "Earthquakes, Nuclear Winter, and the End of Life as We Know It, over Linguini," and the dialog is fast and funny. This ode to friendship has got lots going on, and younger YAs will be entertained by Antsy's antics and his wisecracking comments on them. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, Penguin Putnam, Dutton, 276p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Eighth-grader "Antsy" Bonano recounts how his accidental relationship with three quirky characters winds up being mutually beneficial. The catalyst in this social collision is Calvin Schwa, a classmate who has an almost supernatural knack for going completely unnoticed. When Antsy decides to become an "agent" for the "nearly invisible" Schwa by entertaining wagers on what he can get away with by being able to fly almost entirely beneath the social radar, the boys enjoy temporary success until they accept a dare requiring "The Schwa" to enter the home of a legendary local eccentric and retrieve a dog bowl belonging to any one of his 14 Afghans. Crawley, a powerful restaurateur who also happens to be severely agoraphobic, nabs the unlikely young intruders, and the crusty shut-in orders them to return daily to walk his dogs in exchange for their impunity. Once Antsy has gained Crawley's trust, he is asked to perform another task: to act as a companion for the man's blind granddaughter, Lexie. Antsy is then flanked by two peers-one who cannot see and one who cannot be seen-and, together, they overcome their collective liabilities through friendship, improving their own lives and the lives of those around them. Antsy tells his story in a bubbly Beastie Boys-meet-Bugs Bunny Brooklynese that keeps the pages flipping, and Shusterman's characters-reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli-are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children's classics.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Calvin Schwa is special, see? Well, no, because you can't see him at all. The Schwa is disturbingly unnoticeable. For years he has been marked absent in school, and he has certainly never managed to make friends. When-with great difficulty-he intrudes upon the consciousness of Antsy and friends, the boys try to codify what they call "the Schwa effect." Will the Schwa be noticed spying in the teachers' lounge? Thumbing his nose at the principal? Standing in the boys' bathroom, wearing a Day-Glo orange sombrero, and singing "God Bless America" at the top of his lungs? Amidst their antics, Antsy and the Schwa come to the aid of a cranky and rich old man with a beautiful blind granddaughter, start national graffiti trends, and explore the Schwa's (quite interesting!) paperclip collection. It's all fun and games until friendships dissolve. Will the mysterious Night Butcher provide the Schwa with clues to his unwanted invisibility? The presence of stock characters and subplots doesn't detract from the cleverness and humor of this tall tale. (Fiction. 11-15)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142405772
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/2/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 70,653
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.74 (w) x 5.04 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is an award-winning author and screenwriter.  He lives in Southern California with his four children.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2012

    This is the Best Book I have read in a while. I was kind of stuc

    This is the Best Book I have read in a while. I was kind of stuck in a reading rut and my librarian recommended this. I think a lot of kids either feel like Antsy or the Schwa a lot of the time so even if it is far fetched. There is a sequel called Antsy Does Time that is almost better than this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Quite Creative

    I needed a book to read for class, so I went to the library and checked this out. I was looking for a different kind of book than I usually read, and I never read the inside flap or back of a book to see what happens, so I was totally surprised with this. I couldn't put it down. It's like nothing I've heard about before... Not totally invisible, but partially.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It was pretty good

    I don't think this was one of my favorite books, but I still kept reading the book, and I think it started to get better as you kept reading it. Check it out!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This was a good book.

    The Schwa was Here was a very good book with a storyline that interested me until the end. I think that children my age (age 11) would enjoy this book and it should be shared. Both boys and girls would like it. It's about a boy who was hardly noticed until another boy recognized his talents and befriends him. They share a close bond with each other so it's a story of friendship.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2014

    I read The Schwa was Here because the author is really, really g

    I read The Schwa was Here because the author is really, really good.  (I will have a lot more reviews from him.)  And I wasn't disappointed.  
    This book is about a boy who is "functionally invisible" (that means not noticed) named Calvin Schwa, whom everyone calls The Schwa.  It is told from his friend, Antsy's, point of view.  They conduct experiments to see how far The Schwa can go unnoticed.  When they get caught, they have to work for some crazy old man.  But then this girl comes into play...  
    It is a wonderfully told book with twists and turns and a lot of comic relief.  I would really recommend reading it.  It has one of the best endings that I have ever read.  It's one of those endings which leaves you thinking about it constantly and thinking " Omg!  That was SO good!"  At least, it did for me.
    My one bit of confusion in the entire book was in the beginning, like the first page.  I thought that "dummy" meant "idiot" instead of  "puppet".  That was completely my fault, but I thought I would clear it up in case you get confused. 
    Anyway, if you're not sure of if you want to read it, read the first page or two.  I am 99% sure that you will love it.
    I think there is a second book: Antsy Does Time.  It may not be directly related, so I'll let you know once I read it.  In the meantime, I hope you read The Schwa was Here.  Let me know if you have any book you want me to read/ review.    

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Awesomesause<3

    This is a great book! I recomend this for an in-between book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    awesome

    awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for TeensReadToo.com

    Anthony "Antsy" Bonano can't really figure out what's wrong with The Schwa. His classmate, Calvin Schwa, has always just been...around.

    A nondescript face on a nondescript kid, The Schwa always seems to just blend into the background, and could be standing right in front of you for half an hour before you even notice he's there - and that's only if he speaks up and says something. Antsy finds it difficult to even think about The Schwa without his mind wandering onto some other subject, no doubt due to "The Schwa Effect."

    Antsy may not have been the first the pass The Schwa by, but he is the first one to start putting his friend's power of blending in to good use. After a set of experiments to determine the strength of "The Schwa Effect," Antsy and The Schwa form a collaboration that starts earning them money for dares and services (such as spying on the faculty lounge) that utilize The Schwa's untapped potential.

    When a bold dare to enter the apartment of a reclusive neighbor goes horribly wrong, Antsy and The Schwa find themselves at the mercy of Old Man Crawley, who puts them to work to make up for their intrusion. The boys' friendship is put to the test when Antsy is given a...much more desirable task, which sets The Schwa on a mission to prove his very existence to the world in the grandest, most unforgettable manner possible.

    I absolutely fell in love with this book, and that is not something I'd say lightly. Superior characterization, mainly the shifting position of narrator Antsy as both protagonist and antagonist to the title character, had me rooting for nearly every personality featured in this story. My heart went out to the unfortunate Schwa, yet I think I laughed harder than ever at the witty storytelling and humor utilized by the author.

    A perfect book for the older, reluctant reader, and one both boys and girls can enjoy to the fullest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 29, 2008

    One of my favorite books...

    This is a book that I can read over and over again. The first time I read it, it took me awhile to get to the end, but I liked it anyways. Now I find it to be a great thing to read when I have a break from school or haven't gotten to the library in a while.(I own a copy) The first chapter is slow, but once Calvin Schwa is introduced, it picks up pace for a great story! The end is really good also, which is saying something. I'm very hard to please with book endings. Read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Great, funny read

    As a 7th grade English teacher I am always on the lookout for good books for my students. When I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I now read it aloud to my seventh graders and they absolutely love it! They beg me to keep reading! It is witty, and interesting. Neil does a wonderful job in his descriptive detail. I highly recommend this book to anyone!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Wow I didnt think i would like it

    When my neighboor gave me the book to read, i read the title and thought that the book looked really stupid. Then i started reading and couldn't stop. This book is one of the best books i have ever read. It is really funny because it was told through first person point of view so you hear what the narrator(or Antsy as he is called in the book) is thinking. I was sitting on the beach reading this one day and just started laughing out loud. This is a must read!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    A reviewer

    I thought this book was funny and quirky. Sometimes it was boring, and it didnt really hold my interest. There was nothing wrong with it, it was just nothing special. Its a good book for when you have nothing else to read or do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    Sooooo Funny!!

    I loved this book. It was so funny. Just the way the characters in the book talked, it was awesome. I kind of thought the end was a little sad but the rest of the book was so good it didn't matter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    It all started with an 'unbreakable' dummy named Manny who is the start the story. Anthony and his friends Howie and Ira are trying to blow up this dummy when Calvin Schwa shows up. Anthony and the Schwa discover the 'Schwa effect', which makes them earn money and popularity for the Schwa's unnoticable presence. The Schwa and Anthony's confidence winds them in trouble with the meanest, richest man in Brooklyn, Old Man Crawley. Instead of punishing them with the police, he makes them do community service, which is ironic since they work for him without getting paid. Their job is to walk his sins and virtues, which are afghan dogs. Anthony 'Ansty' later on gets the job of escorting Crawley's blind grandaughter, Lexie, who captures the heart of the Schwa and Ansty, though Ansty feels ashamed of betraying his friend. In the end, Ansty shows true friendship to The Schwa when he solves the mystery of The Schwa's disappearing mom. In the end, the resolution of the story is satisfying to any reader who is captured in this great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    The Schwa will keep you reading!

    This book targets young adults and fits the genre of realistic contemporary fiction. The characters are developed to such an extent that you are moved emotionally to identify with them. The author keeps your attention with unique character names and terminology. He has created an interesting story that you will want to continue to read to find out what will happen next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    The Schwa WAS Here!

    Although you may forget Calvin Schwa, you WILL not forget this book. I bought, I read it, I loved it! Get and read it, it's amazing!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    The Scwha Was Here

    Thiis is the best book I ever read. I hope one of you that read this reveiw willllike it and read the boook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    he was here, was he?

    this book is amazing! i finished it in two days. I loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    How could you not LOVE this book?

    Here I am again! Well i have to say that i loved this book and that you need to read it. Well Antsy(anthony) was with his friend when he met 'The Schwa' and they became INSTANT friends! well Antsy falls inlove and THE SCHWA thinks he is inlove but not really, how could you not love this book already? But when THE SCHWA(CALVIN) finds out the hard cold truth of why his mother just left him in a strange place as a baby, he does something you wouldnt believe! So if youve read this book, you know what the suprise is,but if you dont youll have to rad it! well I have to go! i will see you in another Review!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    Who in the World is Antsy??

    Sarcasism was never a virtue was it? I know that Antsy is a 12-13 year old boy with a best friend that is supposedly invisible. Sometimes it 'pays' to be invisible. Read this book and you'll find out what I mean.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)