June 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Exclusive Cover Reveal! SWING by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess

Today at 1 p.m. EST, SLJ editors Shelley Diaz and Kiera Parrott—aka the “Book Nerds”—revealed the cover of Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess’s (Solo, 2017) latest book, Swing (both Blink), on Facebook Live.

Swing, which goes on sale October 2, is a coming-of-age novel in verse. According to the publisher description:

“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 ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool.

To go from lovelorn to ladies’ men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru—his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd—and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom’s birthday gift at The Thrift Shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a goldmine of love letters from the 1960s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up, way up, for Noah and Walt, the letters set off a chain of events that change everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

In Swing, best-selling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice, and take a swing at life.”


The Book Nerds discuss BookExpo picks and reveal the cover for the new Kwame Alexander book.

Posted by School Library Journal on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Newbery Medal-winning Alexander is the author of more than 24 books; Swing marks his third collaboration with writer Hess, who also worked with him on Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (NatGeo, 2017) and last year’s best-selling and well-received Solo, which SLJ recommended for “music lovers, reluctant readers, fans of spoken word poetry, those who appreciate Alexander’s work, or anyone seeking a tale of self-discovery.”

The “Book Nerds” editors will interview Kwame Alexander live on Facebook this Friday at 9 a.m. EST from the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Live viewers are encouraged to submit questions. Simply visit SLJ‘s Facebook page to view and participate. 


Kiera Parrott About Kiera Parrott

Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for School Library Journal and Library Journal and a former children's librarian. Her favorite books are ones that make her cry—or snort—on public transportation.



  1. MsLaRose says:

    I am SO incredibly excited to see these two authors work together again!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind