Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa was here.

AuthorRohrlick, Paula
PositionBrief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

SHUSTERMAN, Neal. The Schwa was here. Penguin Putnam, Dutton. 276p. c2004. 0-525-47182-0. $16.99. J

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...

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