Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be part of the Blink Summer Reading Blog Tour. It features five books, but I’m going to be focusing on Swing. For today’s post, I’ve created a playlist based on the book! Scroll down to see an explanation for some of my choices, as well as the full playlist on Spotify! Check back on Tuesday for my review of the book!
Swing by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Sports
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 gold mine 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 for Noah and Walt, a chain of events alters everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice and take a swing at life.
I’ve created a playlist for this book, which you can listen to on Spotify! I’ll include the playlist at the end of this section.
As this book features a lot of Jazz music (the audiobook actually contains snippets of jazz music between sections!) I definitely wanted to include some jazzy tunes in my playlist, including some artists who were mentioned in the book, and some personal favorites of mine. (The Fragrance of Dark Coffee is actually from a video game, arranged into a jazz song!)
This book also deals with some really cute teenage romance and crushes, so I simply had to include some fun songs about those topics. Feels is perfect for a summer book tour playlist like this one.
Some characters in this book love baseball, so I included a bit of a throwback in the form of I Don’t Dance from High School Musical. Hey, they were playing baseball during that song!
Lastly, this book has some more serious themes about race, so I wanted to include songs that touch on this, like This is America by Childish Gambino.
I hope you enjoy the full playlist! I might even add to it as time goes on!
About the Authors
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New
York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which
received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to
American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor,
The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the
Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works
include SURF’S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and He Said
She Said, a YA novel.
Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.
Website – https://www.kwamealexander.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/kwamealexander
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kwamealexander/
Mary Rand Hess:
Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, mixed-media artist, and New York Times bestselling author of notable and award-winning books such as Solo and Swing(Blink YA), coauthored with Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Children’s Books), also coauthored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Little Larry Goes to School (National Geographic Children’s Books), written with renowned photographer and filmmaker, Gerry Ellis, and the forthcoming picture book, The One and Only Wolfgang: From Pet Rescue to One Big Happy Family, coauthored with Steve Greig of @wolfgang2242 Instagram fame. She is currently at work on a few novels in verse, picture books, and screenplays.
Website – http://maryrandhess.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/maryrandhess?lang=en
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/maryrandhess/
Prize: 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing by Kwame Alexander) (USA)
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