What would you do to be noticed? In Neal Shusterman's novel The Schwa Was Here you get to find out, and if you've ever felt like the Schwa, this book will impact you. Published in 2004 by Puffin Books, this book won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry in 2005, and was an honor book for the Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children's Literature in 2005.
Anthony, known as Antsy, is the character who tells us the story. He is a middle child sandwiched between an older brother who is a great student and an adorable little sister who everyone loves. He feels invisible at home.
Calvin Schwa is a boy without friends until Antsy becomes his friend. Schwa isn't noticed by people and is easy to forget. When he was five, his own mother disappeared while shopping, leaving him abandoned in the cart at the supermarket. Now Schwa worries that he, too, will simply cease to exist at some point. What really happened to his mother? Where is she?
I am reminded of Andrew Clements Things Not Seen , which is a story about an invisible boy. Just like in Clements story, there is a blind girl who can feel his presence even though most can't or don't see him.
I am also reminded of some of my students who were hard to get to know and were easily forgotten - like the Schwa. This book shows how important it is to be seen and how we all must work to see those around us even those who appear to blend in completely.
I found a couple of student made book trailers on Youtube. I enjoy student made book trailers because you can see what jumped out at them in their reading. They also show how creative students are.
I think they did a great job. Book trailers are just one way to get students excited about books. Book talks are good, but in our fast paced world, sometimes book trailers are even better. They are not all created equally, and most are created by students, so make sure you preview them before sharing with your students. You can even have students create book trailers as a project.
Read often because reading connects us to everything in the world.