Results of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in the year 2005.
Anthony, also known as “Antsy,” is fascinated by “The Schwa Effect”—the fact that no one ever sees Calvin Schwa. Even when acting weird and dressed like a total freak, The Schwa is only barely noticed. The two boys form a partnership and get away with all kinds of mischief, from conducting experiments at school to confounding opponents on the basketball court. When The Schwa senses that even Antsy is beginning to lose sight of him, he vows to do something that will make him so visible, no one will ever forget him. Any kid who’s ever felt unnoticed will identify with Schwa and Antsy and their quest for notoriety.
Neema and her best friend, Kate, are freshmen at Wentworth High. In English class they have the notorious Ms. “Bride of Dracula” Dallimore for a teacher. “Learn to fly!” she urges her students. But what are they supposed to write for their essay, “Who Am I?”
At home, Neema’s great-grandmother, Kalpana, has come for an extended visit all the way to Australia from India. At night she dreams of flying; during the day she cooks Indian food and watches the same Indian video again and again. It should be great having her there, but Neema doesn’t speak Hindi, Kalpana doesn’t speak English, and Neema’s mother can’t always be there to translate.
Meanwhile, Gull Oliver, the good-looking new boy at school, seems familiar to Neema. At night he flies past her house…[more]
In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention.
Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr”s wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to “speak what we see.”