Review of Swim Team

Swim Team Swim Team
Intermediate, Middle School    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    256 pp.   g
5/22    978-0-06-305677-0    $21.99
Paper ed.  978-0-06-305676-3    $12.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-305680-0    $11.99

In Christmas’s debut graphic novel, Bree and her dad are moving to Florida from Brooklyn for his new job. Bree is excited for the first day of school until she finds out swim class is the only available elective. Bree doesn’t know how to swim but is too embarrassed to tell the teacher. When her neighbor, Ms. Etta, finds out Bree’s secret, she offers to give her private lessons. The lessons pay off, and Bree joins the swim team to improve her grade. When arguments among team members threaten to break them up, Ms. Etta and her friends step in to help them pull together, and when Bree finds out her dad can’t swim, she teaches him. Like Johnson’s Twins (rev. 11/20) and Craft’s New Kid (rev. 1/19), this enjoyable graphic novel deals with familiar and ­middle-grade-appropriate themes of friendship, perseverance, and overcoming fears. The accessible illustrations add to the humorous (and sometimes serious) moments within the text. The book also introduces readers to the history of Black people being denied access to public pools, which limited their ability to learn to swim.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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