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KWAME ALEXANDER discusses his new book SWING, with NIKKI GIOVANNI and WENDY CALHOUN

Swing (Blink)

When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they've got to find cool.

Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah's love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt's Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt's own perceptions of what is actually cool. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he's always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and make his voice heard?

At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it's a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can't shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized. As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell a lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that will speak to anyone who's struggled to find their voice.

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 28 books, including Swing, Solo, and Rebound, the follow-up to his, Newbery-medal winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. Some of his other works include Booked, a National Book Award Nominee, The Playbook: 52 Rules To Help You Aim, Shoot, and Score In This Game of Life, and the picture books, Out of Wonder, Surf's Up, and The Undefeated. The 2018 NEA Read Across America Ambassador, Kwame is also the host and producer of the literary variety/talk show, Bookish, which airs on Facebook Watch, the co-founding director of the LEAP for Ghana initiative, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

Nikki Giovanni, poet, activist, mother, and professor, is a seven-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, among many other honors. The author of twenty-eight books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her latest book is A Good Cry.

Wendy Calhoun is a writer and executive producer with an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television Studios where she’s currently developing Lean on Me for the CW and Strong Justice for NBC. She has developed new series pilots with Netflix, FX, 20th TV Studios, and ABC Signature. Her past credits include Co-Executive Producing and writing the historic first season of Fox’s megahit series Empire. In addition, she’s written and produced for ABC’s Station 19, Nashville, and Revenge, and FX’s Justified. Calhoun wrote and directed the virtual reality short, Left Behind, sponsored by Google, and honored as “Best in VR” at Digital Hollywood. She served as the Narrative Consultant for Electronic Arts’ Battlefield Hardline video game. Calhoun received a 2010 Peabody Award for Justified. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Calhoun is an alumna of Booker T. Washington High School of the Visual and Performing Arts (originally known as Arts Magnet High School). She studied film and television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Tonight's event will feature a very special musical performance by Randy Preston.

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Swing Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780310761914
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blink - October 2nd, 2018

Solo Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780310761839
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Published: Blink - August 1st, 2017

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763680947
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Published: Candlewick - March 14th, 2017

The Crossover (The Crossover Series) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544107717
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Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - March 18th, 2014

Rebound (The Crossover Series) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544868137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - April 2nd, 2018

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life Cover Image
By Kwame Alexander, Thai Neave (By (photographer))
$14.99
ISBN: 9780544570979
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - February 14th, 2017

Booked (The Crossover Series) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544570986
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - April 5th, 2016

He Said, She Said Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062118981
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Published: Amistad - November 18th, 2014

A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062399465
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 2nd, 2018

Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing Cover Image
By Stephanie Stokes Oliver (Editor), Nikki Giovanni (Foreword by)
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501154287
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Atria / 37 INK - January 30th, 2018

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062562883
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 20th, 2016

The Sun Is So Quiet Cover Image
By Nikki Giovanni, Ashley Bryan (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250046697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - March 4th, 2014

Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship Cover Image
By Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781250018694
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Square Fish - January 8th, 2013

Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780060099534
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Published: Harper Perennial - December 28th, 2010

Bicycles: Love Poems Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061726491
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 2nd, 2010

On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780763643805
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Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2009

Rosa Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780312376024
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Square Fish - December 26th, 2007

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998 Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060724290
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - January 23rd, 2007

In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King JR. Cover Image
By Nikki Giovanni (Introduction by), Gary Miles Chassman (Editor), Walter Leonard (Commentaries by)
$39.95
ISBN: 9780965376655
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Tinwood Books - January 8th, 2002

Love Poems Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780688149895
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: William Morrow - February 14th, 1997

Grand Mothers: Poems, Reminiscences, and Short Stories About The Keepers Of Our Traditions Cover Image
By Nikki Giovanni (Editor)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780805049039
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - September 15th, 1996