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SWIM THE FLY by Don Calame


by Don Calame

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4157-3
Publisher: Candlewick

This viscerally funny story of one boy’s attempt to impress his ladylove by finishing four laps of the dreaded butterfly stroke in a swim competition by summer’s end is sure to please fans of Pete Hautman’s Rash (2006) and Randy Powell’s Three Clams and an Oyster (2002). Fifteen-year-old Matt has two summer goals: attract his crush Kelly’s attention by learning to “swim the fly” and see a real girl naked. Matt and pals Cooper and Sean cook up several plots to catch a betty in the buff, but all attempts fail, usually due to an errant bodily emission (Matt’s explosive BM in the girl’s bathroom is one of the novel’s most foully comic moments). Meanwhile, it becomes clear that Kelly’s best friend Valerie is more likely to return Matt’s affections. Can Matt swim the fly and get the girl in spite of his spaghetti arms and rebellious colon? Fully realized secondary characters, realistically raunchy dialogue and the scatological subject matter assure that this boisterous and unexpectedly sweet read will be a word-of-mouth hit. (Fiction. 14 & up)