Swim the Fly

If you enjoyed the Wimpy Kid series, but want to move past middle school humor, Swim the Fly by Don Calame is the book for you. Fifteen year old Matt Gratton has been a skinny, lackadaisical swimmer on the neighborhood swim team for years. Combine this with his desire to garner the attention of a new female swim team member and his friends’ annual summer goal, and you get a laugh out loud comical view of male adolescence. Swim the Fly is an irreverent, often gross, but always humorous look at being a teenage boy in America.

Review by Celia Powell, Granite School District Instructional Technology Dept.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10-12

Matt, Coop, and Sean, three awkward high school teens, spend the summer in some hilarious scenarios as they try to achieve their newest summer goal of seeing a live naked girl. Author Don Calame has been a comedy writer for movies previous to writing this book, which has proven to be a great career combination. The humor is constant as the three 15-year-old boys come up with ingenious plans to see a naked girl that continually turn on them. Matt’s grumpy grandfather adds plenty of laughs throughout as well. The side plot has Matt figuring out how he’s going to swim the butterfly competition, a seemingly impossible task he volunteered for, or how he can worm his way out of it. Many high school aged boys and girls would love this book, but it does contain adult humor and content. I can definitely see a movie being made out of this book.

Review by Teresa Bruin, Granite School District Instructional Technology Dept.
Rating: 5 Stars
Interest Level: Grades 9+

If you like to laugh out loud while reading then this book could be for you. This story is about three best friends that set a goal to accomplish each summer. This summer their goal is to see a naked girl. From the minute they come up with the goal the scheming begins. This book is full of crude humor, but the author does an excellent job of character moral growth throughout the story. I was impressed with the end of the book and the message that came about as the story developed. I would recommend this story for boys age 15 and up. There is crude humor, sexuality, and swearing. This wouldn’t be a book I would use as a teacher due to some of the content.

Review by Heidi Meenen, Granite School District Instructional Technology Dept.
Rating: 4 Stars
Interest Level: Grades 9+

Read an excerpt
Don Calame – Official Website

Swim the Fly
Written by Don Calame
Candlewick Press
352 p.
Release Date: April 13, 2010 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780763641573 (hardcover); 9780763647766 (paperback)

Also check out the sequel, Beat the Band (possibly to be reviewed here soon.)

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4 thoughts on “Swim the Fly”

  1. Haven’t read this yet, but I know at least three people besides Teresa and Heidi that have read it, and the universal verdict is that it is hilarious.

    A random commenting person (maybe the first one) from a high school in Granite District will receive a free copy of this book for their library. It’s only a paperback; but hey, it’s free!

  2. Keith Smedberg

    It does sound like an interesting book… It sounds like it could be based on some true life events.

  3. This looks like a fun book. Anything off beat our students love… hmmm, maybe its just the water in this area.

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