Saturday, March 21, 2009

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Reviewed by Laura Koenig (Bib-Laura-graphy)

After reading Swim the Fly, it did not surprise me one bit to find out that author Don Calame is a long-time screenwriter. This book is begging to be brought to the big screen as a slapstick teen-boy comedy. It has it all - raunchy humor, ridiculous situations, bodily functions, naked girls. It also comes as no surprise that before starting his screenwriting career, Mr. Calame spent four years as an elementary school teacher. This is a man who understands what kids - and especially boys - like, and he delivers it in spades.

Every summer Matt and his two best buddies, Coop and Sean, set a goal for the summer. Usually it's something silly - skinny-dipping in Perry Lake, collecting a thousand golf balls, or getting their hands on a copy of Playboy. This summer Coop has upped the ante. This summer they are going to see a real live naked girl. And somewhere along the line, Matt has set himself another impossible goal - he has to be able to swim the 100-yard butterfly in time for the championships. The butterfly takes strength and speed - neither of which Matt possesses. But swimming the fly might be his only chance to impress Kelly, a gorgeous new addition to the swim team.

The many plots that the boys use in their attempt to see a real live naked girl are predictable and hysterical. All the pre-requisites are there - the girls' locker room, the binoculars, the closet-hiding, and nude beach, the cross-dressing - but of course these plans do not end the way the boys expect them too, and many surprise the reader as well. And Matt's desperate tries to swim - or get out of swimming - the butterfly are equally side-splitting, mostly because of the addition of a trainer named Ulf.

The reason that this book works as something beyond a summer teenage romp is Matt. He may not show it often, but the boy has some depth - an unexpected sweetness comes through more and more as the book progresses. He even shows some (gasp!) respect for the women in his life. Because of Matt, even a reader who doesn't go in for fart jokes can enjoy this book. And for the fart-jokes lover, this will be a classic.

This book will be released April 14, 2009.

More info:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076364157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763641573
  • Source: Advance Reader Copy from publisher


  1. The book seem interesting and fun. I am waiting for it. Hope.

  2. This is definitely one I will look out for. Although I am not a teenage boy - okay, not a teenage anything- I very much admire books written to attract those who are.

  3. Completely agree with both of you! It's definitely worth a read for anyone who appreciates a good book for the teen boys in their life.

  4. This was hysterical.. but if you're easily offended by rude and crude boy things like farting, anatomy jokes, and diarrhea, this is not the book for you. No sex and no obscene language but definitely irreverent.

  5. i loved this's totally amazing.

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  7. I literally had to tear this book out of my son's hands so he would go to sleep. He was laughing so hysterically I could barely understand what he was saying.