April 3, 2011

Review: Swim the Fly

Title: Swim the Fly

Author: Don Calame

Synopsis(from Goodreads.com): Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Sean and Coop, always set themselves a summer-time goal.  This year’s?  To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. As far as Matt is concerned, they’d have better luck finding the lost city of Atlantis. But seeing a girl in the buff starts to seem like child’s play compared to the other summertime goal Matt sets for himself: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) in order to impress Kelly West, the hot new girl. So what if he can’t manage a single lap, let alone four? He’s got the whole summer to perfect his technique. What could possibly go wrong?

Review:  I think what attracted me to this book is the fact that my 7 year old son has two best friends named Shaun and Cooper.  If the fictional Sean and Coop are anything like the real ones then I knew this book could be nothing but hilarious.  I was right! 

This has to be one of the funniest, laugh out loud books I have ever read.  Every scheme Matt and his buddies come up with to meet their summer goal backfires in the most hilarious way.  I never realized how funny laxatives really could be until I read Swim the Fly. 

Matt’s friends are not the only ones getting Matt into crazy predicaments.  Throughout the book Grandpa Arlo requests Matt’s assistance in his plan to woo the recently widowed Mrs. Hoogenboom.  Unfortunately, he chooses Mr. Hoogenboom’s funeral as the perfect time to put his plan into action.  Needless to say, things don’t go so well. 

Swim the Fly is not just about laughs.  There is a bit of romance and self-discovery as well.  Matt has agreed to swim the 100 -yard butterfly for his swim team because he wants to make his crush, Kelly West, notice him.  Although Matt is physically unprepared for this challenge and describes himself as incredibly lazy he attacks his goal with a determination that he didn’t know he had.  Giving up is never an option, even when reaching his goal becomes next to impossible. 

I knew this book was a winner when I was unable to get my hands on the classroom copy.  Teens, both male and female, have kept Swim the Fly in constant check-out and the list of students who still want to read it is long.  This is a classic story that both teens and adults will relate too.  There is something for everyone: action, comedy, drama, and romance.  I would recommend Swim the Fly to anyone who enjoys clean, although at times gross, fun and loves to laugh!


  1. I will remember this title when I meet "I don't like reading that much!" kids. THANKS! for a great review.

  2. No problem :-) Definitely a great pick for reluctant readers!