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The Swift Boys and Me

Eleven-year-old Nola Sutton has been best friends and neighbors with the Swift boys for practically her whole life. There's the youngest, Kevin, who never stops talking; the oldest, Brian, who's always kind and calm; and then there's Canaan, the ringleader and Nola's best-best friend. Together, they have a summer of fun adventures planned.

But then everything changes overnight.

When the boys' dad leaves without even saying good-bye, it completely destroys the Swift family, and all Nola can do is watch. She tries to hold on to them, but they are changing. Kevin stops talking, Canaan starts hanging out with mean boys, and Brian is never around. Nola just wants things to go back to the way they were—the way they've always been.

Is Nola strong enough to save the Swift boys from themselves, or has she lost them forever?

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Scholastic Press, Hardcover, May 2014, ISBN: 9780545562003


"A fine, honest and heartfelt coming-of-age tale."

"In Keplinger's poignant middle-grade debut, 11-year-old Nola's carefree world is shattered when her best friends' father takes off without explanation ... A believably bittersweet ending delivers an emotional understanding of the necessary changes we all undergo while growing up."

"Keplinger's first middle-grades novel is sweet and smooth, and sharp readers will realize that it's as much about change in general as Nola's drift from the Swift boys."
   —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books