The swag is in the socks

Kelly J. Baptist

Book - 2021

Twelve-year-old Xavier Moon gets the courage to step out of the shadows when his great-uncle gives him some outlandish socks and some even stranger requests.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Published
New York : Crown Books for Young Readers [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
pages cm
Audience
Ages 8-12.
Grades 4-6.
ISBN
9780593380864
059338086X
9780593380871
0593380878
9780593380895
0593380894
Main Author
Kelly J. Baptist (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Not many kids enjoy receiving socks for a gift, and Xavier Moon is no exception. On his twelfth birthday, Xavier's great-uncle Frankie Bell gifts him a pair of colorful, funky socks. Along with the socks is a tough-love letter challenging the normally shy Xavier to stop hanging back from life and find some confidence. At the beginning of the novel, a lingering speech impediment and his parents' incarceration for an unspecified crime have stripped Xavier of what confidence he did have. To Xavier, the epitome of confidence is mustering up the courage to join the Scepter League, an exclusive after-school boys' club that Frankie Bell and his father belonged to when they were younger. When he doesn't get invited to join the club due to a lack of leadership qualities, Xavier is devastated; however, another opportunity to prove himself comes from the unlikeliest of places. Baptist (Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero, 2020) has crafted a lighthearted and laugh-out-loud narrative about a Black boy overcoming adversity in her second novel. Readers, no matter their age, will be able to relate to Xavier's struggle to find confidence and express his authentic self. An excellent read-alike to Jacqueline Woodson's Harbor Me (2018) or Janae Marks' From the Desk of Zoe Washington (2020). Grades 4-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Not many kids enjoy receiving socks for a gift, and Xavier Moon is no exception. On his twelfth birthday, Xavier's great-uncle Frankie Bell gifts him a pair of colorful, funky socks. Along with the socks is a tough-love letter challenging the normally shy Xavier to stop hanging back from life and find some confidence. At the beginning of the novel, a lingering speech impediment and his parents' incarceration for an unspecified crime have stripped Xavier of what confidence he did have. To Xavier, the epitome of confidence is mustering up the courage to join the Scepter League, an exclusive after-school boys' club that Frankie Bell and his father belonged to when they were younger. When he doesn't get invited to join the club due to a lack of leadership qualities, Xavier is devastated; however, another opportunity to prove himself comes from the unlikeliest of places. Baptist (Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero, 2020) has crafted a lighthearted and laugh-out-loud narrative about a Black boy overcoming adversity in her second novel. Readers, no matter their age, will be able to relate to Xavier's struggle to find confidence and express his authentic self. An excellent read-alike to Jacqueline Woodson's Harbor Me (2018) or Janae Marks' From the Desk of Zoe Washington (2020). Grades 4-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

When Black seventh grader Xavier Moon's 12th birthday rolls around, his pianist great-uncle Frankie Bell sends a snazzy pair of polka-dot socks and a letter: "Far as I can see, you got nothin', other than the fact that you a wire-mouth, stutterin' boy with jailbird parents.... This is a challenge. An invitation to get your sad self together." Xavier Moon has long dreamed about following his grandfather, uncle, and father's shoes by becoming part of the Scepter League—a school club for those with "super swag" whose creed emphasizes social responsibility. When Xavier gets his chance to interview with the League, he makes it his mission to get inducted by any means necessary. Meanwhile, donning the socks, and other pairs that continue to arrive, offers him a route to confidence and swag of his own. In this inspirational novel told in Xavier's winning first-person narration, Baptist (Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero) delivers a warmly familiar, intergenerational look at getting to know oneself. Ages 8–12. Agent: Hannah Mann, Writers House. (Nov.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3–7—Xavier Moon, a 12-year-old boy living with his older sister and his great-aunt Kat while his parents are incarcerated, has big plans for seventh grade: He's going to join the Scepter League, an elite leadership group for young men at his school. Just before the start of the school year, Xavier begins receiving strange mail from Frankie Bell, Kat's brother who is a touring musician. Each package includes a pair of outlandish socks and a cryptic letter with advice. When the Scepter League rejects Xavier's first bid to join, he does not give up; instead he leans on Frankie Bell's advice—and the socks—and discovers some unexpected talents and leadership skills. Told in the first person in a conversational tone, the narrative is engaging right from the beginning, and readers will enjoy being introduced to Xavier's family and friends. Although it deals with some tough topics—incarceration, severe illness, and managing a stutter—the story still has a lighthearted feel to it, owing mainly to Xavier's authentic and optimistic voice. Xavier and his family are Black; other characters are cued as coming from a variety of backgrounds. VERDICT Readers will enjoy this incredibly charming lead character, and they'll root for him as he navigates the challenges of school and family life.—Sarah Reid, Four County Lib. Syst., NY Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When his uncle sends him a pair of funky socks—and issues him a challenge—on his 12th birthday, Xavier Moon must decide whether to follow in his family’s footsteps or march down a new path. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Xavier Moon is stepping out of the shadows when his great-uncle gives him some outlandish socks and some even stranger requests. A story about heart, confidence, and standing on your own two feet that is perfect for fans of The Season of Styx Malone and The Parker Inheritance. "An excellent read-alike to Jacqueline Woodson’s Harbor Me or Janae Marks’ From the Desk of Zoe Washington.” –Booklist, Starred Review "A warm but authentic picture of a middle schooler figuring out who he is and who he wants to be." –The Bulletin Xavier Moon is not one to steal the show. He’s perfectly content to play video games and sit at his bedroom window watching the neighborhood talk outside. But for Xavier’s twelfth birthday, he receives a pair of funky socks and a challenge from his great-uncle, Frankie Bell, saying it’s time to swag out and speak up. First on the list: get into the legendary Scepter League. Xavier’s grandfather, great-uncle, and father were all invited to join the elite boys’ after-school club that admits only the most suave and confident young men. Xavier has never had the courage to apply before, but his wild socks are getting him some big attention, so maybe it’s time to come out of the shadows and follow in his family's footsteps. Or maybe Xavier will march down a new path altogether.