cover image The Swag Is in the Socks

The Swag Is in the Socks

Kelly J. Baptist. Crown, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-593-38086-4

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.)