Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
The Swag Is in the Socks by Kelly J. Baptist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Xavier Moon is used to being a boy in the background. But now that he’s twelve, he’s old enough to try to get into the Scepter League, an elite club for young men who conduct themselves like kings. Therefore, Xavier has to work on his leadership skills, and upping his “sock game” with the help of his uncle may be just what Xavier needs in The Swag Is in the Socks by author Kelly J. Baptist.
Well! The hero of this middle grade novel has understandable reasons for keeping quiet much of the time, and there’s plenty about his personal life that isn’t perfect. So it was great watching this kid (who wonders what his “thing” could be) do some serious thinking and find truly admirable footing.
I was mildly interested through the first third or so as I waited to see how the plot would come together; the laugh-out-loud moments throughout the book certainly helped.
There’s a lot of cussing in Xavier’s family that isn’t spelled out on the page, and some of the adults’ dialogue includes words like “hell” and “damn” in their nonliteral senses. Hence, not a “squeaky” juvenile read on that score, but the air around me didn’t turn blue.
I found the story’s last third or so to be pretty amazing, both with events that tugged my heart and others that made me stop and applaud. And can we take a sec to appreciate how on point the book cover is, with tin-grinned Xavier leaning on the novel’s title and showcasing his sock game?
Swagged out, young Mr. Moon.