Book Review by Aarene Storms: Learning to Swear in America

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Learning to Swear in America
by Katie Kennedy

Apparently, it's difficult to calculate how much stuff from space lands on Earth in an average year. But in Learning to Swear in America, there's only one object that anybody worries about.

Asteroid BR1019 is a big one. Not kill-the-dinosaurs big, (probably), but destroy-the-West-Coast-of-America big (possibly). That's why NASA has borrowed Russian teen physics prodigy Yuri Strelnikov: in the hope that Yuri can save California with math.

Yuri's research in antimatter will win the next Nobel Prize (presumably), but he is still a seventeen-year-old boy and the NASA scientists are disinclined to listen to him. That's enough to drive Yuri to use obscenities, if only he knew how.

With help from hippie-girl Dovie (who declines his offer of quick sex before the world goes cold) and her brother Lennon (who sees the world clearly from his seat in a wheelchair), Yuri learns how to swear.

And then, Yuri (maybe) has a chance to save the world (or at least, California).

Highly recommended for readers ages 14 to adult. An excellent pair for The Martian by Andy Weir with (significantly) fewer cuss words.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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