Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas
A middle-grade graphic about facing your fears and and the power of a good swim
A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!
Bree can't wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she's stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she's forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.
With Etta's training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school's failing team around. But that's easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake.
Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or have the Manatees swum their last lap — for good? (From HarperCollins)
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Johnnie Christmas is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, raised in Florida and currently based in Vancouver. He is the creator of comics like Firebug, Sheltered and Pisces. He is the illustrator of Angel Catbird, a graphic novel series written by novelist Margaret Atwood about a cat/bird/human superhero.
Why Johnnie Christmas wrote Swim Team
"When I was five years old, I almost drowned in a pool. And that stayed with me and it informed my relationship with the water since then. It wasn't until I was an adult that I started taking swim classes.
When I was five years old, I almost drowned in a pool. And that stayed with me and it informed my relationship with the water since then.- Johnnie Christmas
"But at the time, I thought it was my fault as a kid. I don't build swimming pools — I don't have access to that. Who controls the access? Who decides which neighbourhoods pools are placed in? Where I lived growing up — in Miami, Florida — that was out of my control.
"I wanted to write a book for young readers who are probably in the same situation because unfortunately, at least in the States, access isn't what it should be.
"I wanted to have something for those readers to see themselves reflected and to possibly see that if they do have access to a pool, there's a road for them."
Read his full interview with CBC Books.