When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find their cool.
While Walt thinks the road to cool will be as smooth as the jazz he loves, for Noah, navigating that path seems almost impossible. He and Walt failed to make the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Not to mention Walt’s plan for improving their love lives involves taking advice from his Dairy Queen-employed cousin and listening to a podcast intended for women. Noah is willing to go along with Walt’s plan, but while Walt is hitting the batting cages and insisting on being called Swing, Noah uncovers a set of old love letters. Each page contains words Noah has also held in his heart, and he begins an experiment of artistically adapting the letters to help express his true feelings for Sam. An experiment that becomes public when one of the letters unknowingly reaches Sam herself. As Sam begins to fall for her anonymous suitor, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout or follow Walt’s lead and take a swing to make his voice heard.
At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank, and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses a series of events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.
As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate. New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell a lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice.