Learning to Swear in America
Learning to Swear in America

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Annotation: Brought over from Russia to help NASA prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth, seventeen-year-old physics genius Yuri feels awkward and alone until he meets free-spirited Dovie.
Catalog Number: #144828
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 345 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-619-63911-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98543-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-619-63911-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98543-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015025454
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Yuri's no ordinary 17-year-old: he's got a PhD in astrophysics from Moscow State University, and his research on antimatter makes him a Nobel shoo-in. But a gigantic asteroid is hurtling toward earth, and Yuri's been sent to the U.S. to work with NASA scientists to prevent the cataclysmic impact. Though his brain power is on par with colleagues decades his senior, almost everything else about Yuri is as teenage as it gets pecially his ego d when compellingly kooky Dovie enters his world, he finds himself struggling to balance his responsibility to the entire planet and his affection for the artistic, color-obsessed girl. Though Yuri's ultimate decision about whether to stay in America seems a bit out of character, Kennedy's snappy depiction of the multifaceted, whip-smart teens and the crackling dialogue (full of Russian-inflected, broken English, naturally) is an entertaining, genre-bending mix of quirky romance and realistic sci-fi, with some thought-provoking questions about adulthood thrown in for good measure. Hand to readers who prefer their romance brainy or their sci-fi a little heart-fluttery.
Kirkus Reviews
The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an awkward teenage genius in Kennedy's comical debut novel.Yuri Strelnikov is a 17-year-old Russian physics whiz called in to help NASA concoct a plan to deflect a deadly asteroid heading straight for Los Angeles. In fact, Yuri's unpublished work on antimatter may save everyone from global catastrophe, if only the older, more experienced scientists at NASA will deign to listen to a cocky, socially awkward wunderkind whose loyalties they have reason to suspect. It's a lot of pressure for a teenager to handle, even one as brilliant as Yuri. However, after a chance meeting with Dovie Collum, the daughter of a NASA building janitor, Yuri finds an outlet for his stress and loneliness amid the white girl's close-knit, eccentric family. Though the relationship between Dovie and Yuri is ostensibly a romantic one, the chemistry between them never quite gains momentum or achieves maximum impact, much like the threat of the asteroid threatening to lay waste to the region. Despite the gravity of the situation, Kennedy's narrative maintains a light and humorous tone punctuated with punchy one-liners, wry humor, and cultural misunderstandings, such that the stakes never feel as high as they should.An end-of-the-world romp that will prompt readers to think and to laugh, this novel ultimately teases more suspense and romance than it genuinely delivers. (Fiction. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
In Kennedy-s engrossing and entertaining debut, a 17-year-old Russian physicist must help NASA stop an asteroid that is hurtling toward Earth. Yuri Strelnikov arrives in the U.S. with only three weeks until BR1019 is expected to hit, but his age and his specialty (antimatter) make it hard for him to get his scientific colleagues to take him seriously. When he meets Dovie Collum, an artistic and quick-witted high-school student, and her unusual, loving family, Yuri gains a few new reasons to figure out how to avert global disaster. Yuri is delightfully droll, and Dovie awakes in him a zest for life as well as a sense of family he has never known. Dovie and her family inspire Yuri to think outside of the box, even if it means going against his colleagues in order to save the planet. The science Kennedy weaves throughout the story is fascinating and accessible, and Yuri and Dovie-s gentle romance is pitch-perfect. This novel is made to savor-readers will want to catch every nuance of Kennedy-s multidimensional characters. Ages 13-up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary. (July)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up A unique take on end-of-the-world novels. Yuri is a 17-year-old physicist from Russia sent to California to help NASA stop an asteroid. Yuri faces struggle after struggle trying to cope in a new country and get an older physicist to listen to him. Then Yuri meets Dovie, a fun girl who marches to the beat of her own drum. The protagonist is then forced to learn how to cope in a world with girls and teenage problems (something he has never done before), all while trying to save the country. He must decide if escaping total disaster is something worth risking his life and reputation for, or if he should just flee back to Russia. The book starts off slowly but then really dives into a roller-coaster ride of emotions and characters with the introduction of Dovie, and the enjoyable fast pace continues all the way to the unexpected conclusion. Kennedy has created wonderful characters who are quirky and endearing.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Yuri Strelnikov is a seventeen-year-old physics prodigy and full-fledged professor in Russia. His reputation has made it to the U.S., and when a potentially devastating asteroid picks California as its target, Yuri is flown to NASA to help destroy it or derail its course. Not every grown astrophysicist wants to listen to a teenager though, and Yuri's insistence that his plan is the best leads him to behave suspiciously, breaking into the director's office and disappearing on a whim. Of course, he is often disappearing to see a girl: the eccentric Dovie and her family, who are showing him the life of a normal teenager he never really knew. As doomsday gets closer, he must decide how much to risk to save his friends' lives and his own.Learning to Swear in America will appeal to many types of readers. Its NASA setting and sarcastic lead echo The Martian (Crown, 2014), while its quirky, whip-smart characters and sweet romance will capture Green and Rowell fans. Kennedy builds excellent tension repeatedly throughout the book, drawing the reader into Yuri's mounting pressure as the deadline of the collision approaches. The climactic final chapter gets a little far-fetched and into action-movie territory, but it fits as an important moment for Yuri's journey in discovering what he most wants to save. This is recommended for all collections.Liz Gotauco.
Word Count: 78,465
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 193219 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q70244
Lexile: HL700L
Guided Reading Level: U

A Summer/Fall 2016 Indies Introduce selection An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. The good news is Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid--his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, no one there will listen to him. He's seventeen, and they've been studying physics longer than he's been alive. Then he meets (pretty, wild, unpredictable) Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and live a life worth saving. Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with the questions of the universe.


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