The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

Hardcover

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

A delightfully quirky story of wordplay and mystery by Beth Lincoln, this book celebrates individuality and is certain to become an instant classic as soon as readers meet the Swift family. A sparkling debut, The Swifts is the perfect read for fans of Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl, and The Mysterious Benedict Society, full of mischief, mayhem, and mystery.

Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Knives Out feel by way of Lemony Snicket…This archly told, never muddled debut whodunit reveals a roster of distinct characters, a labyrinthine setting and plot, and a mystery that is as clever as its heroine.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The suspenseful denouement is positively writhing with twists.” —Booklist, starred review


On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match.
Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

Deliciously suspenseful and delightfully clever, The Swifts is a remarkable debut that is both brilliantly contemporary and instantly classic. A celebration of words and individuality, it's packed with games, wordplay, and lots and lots of mischief as Shenanigan sets out to save her family and define herself in a world where definitions are so important.

Cover may vary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593533239
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/07/2023
Series: The Swifts , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 2,549
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Beth Lincoln was raised in a former Victorian railway station in the North of England. Her childhood fears included porcelain dolls, the Durham panther, and wardrobes that looked at her funny. She grew neither tall nor wise, and never learned to play an instrument—but she did write stories, a bad habit that has persisted to this day. When she isn’t writing, Beth is woodcarving, or making a mess of her flat, or talking the nearest ear off about unexplained occurrences. Her favorite things include ghosts, crisps, and weird old words like bumbershoot and zounderkite.

The Swifts is Beth’s debut novel. It grew out of her love of etymology, the gleeful gothic, and classic murder mysteries. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with her partner and hopefully, by the time you are reading this, a dog.

Read an Excerpt

Back in the old tights-­and-­doublets days of the Swift family, every child had been named either Mary or John. It got terribly confusing at dinnertime when someone asked a John to pass the potatoes and ten hands shot out at once, and so Mary Swift XXXV had begun the tradition of naming her children using the Family Dictionary. The idea stuck, and the Swifts prospered. People often overlook a Mary or a John, but they seldom forget a person named Meretricious or Flinch.

­Shenanigan couldn’t remember the day she was born, but she could picture it very well: the hospital room, the nurses, her mother, tired and smiling as ­Shenanigan’s father fussed over her pillows. She pictured herself too, wrapped up like a little peanut with a shock of disobedient hair already erupting out of her head. She pictured the Dictionary—and this part was easier, because she was looking at it—an ancient, leather-­bound monster of a book, bursting its bindings with pages of calfskin and parchment and paper, with entries in crisp modern fonts, wonky typewritten letters, and hand­scrawled script with longS’s that looked like F’s.

The Dictionary would have been brought in, set on the bed (­Shenanigan pictured the nurses’ noses wrinkling in distaste), and opened at random by ­Shenanigan’s mother. Her eyes would have been closed. She would have run her finger down the page and stopped on the word and definition that would become her child’s name.

­Shenanigan could picture this so well because every Swift’s first day began in exactly the same way. .

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