Review: The Swim: A story about friendship and the longest swim in the world by Jens F. Colting

Timid, 14-year-old Tiny undertakes a life-saving swim sparked by an unlikely friendship with Goliath. Bonding over their imperfections, they form a deep friendship, quickly becoming inseparable.

Goliath, 12 years old, studious and clever, is wheelchair bound and his health is rapidly deteriorating. The only thing that can save him is an expensive, experimental treatment, and this devastating reality inspires Tiny, ironically not tiny at all, to conjure up an unfathomable dream—swimming across the Atlantic Ocean to get his friend the treatment he so desperately needs. Trusting his friend, Goliath responds to Tiny’s certainty that he’ll swim across the ocean with 2 words, “oh, boy”, and off they are on the adventure of a lifetime.  

Focused singularly on saving his friend’s life, Tiny calmly realizes that a completed swim could also break the current world record for the longest swim in the world, garnering the needed attention for Goliath’s treatment. 

Both boys, facing seemingly unconquerable struggles each day, tap into their remarkable grit and determination in order to take on this epic adventure full of battling storms and high seas, frightening ocean creatures, and cruel whale hunters. 

Tiny and Goliath are brought together ultimately by their differences from their peers. Through their friendship, they teach each other that their perceived flaws are what make them unique. 

Readers of this magical adventure will be encouraged to tap into the astounding power that is unleashed when they realize their special qualities, discover strength in themselves they never imagined, and open up their hearts to help others. 

—Kim Telander

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