In Swim Team, the new middle grade graphic novel from award-winning comics creator Johnnie Christmas — Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school — 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.  With a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or has her swim team swum their last lap for good? 

In addition to being an entertaining and uplifting story for young readers, Swim Team shines a spotlight on one issue in the Black community that often goes unnoticed: learning to swim.  Longstanding issues of race and class have meant that pools are either not present in Black communities or are poorly maintained. Parents who can’t swim are less likely to have children who can swim or encourage their children to learn. Johnnie’s inspiration for Swim Team is to encourage young African American children to get in the pool and learn to swim. 

Johnnie Christmas is a #1 New York Times Best Selling graphic novelist. Best known for co-creating the series Angel Catbird with celebrated writer Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), he has adapted William Gibson’s lost screenplay for Alien 3 into a critically acclaimed graphic novel of the same name. He was nominated for the Outstanding Cartoonist 2019 Joe Shuster Award for his graphic novel, Firebug. He also co-created the series Sheltered. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, he earned a BFA in Communication Design/Illustration.