Cooper Redman has one thing on his mind: tagging as many bases as possible by the end of sophomore year. He’s already picked out a prime target: the divine Prudence Nash, whose sexy serpent tattoo haunts his dreams. But when Coop is paired with the infamous ‘Hot Dog’ Helen for a semester-long Health project on safe sex, his hopes of making it to the Majors are suddenly DOA. It’s going to take something totally epic to resuscitate his reputation. Something like winning The Battle of the Bands with his best buds Matt and Sean. There’s just one problem: they suck.

Get ready for riffs on hot girls, health class, and social hell in this hilarious follow-up to Swim the Fly.

Book Trailer

Awards & Nominations

  • ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • OLA Forest of Reading White Pine Award, 2012, Nominee
  • An Indie Next List Selection


Kirkus Reviews

August 15, 2010
“In this side-splitting sequel, Calame details the Swim the Fly (2009) guys’ sophomore year, this time from the perspective of horny Cooper… Coop keeps the laughs coming by using his dubious powers of persuasion to engineer everything from a fart-fest in the school library to a self-tanning experiment that goes horribly wrong, all for the good of the band. With song-title chapter headings providing a subtle soundtrack and the inspired addition of Coop’s dad… fans have nothing but more good gross fun to look forward to.” (Fiction. 14 & up)


September 2010
“It’s not all that often the wisecracking buddy gets to be narrator, but that’s what happens in Calame’s endearing follow-up to Swim the Fly (2009).... As the slang-happy Coop might say, this is one part brill and one part ridic.” ’ Daniel Kraus

School Library Journal

December 2010
“In this very funny sequel to Swim the Fly (Candlewick, 2009), Coop takes over narration duties as he and his best friends, Matt and Sean, return for their sophomore year. Right off the bat they are assigned partners for a semester-long health-class project. To his horror, Coop is paired with ‘Hot Dog’ Helen, the school outcast, and assigned to research contraceptives. Immediately dubbed ‘Corn Dog Coop,’ he is desperate for a way to salvage his social status. An upcoming Battle of the Bands presents the perfect opportunity for him to reveal his inner rock god and make a good impression on all the hottest girls. He recruits his friends into ‘Arnold Murphy’s Bologna Dare,’ and they divide their time between rehearsals and hilariously misguided attempts to perfect their look. Meanwhile, the most popular girls in school enlist Coop to help them sabotage Helen, and he can’t find a way to extricate himself from their plot to humiliate her. When she joins his band as the much-needed lead singer, grudging respect turns to infatuation even as his guilt grows. The inevitable revelation and its aftermath are both gut-wrenching and touching. Subplots about the band’s cribbed demo tape and Coop’s father’s efforts to manage the group add depth to the story. Creative sexual slang and bathroom humor begin on page one, but Coop is mostly just talk. Messages about bullying and consequences of teen sex (included via the health project) add just the right note of gravitas to this rockin’ romp.”
’ Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA