The Crossover (Crossover)

by Kwame Alexander (Author)

Reading Level: 6th − 7th Grade
Series: Crossover

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book

"A beautifully measured novel of life and line."--The New York Times Book Review

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering, " announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
This novel in verse is rich in character and relationships. . . . Poet Alexander deftly reveals the power of the format to pack an emotional punch.

Booklist

An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion.

Hornbook Guide to Children

Since poet Alexander has the swagger and cool confidence of a star player and the finesse of a perfectly in-control ball-handler, wordplay and alliteration roll out like hip-hop lyrics, and the use of the concrete forms and playful font changes keep things dynamic.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Josh Bell, known on and off the court by the nickname Filthy McNasty, doesn't lack self-confidence, but neither does he lack the skills to back up his own mental in-game commentary: "I rise like a Learjet--/ seventh-graders aren't supposed to dunk./ But guess what?/ I snatch the ball out of the air and/ SLAM!/ YAM! IN YOUR MUG!" Josh is sure that he and his twin brother, JB, are going pro, following in the footsteps of their father, who played professional ball in Europe. But Alexander (He Said, She Said) drops hints that Josh's trajectory may be headed back toward Earth: his relationship with JB is strained by a new girl at school, and the boys' father health is in increasingly shaky territory. The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh's sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worthy triumph to profound pain. This verse novel delivers a real emotional punch before the final buzzer. Ages 9-12. Agent: East West Literary Agency. (Mar.)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 6-10--Twins Josh and Jordan are junior high basketball stars, thanks in large part to the coaching of their dad, a former professional baller who was forced to quit playing for health reasons, and the firm, but loving support of their assistant-principal mom. Josh, better known as Filthy McNasty, earned his nickname for his enviable skills on the court: ."..when Filthy gets hot/He has a SLAMMERIFIC SHOT." In this novel in verse, the brothers begin moving apart from each other for the first time. Jordan starts dating the "pulchritudinous" Miss Sweet Tea, and Josh has a tough time keeping his jealousy and feelings of abandonment in control. Alexander's poems vary from the pulsing, aggressive beats of a basketball game ("My shot is F L O W I N G, Flying, fluttering.... ringaling and SWINGALING/Swish. Game/over") to the more introspective musings of a child struggling into adolescence ("Sit beside JB at dinner. He moves./Tell him a joke. He doesn't even smile....Say I'm sorry/but he won't listen"). Despite his immaturity, Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk.--Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal.

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

2015 Newbery Medal Winner
2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner


* "This novel in verse is rich in character and relationships. . . . Poet Alexander deftly reveals the power of the format to pack an emotional punch."
Kirkus, starred review

* "Alexander fully captures Josh's athletic finesse and coming-of-age angst in a mix of free verse and hip-hop poetry that will have broad appeal. . . . This will inspire budding players and poets alike."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

* "The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh's sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worth triumph to profound pain."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heat and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk."
School Library Journal, starred review

"Concrete poems that simulate on-court action, the novel's organization into "four quarters" (plus "warm-up" and "overtime") and a smattering of their father's 10 rules of basketball—as applicable to life as they are to the game—will draw in less avid readers, and the fully-fleshed characters and Josh's spellbinding wordplay will keep all readers riveted to find out if the brothers can mend the breach in their once iron-clad bond"
Shelf Awareness

"An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion."
Booklist

"The Crossover is destined to reach—and touch—readers who never gave basketball or poetry a second thought until now. It's tough, muscular writing about a tender, unguarded heart."
BookPage

"[Alexander]'s at the top of his poetic game in this taut, complex tale of the crossover from brash, vulnerable boy to young adult."
Washington Post

"Since poet Alexander has the swagger and cool confidence of a star player and the finesse of a perfectly in-control ball-handler, wordplay and alliteration roll out like hip-hop lyrics, and the use of the concrete forms and playful font changes keep things dynamic."
—Horn Book Magazine

"Kwame Alexander's sizzling, heartfelt story-in-verse gives readers that rich sense of SWISH! we feel when a basketball drops perfectly through a net. Quick timing, snazzy cadence, a wealth of energy and deep affection for sports, family and life in general - it's all here, in these gripping scenes."
—Naomi Shihab Nye, National Book Award Finalist

"The characters of Kwame Alexander's verse-novel entered my heart, as it showed the many ways in which the basketball, the truth, love, and life cross over and between us."
Marilyn Nelson, Newbery Honor winning author

"The Crossover is a masterful mix of rhythm and heart that tells the story of two brothers navigating the deep waters of love, loyalty, and championship play. Alexander's verse is fluid and electric, poignant and wise, skillfully chronicling main character Josh's tough lessons as he comes to realize that "true champions / learn / to dance / through / the storm."
Joyce Sidman, Newbery Honor winning author

"Bold! Explosive! Yet still gently poetic. I love The Crossover. Everyone will."
Nikki Giovanni

"Kwame Alexander's cadenced basketball novel is a gem of poise and grace. His players come alive with the precision and control of an orchestrated musical composition. The poetry of the telling rings through to the heart. The Crossover crosses over as a gift to all ages."
Ashley Bryan, Two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner

THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING

IT WAS GOOD

Kwame Alexander
Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, public speaker and performer. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than 500 students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area. Visit his website at www.bookinaday.org.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780544935204
Lexile Measure
750
Guided Reading Level
Z
Publisher
Clarion Books
Publication date
March 05, 2019
Series
Crossover
BISAC categories
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV015020 - Juvenile Fiction | Health & Daily Living | Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
JUV013070 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
JUV032020 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Basketball
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
Fathers and sons
Brothers
Novels in verse
Basketball
Basketball stories
Twins
Texas Lone Star Reading List
Commended 2015 - 2015
Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children
Honor Book 2015 - 2015
Newbery Medal
Winner 2015 - 2015
Coretta Scott King Award
Honor Book 2015 - 2015
Cybils
Finalist 2014 - 2014
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Nene Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Black-Eyed Susan Award
Nominee 2015 - 2016
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2015 - 2015
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016

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