The Crossoverby Kwame Alexander Published 18 Mar 2014
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"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.
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.
"The Crossover" Reviews
Brilliant. Beautiful. Devastating. Uplifting.
I adored this book.
WOW oh WOW. When a book hits a sweet spot, it zooms from one student to another. As soon as I read the opening lines of The Crossover, with its basketball cover and bouncing rap beat, I just knew I had to read it aloud to my 5th graders. But nothing prepared me for how it hooked them. To say they are loving it is an understatement. Fifth grade boys are just about wrestling each other to see who's going to get it next--jostling each other over a novel in verse!
For Josh Bell, basketball and his family are everything to him. He pushes himself to excel, but he loves every minute he spends with the game--especially the way he plays it with his twin brother Jordan and his dad. Kwame Alexander captures Josh's voice and the power of basketball in a way that comes alive for my students. They love the rhythm and pulsing movement, the attitude and sass in Josh's words.
The power of this novel comes not only from Alexander's language but also from the characters and their emotions. As Josh and Jordan (JB) near the championship playoffs for their school's division, friction develops between the brothers and trouble is brewing with their father. Josh starts to resent the fact that JB is spending too much time with his new girlfriend. I love the relationship Josh has with his dad. They tease each other, push each other, question each other in a way that feels so real.
Alexander engages kids on so many different levels. I especially like the Basketball Rules that Josh's dad shares with his sons. How is basketball like life? That's something all sorts of kids can think about, in a way that takes layered meanings to a different level.
This one earned a whole extra star from me because it drew in one of my remedial readers...and he loved it...a book written in verse. And he came and asked for more books just like it-
Me: "You mean basketball books?"
Student: "No, ones with those poems in it."
Be still my heart. This child never likes to read anything.
That's worth five stars. That's worth a Newbery.
Cleverly captivating, presented in poetic form, I cannot believe how much this catchy story covers.
I knew it'd be great because I've seen it on students' desks and more recently on a few Goodreads' Want to Read shelves and students never steer me wrong when it comes to book recommendations.
I thought this book was very relatable, by that I mean how things change as you grow up. It made me to want to keep reading and never to put it down. Overall a great book,
Definitely a book that I will recommend to my middle school students. I loved the format of the book, and the relationships that formed between characters. While the book had basketball weaved in, it wasn't overwhelming or all about the sport. Quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed.