Tazewell County Public Library

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Posted by jwilkes on

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Reviewed by Richlands Branch Manager Jami McDonald

The Crossover Book Cover

Basketball Rule #1

In this game of life
your family is the court
and the ball is your heart.
No matter how good you are,
no matter how down you get,
always leave
your heart
on the court.
— Kwame Alexander (The Crossover)

12-year-old identical twins Josh and Jordan Bell are basketball superstars. Their skills on the court are largely credited to their father, a former NBA player who retired when his sons were born. The story, told from Josh’s point of view, is written in a verse format. Alexander’s poetic style lends a lyrical feel to Josh’s everyday life as a junior high school student, basketball player, son, and brother. Things begin to change for Josh during their 8th grade school year when Jordan, who has been his best friend his entire life, begins to spend more time with a classmate than he does with Josh. When things take a tragic turn at home, Josh and Jordan are reminded that family is the most important thing in both of their lives.

Winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Award, the Crossover will appeal to readers who like poetry, basketball, and/or coming of age stories. Though basketball plays a pivotal roll in the story, the book isn’t only for fans of the sport. The difficulties Josh is facing off the court will appeal to anyone who has struggled with difficult situations at home or at school. If you are interested in the Crossover, you might also enjoy: El Deafo by CeeCee Bell, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, and One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive eBook

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