The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Hi everyone, welcome to the last post for May. This week’s review post features a teen read that kept popping up on all sorts of book lists when I was researching this month’s theme. With mature themes and content, this is one of those that will surely be tagged as a ‘Modern Classic’!! Have a read of my review below…

cover image has boy in shadow standing holding basketball on one finger. ball is collection of words. orange letters running down boy reads Crossover. white background.
A powerful teen read

Title: The Crossover

Author: Kwame Alexander

Genre: Fiction – contemporary 

Publication details: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; NY, 2014

ISBN: 9780544935204  (Paperback)

What this book is about: ‘A bit of lightning on my kicks, The court is sizzling. My sweat is drizzling. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,’ raps basketball phenomenon Josh Bell. Thanks to his dad and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court, with crossovers that make even the toughest ballers cry. But Josh has more than hoops in his blood. He’s got a river of rhymes flowing through him – a sick flow that helps him find his rhythm when everything’s on the line. As their winning season unfolds things begin to change. When Jordan meets the new girl in school, the twins’ tight-knit bond unravels. In this heartfelt novel, basketball and brotherhood intertwine to show Josh and Jordan that life doesn’t come with a playbook, sometimes it’s not about winning.

My review: This book was an experience like no other. Told in Josh’s voice completely in verse and rap we get a snapshot of his life; which is mostly basketball. His innermost feelings as he watches his twin brother fall in love and his father’s declining health is poignant and heartfelt. I loved the word imagery Alexander uses to tell this iconic, award-winning story!! Really pleased this will be on screen soon!!

My rating: 4½⭐

Additional notes: This title has won the Newbery medal in 2015, the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award in 2017, the Coretta Scott King Book Award for Author Honor in 2015 and nominated for heaps more!!

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