In this middle grade novel in verse that’s Love That Dog meets The Watsons Go to Birmingham meets Slam, twelve-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
“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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Praise for The Crossover
* “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”
“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.”
The Crossover Excerpt by Kwame Alexander by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Crossover Discussion Guide by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt