Review Blog

Jul 15 2015

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

cover image

Houghton Mifflin, 2014. ISBN 9780544107717
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Verse novel. Basketball. Sibling rivalry. 2015 Newbery Medal Winner. 2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner. YALSA Top 10 Best fiction for young adults. Josh and Jordan are twins, whose father was Da Man a talented basketball player. They both excel at basketball too, but Josh has a flair for poetry and writes the story of their lives:
Josh Bell
is my name.
But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame
Folks call me that
'cause my game's acclaimed,
so downright dirty, it'll put you to shame.
This is a fabulous read. The poetry takes the reader on a wonderful journey about basketball:
Be careful though,
'cause now I'm CRUNKing
CrissCROSSING
FLOSSING
flipping
and my dipping will leave you
S
L
I
P
P
I
N
G on the floor, while I
SWOOP in
to the finish with a fierce finger roll...
Straight in the hole:
Swoooooooooosh.

Basketball may be a key theme, but Josh relates the issues that he is going through with his family at home. His twin has a new girlfriend and is ignoring him. His father is not well but has a horror of hospitals and doctors and refuses to seek help and his mother is the assistant principal at his school and has high expectations of him. All these factors come together in a heart wrenching climax.
This would be fabulous read aloud, as a class novel or as an introduction to poetry forms. It has something for everyone and I am certain that once it is picked up, even by the most reluctant reader, it will be exceptionally hard to put down.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates