The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover

"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...

Title:The Crossover
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0544289595
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:240 pages

The Crossover Reviews

  • Mary Ann

    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 fa

    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.

  • Jennifer

    Dear Mr. Kwame Alexander, You've got some explaining to do, Mister. You are officially responsible for the first big Ugly Cry of 2014, and I am not really happy about it. Thanks for the foreshadowing that did NOTHING to prepare me for this book. You hear me? NO. THING. NOTHING. You better hope we never cross paths, because I will have a few words for you. That is all.

  • Brandy Painter

    Originally posted

    .

    I have said before I don't love verse novels. Do you know what I love even less? Basketball. Not a fan. Not even a little bit. With those two things working against it, I really didn't want to read The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. But it's getting a lot of award buzz so I finally (rather petulantly) picked up a copy. Ahem. This book is AMAZING. I loved it. This is why we should always stretch ourselves to read even those things that we d

    Originally posted

    .

    I have said before I don't love verse novels. Do you know what I love even less? Basketball. Not a fan. Not even a little bit. With those two things working against it, I really didn't want to read The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. But it's getting a lot of award buzz so I finally (rather petulantly) picked up a copy. Ahem. This book is AMAZING. I loved it. This is why we should always stretch ourselves to read even those things that we don't think are "our type" of books.

    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.

    My hair is long, my height's tall.

    See, I'm the next Kevin Durant,

    LeBron, and Chris Paul.

    Josh's voice. It is so perfect. The book isn't entirely blank verse, as you can see from the above. It is a combination of several different styles and types, but what they all have in common is Josh's voice. His voice which is so real, vulnerable, confused, cocky, angry, resentful, giddy, and everything that is perfect 13 year old boy. Josh is a star basketball player, twin to another star basketball player, son of a former basketball Olympian and a middle school assistant principal, and an eighth grader. Through each poem that tells of the few months of Josh's 8th grade basketball season, the reader is given a clear picture of Josh and every detail of his life, thoughts, and feelings. Few words are used but reams of information and emotion are conveyed. I could read and read it over and over and always find new things to be in awed of. I wanted to read it again promptly upon finishing and I haven't experienced that urge in quite some time. It's blowing my mind that I experienced it over a verse novel about basketball.

    The book is about basketball. There's a lot of basketball in it. It is also a story about brothers, change, and the power of family. But don't let anybody tell you it's not a sports book. It is. And you know what? Even if you're not a sports fan, it doesn't matter. Excellence is excellence, and this book is excellent. The basketball is essential and provides a great deal of the metaphor in the book, but it is also really, like all MG books, a story about growing up, facing change, and how one's relationships alter and are affected by growing up (particularly when members of the opposite sex are involved). Josh's twin, JB, has a girlfriend for the first time. He's less interested in basketball and doing things with Josh. Josh is angry. Their father is clearly suffering from heart problems but refuses to go to the doctor. Josh is worried. All of this is set against the backdrop of the basketball season. It's a short read, but a powerful one.

    The prose is excellent in terms of imagery and evoking thoughts and feelings. For example:

    The gym is a loud crowded circus.

    My stomach is a roller coaster.

    My head, a carousel..

    The air, heavy with the smell

    of sweat, popcorn,

    and the sweet perfume

    of mother's watching sons.

    I could quote so much, but then there would be no reason for you to go and find a copy of your own to read which you must do. Now.

  • Jane

    Here's an experiment I'd like a teacher to try for me. Don't "teach" this Newbery Award winner. Instead, place a copy of Crossover on each student's desk before they enter the classroom. Maybe upside down and backward to make it a bit more tempting. And then wait to see what happens.

    If the students say, "Do we have to read this?" answer, "I was curious whether anyone would want to." If they say, "What are we going to do with this book?" answer, "I thought I'd ask you that question." If they ask

    Here's an experiment I'd like a teacher to try for me. Don't "teach" this Newbery Award winner. Instead, place a copy of Crossover on each student's desk before they enter the classroom. Maybe upside down and backward to make it a bit more tempting. And then wait to see what happens.

    If the students say, "Do we have to read this?" answer, "I was curious whether anyone would want to." If they say, "What are we going to do with this book?" answer, "I thought I'd ask you that question." If they ask, "Is there going to be a test?" answer, "Do you think there should be?" If they ask, "What's it about?" answer, "Just about anything you want it to be about." And then wait to see what happens.

    Maybe you could do a bit of action research. Count how many open it up, how many start acting up, how many keep chatting until they notice someone who doesn't usually read is getting caught up in its pages. Take notes on comments. You see, the book starts out,

    Dribbling

    At the top of the key, I'm

    MOVING & GROOVING

    POPping and ROCKING--

    Why you BUMPING?

    Why you LOCKING?

    Man, take this THUMPING.

    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...

    Straignt in the hole:

    Swoooooooooosh.

    But each chapter uses a different style of poetry (oh please don't have the kids analyze it all!). There's cool white space for taking notes (it'd be so cool to give each class a different ink color and let them make notes in to to the others using the same copy but don't require it). There's themes of friendship and family and courage and sportsmanship and academics and fairness and more (but don't make them write a five-paragraph essay) it isn't just a basketball book. It's got something for everyone. Try it. And let me know what happens.

  • Brina

    Kwame Alexander's The Crossover won both the Newberry and Coretta Scott King Awards for children's literature in 2014. Combining beautiful prose with poetry that jumps off the page, Alexander tells the story of twin thirteen year basketball players Jordan and Josh Bell in a manner that makes reading fun for middle grade kids. Using basketball as a metaphor for life, Alexander imparts life lessons to adolescents in a non threatening way that has teachers reaching for his books.

    Josh and Jordan "J

    Kwame Alexander's The Crossover won both the Newberry and Coretta Scott King Awards for children's literature in 2014. Combining beautiful prose with poetry that jumps off the page, Alexander tells the story of twin thirteen year basketball players Jordan and Josh Bell in a manner that makes reading fun for middle grade kids. Using basketball as a metaphor for life, Alexander imparts life lessons to adolescents in a non threatening way that has teachers reaching for his books.

    Josh and Jordan "JB" Bell are the teen phenom sons of former superstar Chuck "Da Man" Bell and junior high principal Crystal Stanley-Bell. Josh is the better student, one inch taller, plays small forward, and aspires to go to Duke. Jordan attempts to emulate his idol Air Jordan, plays shooting guard like his namesake, and yearns to go to North Carolina. Both are all county players on their way to the big time. Their exploits on and off of the court are expressed through an emphatic onomatopoeia poetry that shows basketball as an art form.

    In addition to basketball, Alexander leads the Bells through teenage angst in the form of JB's new girlfriend Alexis, which leads to a rift between JB and Josh. Both Bell parents impart vital life lessons to the twins, which are relayed to the reader in the form of basketball lessons and vocabulary words. Not only has Alexander made reading entertaining for young readers by invoking current stars, he has also succeeded in making an entertaining book educational.

    Being an adult reader who loves sports, I read through this book in under an hour. The basketball as poetry in motion could be read out loud or in English classes, enabling teachers to encourage their students to write their own poetry. As I am on an ongoing quest to find quality literature for my children, Alexander's books seem like winners both in sports and life. Worthy of the Newberry and Coretta Scott King Award for quality African American literature, The Crossover merits 4.5 flying high stars. I will be looking for more of Kwame Alexander's books in the future.

  • Laurie Halse Anderson

    Brilliant. Beautiful. Devastating. Uplifting.

    I adored this book.


Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.