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The Crossover by Kwame Alexander Review

Title: The Crossover

Author: Kwame Alexander

First published March 18, 2014

245 pages, ebook

Rating: 4.26


“Get ready for a game-changing story of family and brotherhood in Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover. Meet 12-year-old Josh Bell, a basketball prodigy with a talent for rhythm and rhyme.

With his twin brother Jordan by his side, they dominate the court with their amazing skills. But as they navigate the challenges of growing up, both on and off the court, they learn the hard way that breaking the rules can come at a terrible cost.

Follow their journey as they discover the true meaning of teamwork, friendship, and sacrifice in this fast-paced and heart-stopping middle-grade novel that will leave you breathless.”

About the Author

Meet Kwame Alexander, an accomplished poet, educator, and author of 21 books, including the award-winning children’s book, The Crossover. Kwame’s works, ranging from picture books to YA novels, cater to readers of all ages.

He firmly believes that poetry has the power to change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program, which he developed with Scholastic.

Kwame is a sought-after speaker and has spoken at various colleges and conferences across the United States. Additionally, he has traveled the world to spread the love for literature, with his visits spanning countries like Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, and Shanghai.

Kwame’s passion for literacy extends beyond his writing and speaking engagements. He co-founded LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program, and led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana to deliver books, build a library, and provide literacy professional development to 300 teachers.

Editoral Review

Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover is a stunning novel-in-verse that explores the complexities of family, friendship, and basketball. First published on March 18, 2014, this award-winning book has since become a classic in the young adult genre.

Told from the perspective of twelve-year-old basketball prodigy Josh Bell, The Crossover is a coming-of-age story that takes place in a middle school setting. The novel follows Josh and his twin brother Jordan as they navigate the ups and downs of adolescence, all while trying to lead their middle school basketball team to victory.

As the boys’ bond is tested and their family faces unexpected challenges, Josh must learn to navigate the complicated emotions of growing up.

Alexander’s writing style is both lyrical and accessible, making the novel an engaging and fast-paced read. The combination of poetry and prose adds depth to the narrative, allowing readers to experience Josh’s world in a unique and immersive way.

One of the strengths of The Crossover is the way Alexander handles complex themes such as race, masculinity, and family dynamics with sensitivity and nuance. The characters feel real and fully developed, with their struggles and triumphs depicted in a way that is both relatable and thought-provoking.

The book is also notable for its exploration of basketball as a metaphor for life, with the sport serving as a lens through which the characters view the world around them.

Despite its many strengths, The Crossover does have some limitations. The novel’s middle school setting may limit its appeal to older readers, and some may find the basketball-heavy plot to be overly simplistic.

Additionally, the novel’s focus on the Bell family may mean that some characters feel underdeveloped or underutilized.

Overall, however, The Crossover is a standout novel that offers a fresh take on the young adult genre. Alexander’s writing is both accessible and poetic, and the novel’s themes are handled with sensitivity and nuance.

Fans of coming-of-age stories and sports fiction will find much to enjoy here.

Rating: 4/5. While The Crossover has some limitations, it is a beautifully crafted novel that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

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