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The Crossover



by
Kwame Alexander

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Imprint
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN
9780544107717

Awards and Honors
2018 Iowa Teen Award
2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Book Award Winner
Top 10 Books for Youth 2014, Sports
SLJ Best Books 2014, Middle Grade
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014, Middle-Grade Books
PW’s Best Books of 2014, Middle Grade
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, Best Multicultural Books of 2014
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014, Stories for Older Readers
2015 Newbery Medal Winner
2015 Coretta Scott King Honor, Author
2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, Honor Book
YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, Top Ten
ALA Notable Books for Children 2015, Older ReadersVOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2014, Top of the Top Shelf
VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2014
2015 CLA Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
2014 Cybils Awards Finalist, Middle Grade Fiction; Capitol Choices 2015
ALA Young Adults’ Choices 2015 Reading List
The Washington Post Best Children’s and Young Adult Books of 2016
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
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Can Josh, a basketball player who, as he puts it, is “Always AGITATING / COMBINATING / and ELEVATING his game,” succeed without his twin, Jordan, alongside him?

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

240

Dewey

Fic

AR

4.3: points 2

Lexile

750L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

7

JLG Release

Jul 2014

Book Genres


Topics

Novels in verse. Basketball. Twins. Brothers. Fathers and sons. African Americans. Middle School. Sibling rivalry. Competition.

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Twins Josh and Jordan are junior high basketball stars, thanks in large part to the coaching of their dad, a former professional baller who was forced to quit playing for health reasons, and the firm, but loving support of their assistant-principal mom. Josh, better known as Filthy McNasty, earned his nickname for his enviable skills on the court: “ . . . when Filthy gets hot/He has a SLAMMERIFIC SHOT.” In this novel in verse, the brothers begin moving apart from each other for the first time. Jordan starts dating the “pulchritudinous” Miss Sweet Tea, and Josh has a tough time keeping his jealousy and feelings of abandonment in control. Alexander’s poems vary from the pulsing, aggressive beats of a basketball game (“My shot is F L O W I N G, Flying, fluttering . . . ringaling and SWINGALING/Swish. Game/over”) to the more introspective musings of a child struggling into adolescence (“Sit beside JB at dinner. He moves./Tell him a joke. He doesn’t even smile . . . .Say I’m sorry/but he won’t listen”). Despite his immaturity, Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal.

Horn Book

Josh and Jordan (JB), identical twin sons of former basketball phenom Chuck “Da Man” Bell, are ball legends themselves, and they aren’t yet thirteen; Josh is the only middle schooler around who can dunk, JB has a mean three-point shot, and together they’re a well-oiled machine on the court. But then things start to change, as they tend to do at their age: JB gets a girlfriend, and before Josh knows it, their relationship is strained to the point of a mid-game altercation that lands him benched for weeks. On top of that, their mother frets constantly over Dad’s poor health, and the boys begin to worry, too. Josh’s first-person verse narration is a combination of exciting play-by-play game details, insightful middle-school observations, and poignant meditations on sibling dynamics and familial love. Since poet Alexander has the swagger and cool confidence of a star player and the finesse of a perfectly in-control ball-handler, wordplay and alliteration roll out like hip-hop lyrics, and the use of concrete forms and playful font changes keep things dynamic: “SWOOP in / to the finish with a fierce finger roll… / Straight in the hole: / Swoooooooooooosh.” Alexander brings the novel-in-verse format to a fresh audience with this massively appealing package for reluctant readers, athletes especially. katrina hedeen

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Twins Josh and Jordan are junior high basketball stars, thanks in large part to the coaching of their dad, a former professional baller who was forced to quit playing for health reasons, and the firm, but loving support of their assistant-principal mom. Josh, better known as Filthy McNasty, earned his nickname for his enviable skills on the court: “ . . . when Filthy gets hot/He has a SLAMMERIFIC SHOT.” In this novel in verse, the brothers begin moving apart from each other for the first time. Jordan starts dating the “pulchritudinous” Miss Sweet Tea, and Josh has a tough time keeping his jealousy and feelings of abandonment in control. Alexander’s poems vary from the pulsing, aggressive beats of a basketball game (“My shot is F L O W I N G, Flying, fluttering . . . ringaling and SWINGALING/Swish. Game/over”) to the more introspective musings of a child struggling into adolescence (“Sit beside JB at dinner. He moves./Tell him a joke. He doesn’t even smile . . . .Say I’m sorry/but he won’t listen”). Despite his immaturity, Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal.

Horn Book

Josh and Jordan (JB), identical twin sons of former basketball phenom Chuck “Da Man” Bell, are ball legends themselves, and they aren’t yet thirteen; Josh is the only middle schooler around who can dunk, JB has a mean three-point shot, and together they’re a well-oiled machine on the court. But then things start to change, as they tend to do at their age: JB gets a girlfriend, and before Josh knows it, their relationship is strained to the point of a mid-game altercation that lands him benched for weeks. On top of that, their mother frets constantly over Dad’s poor health, and the boys begin to worry, too. Josh’s first-person verse narration is a combination of exciting play-by-play game details, insightful middle-school observations, and poignant meditations on sibling dynamics and familial love. Since poet Alexander has the swagger and cool confidence of a star player and the finesse of a perfectly in-control ball-handler, wordplay and alliteration roll out like hip-hop lyrics, and the use of concrete forms and playful font changes keep things dynamic: “SWOOP in / to the finish with a fierce finger roll… / Straight in the hole: / Swoooooooooooosh.” Alexander brings the novel-in-verse format to a fresh audience with this massively appealing package for reluctant readers, athletes especially. katrina hedeen

Grades 5-8
Sports Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

An action-packed level devoted exclusively to sports. These fiction and nonfiction selections are sure to be a hit with your middle-school sports fans. And the hits arrive each month with this 12 book category.

14 books per Year
$258.72 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Nonfiction,Reluctant Readers,Realistic Fiction,Sports
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Grades 5-8
Sports Middle Plus
14 books per Year
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