Title: The Crossover
Author: Kwame Alexander
Recommended for: Grades 6 and up (definitely). Some kids in grades 4-5 have loved it. Grabs reluctant boy readers and sports fans.
Pages: 237 pages
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION ALEXANDER, K.
Newbery Award Winner
Synopsis: Fourteen-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.
Comments: I heard great things about The Crossover and was not disappointed when I finally read it. I was so happy when it won the Newbery! It features African-American twins who are the stars of their school’s eighth grade basketball team. I was concerned that the format (novel in verse) would detract from the story, but it worked really well.
I appreciated the strong, cohesive family unit. Their parents are very involved in their sons’ lives, and make no secret of the fact that they love their sons and each other. The twins have been each others’ best friends – but then one gets his first girl friend and ignores his brother, who feels abandoned and lonely without him. It is also a book where actions (or lack of action on one character’s part) have definite consequences.
But… bottom line for kids is that it’s an exciting book about a couple of brothers who play basketball.