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I adored Kwame Alexander's The Crossover a few years back. As a person who has very little interest in sports, I loved the way Alexander wove sports and family together through his beautiful poems. I loved the Bell family, I loved Josh's narration, and there was also something about the twists and turns in Alexander's prose that just had me completely head-over-heels.
This graphic novel version of The Crossover may even be better than the original. Having Dawud Anyabwile's gorgeous illustrations accompany Alexander's poetry is phenomenal. I felt like Anyabwile's artwork really showcased the heart and soul of the Bell family's trials and tribulations in such a way where it connected to the text perfectly. I loved the artwork, and how Josh and Jordan were designed, and I loved the attention to detail throughout.
The Crossover is still a wonderful and powerful story about family. A lot of what Alexander's words stated in 2014, are just as true in 2019. This edition boasts amazing artwork to accompany Alexander's beautiful words, and is a great addition to anyone's graphic novel collection or just for anyone who loves story about family and the turbulence than comes with being a part of one.
This book is one of those books that you just can't put down! I recommend that not only basketball fans (like me) read this but everyone who wants to be successful in life to read this!
Loved reading this book in graphic novel form & think this is a great way for the book to reach new readers!
The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander, is about twin brothers/basketball players, Josh and JB. The guys are inseparable both on and off the court. They also have a father that was a famous basketball player for Italy. The brothers are determined to lead their team through a great season as well as possibly winning the championship for their junior high. Then things start to change extremely. JB starts to spend more time with a new girl that turns into his girlfriend, they notice their mom and dad are fighting regarding an issue, and the twins grow apart. This book is one of the best poetry books I’ve ever read. The Crossover is a rhythmic/poetic adventure that can really connect you emotionally to all of the events that take place in the novel. I found myself constantly flipping the pages, eagerly waiting to see what was going to happen next. Kwame Alexander did an amazing job on this novel and continues to with his other ones as well. I absolutely recommend this book, you will not regret reading it 4.5/5.
@CreativityReader of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
The Crossover is about two twins who play basketball together, Josh and Jordan. Ever since they were little they loved playing basketball. Now they are 12 years old, and they are getting to a stage of life where they have other interests than just basketball. Jordan is interested in girls and Josh hasn’t hit that stage of life yet. Their dad who also loves basketball has heart trouble and he is in the hospital. While their Dad is sick, Jordan spends less time with Josh and more time with his girlfriend (Alexa). Their dad is also spending less time with them because he is in the hospital. Overall the family becomes very separated, especially the brothers and this creates a lot to challenges. Eventually, they all work together to connect the family, including Alexa, back together. This book was a really nice read. It is one of my favourite books and it is written in a poem style. Aside from being very touching, it is an easy and quick book to read!
@rusty_reads of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
A novel in verse, very creative, with slowly revealed depths that take the reader from the emotionally simple focus of a talented 7th grade basketball player on the excitement and art of his sport to dealing with the problems he creates in his family. Josh is one of two twin brothers who are the sons of a retired professional basketball star and who are themselves young prodigies. But when brother J.B. threatens their partnership by falling in love with a girl in their class, Josh’s jealousy and anger creates a rift between them. His father has a different set of problems, refusing to think about his own health and finances, instead focusing on turning his sons into stars. The boys’ mother, the Assistant Principal at school, tries to hold the family together and keep a balance in their lives beyond basketball.
The poetry is done in different styles, from a bragging explosive hip-hop to quiet introspection to rhythmic dialogue between the brothers. Very impressive. It would be an interesting read-aloud, especially for two people.
I'm not a poetry fan, but this book was amazing. Kwame Alexander's story telling reminded me of the great poets of the past. And I would love to read more from him.
This book is the perfect partnership of poetry and basketball. The alternate format makes for a fun and quick read. It is a great sports focused, coming of age story, for middle and high school sports lovers dealing with life pressures.
Our 7th grader listened to this book on CD throughout our Spring Break trip & it really kept his interest. Definitely recommend for a sports fan!
This 2015 Newberry Medalist combines poetry with prose. It tells the story of two 13 year old twin brothers dealing with family relationships, their love of basketball and growing up. It is a wonderful read and would appeal to middle school readers as well as reluctant readers.
Written in free verse, this great book talks about a pair of twins who are kings of the basketball court. A fast paced novel, not only a basketball one, but also a story about love, family and loss. Great book!
What a unique book! The story follows twin brothers who are both basketball players. At first the book is seemingly about basketball, but the complicated family dynamics drive the book. There are many different dynamics at work: the twins drift apart, their father tries to turn each brother into a basketball star like he was, their father and mother argue repeatedly about his health. This is an amazing and moving book.
Perfectly written story of twin brothers dealing with school, basketball, girls and the importance of family.
Honestly if I had to pick a book that I had to read one hundred times I would pick this book because it is ver inspirational and has a really good story
Brilliant and full of heart. Alexander uses sports not just as a plot device, but as a metaphor to explore growing up, family, grief, and learning to understand and express one's feelings.
I love this book. It has great poetry, relatable life problems and passion for basketball.
This book is like real life. Freshmen that play basketball and go to school.
Incredible book. Great story, wonderful characters and absolutely incredible use of language. This is a fast, high interest and totally engaging read. It is suitable for anyone at any age (and you really don't need to be a BB fan to enjoy it) but it would also be a great choice for a boy who happens to be a reluctant reader. It would also make a great read-aloud at home or in a classroom.
This is an amazing book! Awesome poetry - it brings the story and characters to life.
With its free verse poetry format, The Crossover is the literary equivalent of an all-star player, moving quickly and effortlessly before going in for a three-pointer. The words dance across and down the page namechecking the greats of jazz and hip-hop. The writing style and subject make for a breezy read.
Free verse is a powerful tool in the hands of a gifted author. This Newberry award winner shows how it is done right. Twins, Josh and Jordan, live for their middle school basketball games. With their mother the assistant principal at the school and their father a professional basketball ball player they are expected to keep grades up and play hard. The crossover, moving ball from hand to hand to deceive the opponent, is tough, but dad is insistent they can do it. Continual worry about their dad proves right when he is hospitalized for heart trouble and dies. The characters are true to life and likable middle schools crossing over to adulthood.
Maybe I am biased. I don't care for sports stories that much. I also am not a big fan of stories in verse. Plot wise i though it Predicable. So i guess I am not the right audience for this book. It is probably a good book to give to reluctant readers
Basketball is the only thing that matters to Josh, Junior High MVP of his area and expected high school, college, and professional star. His dad was, after all, and he and his twin brother Jordan show the same promise. So basketball is his passion, his purpose, his predicted profession, particularly since the game is how he bonds with his dad and brother. Except now, in the middle of the seventh grade season, he seems to be losing his bond with them--seems to be losing them--each for different reasons. Suddenly Josh's love of basketball isn't so simple, and he may have to decide if the game comes first or his family.
Matching the on-court style of its narrator, The Crossover is a fast, fierce, hip-hop-poetry-slam of a book. Even though it grabs you with its flashiness and intensity, it still surprises you with the power of its sneaky bite, slipping past your defenses before you see it coming. This is a book with style, appeal, accessibility, substance, and depth.
Definitely deserving of the John Newbery Medal, this book is written in verse that will have you moving in your seat and silently reading to its beat. This is a basketball story, and if you didn't love the sport before you read it, you will by the end of the book. But even more you will love the twins and their family. This basketball story has grit, wisdom, honesty, betrayal, and redemption.