Basketball hoop

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is a very special book.  There is a serious storyline, but it is delivered in verse and could be on your to-read list for that alone.  I loved it.

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,

Basketball is the backdrop for the plot – a look into the life and choices of twin middle school brothers and the family issues that impact them on and off the court.

But the magic is in the medium used to tell the story: the magic is in the hip-hop style poetry that contributes to the dynamic pace and energy of the book.  Poets and athletes alike will feel it.

The author is committed to the use of poetry to spread “seeds of literacy love.”  I think his style and subjects might be particularly appreciated by, but certainly not limited to, boys.  His special gift for using measured words to bring movement and emotion to the page is to be applauded by all.  Even if you read it alone, you should read at least some of it aloud to get the most from the sounds and rhythms recorded.

FYI, besides the Newbery Medal, this book was appropriately honored with four additional awards.



Copyright © Gienah Beaty,, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (Public Domain image courtesy of