The Crossover

The Crossover

Book - 2014
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Jun 21, 2019

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

IndyPL_SteveB May 24, 2019

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.

Mar 11, 2019

Easy and fun to read.

Dec 16, 2018

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.

AlisonBookWyrm Mar 26, 2018

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.

Aug 22, 2017

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!

archreads Jul 18, 2017

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.

Jun 26, 2017

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!

Apr 15, 2017

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.

kathleen_DCL Mar 14, 2017

Perfectly written story of twin brothers dealing with school, basketball, girls and the importance of family.

Dec 17, 2016

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.

Jul 03, 2016

I love this book. It has great poetry, relatable life problems and passion for basketball.

Jun 20, 2016

This book is like real life. Freshmen that play basketball and go to school.

Apr 23, 2016

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.

PimaLib_SarahB Feb 01, 2016

This is an amazing book! Awesome poetry - it brings the story and characters to life.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Sep 01, 2015

I loved this one, despite the fact that I am not the hugest fan of either sports stories or novels in verse. I thought Josh's voice felt so authentic, and it's always refreshing to see a bit of diversity represented with the Newbery Medal. I loved the balance between Josh's home life and his life on the basketball court, and I hope this book finds its way into the hands of readers who don't think that award-winning books are written for them--this one might change their minds.

CRRL_CraigG Jun 25, 2015

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.

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May 25, 2015

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.

Mar 31, 2015

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

JCLChrisK Mar 19, 2015

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.

Barberton_Public_Library Feb 05, 2015

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.

BklynKalliopiM Feb 04, 2015

This book will be an all-time favorite that I refer back to again and again for recommendations. A story written in verse, Alexander flawlessly portrays two teen boys as they journey through middle school, basketball championships, and family hardship. Authentic, dynamic characters make this book a cut above rest. A must read for all the right reasons.

LibrarianDest Dec 01, 2014

The Crossover has so much energy, it's hard to believe it's just words on a page. The book practically bounces in your lap from the propulsion of its rhythms. Athletes and poets alike will be impressed.

KCLS Miss Bekka Oct 27, 2014

The words beautifully bounced off the pages. I don't typically read sports books, but this is a refreshing one about family dynamics and competition. Josh and Jordan's sibling rivalry was very interesting to see unfold. I didn't see the ending coming at all. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality read.

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