Few things are more important for a parent looking to instill a love of reading and to teach literacy skills to their child than choosing the right books. To help with this decision, Read Notebooks is presenting a series of blog posts highlighting one incredible book each week. This week, we have chosen The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.
Poet and author Kwame Alexander has written one of the most unique children’s books in recent memory with his award-winning novel, The Crossover. Told through the poems of the main character, Josh Bell, The Crossover tells a heartfelt story of sibling and familial relationships. Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are basketball prodigies, supported by their former professional athlete father and assistant-principal mother. But when Jordan begins dating a new girl, thoughts of jealousy and abandonment begin to shift the balance of life for Josh.
What is most delightful for readers is the way that the poetic storytelling gives pulse and heart to the tale, whether in representing the intensity and cadence of the basketball court or the soulful, internal thoughts Josh is forced to confront. The energy of this book is infectious, made even more entertaining by the exciting and sometimes quirky vocabulary used.
For the right child, this could be the novel that finally solidifies a love of reading and books. The focus on music, sports, and the challenges of adolescence is tailor made for a child that might not yet be hooked on books.Ages 10 and up | 240 pages | HMH Books for Young Readers | March 2014