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The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Note from Kimmery: All Middle Grade books with boy protagonists are reviewed by my ten-year-old son, Alex. I had my doubts about whether he'd enjoy a book of poetry, but I was wrong. He loved this book. We both did. For days after reading it, I couldn't stop thinking about it: the lyrical, tongue-twisting cadence of the words, the immediately recognizable realism of the family portrayed within its pages, the stunning, gasp-out-loud emotional explosion at the end. If you've somehow forgotten the mood spectrum of early adolescence--everything from surliness to angst to pure sweetness--Alexander captures all its facets with engaging brilliance.

But who cares what I think? I'm not the target reader here. My son is a bit on the young side for the book, and like I pointed out earlier, it's poetry. But the look on his face as he read the end! His big eyes, his slightly open mouth, the intensity of his expression. I could have detonated a bottle rocket in his room and he wouldn't have looked up.

Here's his take:

This is a book of basketball poetry with a big plot twist towards the end.

It’s about a boy named Josh and his brother JB.

Their dad played in the Euro league and was a superstar. He tells funny jokes and is cool to be around.

Josh and his brother have to get through basketball and win the championship. They also have to get through school, but then JB gets a girlfriend and Josh feels lonely because JB doesn't hang out with him anymore. Then Josh kind of loses it and does a bad thing to JB. And his parents do not let him off the hook. Josh’s mom is the vice principal, so that puts extra pressure on him.

I like this book because it’s funny. And I also love it because of the way in some parts it sounds like a rap song, and in some parts, it sounds like a normal story. But at the end of the book, I had lots of different feelings about the thing that happened to Josh. I felt like I was the one it happened to and I couldn't believe it.

I would give it 5 stars. It’s one of my favorite books I have ever read. My mom and I started off reading it together but then I could not wait to see what happened and I read it all in one night by myself.

It is awesome. I can't wait to read his other book about a soccer player.

Buy The Crossover HERE

*Purchasing a book through links provided will return 4%-10% of the purchase cost to the reviewer, which is then donated in full to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. You can also can locate your local bookstore through

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