Crossover, by Kwame Alexander is the winner of the 2015 Newbery Book Award. Like last year’s winner, it is written in verse. It seems kids like reading books in verse these days. I think they like reading short chapters and few words….like text messages.
It isn’t true poetry, or verse, but the text is definitely interesting. The reader is engaged in real time with what is happening, sometimes in staccato during basketball games. I love this book for its energy and its diversity. The main character, Josh, is black, the son of a famous basketball player.
The story is about competition between the twins (seems to be a theme with this year’s ALA award winners. The Printz Award was given to a book about twins being divided by life.) One twin gets a girlfriend and becomes distracted. The other is jealous. There are also serious health problems going on with the father.
This is heavy stuff for middle school readers, but it is handled with finesse, with words bouncing like a basketball on the court. This was an enjoyable read for me, and one I think my reluctant middle school reader would embrace.