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Senior Library Great Reads: ‘The Crossover’

‘The Crossover’ by Kwame Alexander

“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,”

…announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realise breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

This novel-in-verse about twin brothers who are basketball stars won the 2015 John Newbery medal, the highest honour for children’s literature in the US. Other awards included:

  • 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Honor
  • 2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor for Outstanding Fiction for Children
  • 2015 Penn State/Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award
  • 2015 Paterson Poetry Prize for Young People’s Literature

A review in the New York Times described The Crossover as a “beautifully measured novel of life and lines” which, “for all the bells and whistles of a young man’s game … is most boldly and certainly a book about tenderness.”