Excerpt from the blog: I just finished The Crossover by Kwame Alexander and I'm completely blown away. I love Alexander's creative use of word position and font while telling Josh's story. The novel centers around Josh and his twin, Jordan AKA JB, who are two middle schoolers who play basketball, just like their dad. The family dynamics are spelled out easily, and the interaction between (mainly) the three of them is heartfelt and wonderful. At its heart, this novel is about a family. But, yes, it's about basketball too, and relationships, and coming of age.
Josh iterates 'basketball rules' throughout the novel and intermittently talks about a game in 'sportscaster' fashion. I could feel the tension, jealousy, and loss that Josh feels when his twin starts dating someone. It's not necessarily that he is smitten with the same girl (though arguably he may be), but he wants that time back with his twin. 🏀
As a twin myself, I get it. It was hard for me when Melissa and I went our separate ways in college. Even harder was that first summer back home together, which ended up being my last summer at home. There's a lot of growing pains that are going on for Josh, but not necessarily Jordan. 🏀
SPOILER ALERT: There's an impossibly difficult inevitability that's written into every word of the book that made me dread coming to the conclusion. Kwame Alexander's words pull me through what I know is going to happen, and pull me through beautifully. Even as my heart breaks.
The Crossover is a quick and compelling read, full of imagery, heart, and emotion. A great read for any middle school kid on up. Even if they're not into basketball. :D
As a bonus, Alexander's prequel to The Crossover was just released last month. Rebound is a novel-in-verse-SLASH-graphic novel that chronicles a young Chuck Bell through his own coming-of-age basketball story. I can't wait to track this one down!