Saturday, February 14, 2015

Learning | The Crossover is a Winner!

Last Monday, I read the latest Newbery Medal Winning book.  It took me only one day to read The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. This book is really different from the typical Newbery book; it is a novel written in verse. 

The book gets its title from a basketball maneuver that involves rapidly switching hands while dribbling the ball. Good players say they can make an opponent break his ankles, when they change sides suddenly.

Josh Defines Crossover in a Poem,
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

I must admit, when I first started reading the book, I wondered if I would like it. I don't have anything against basketball, but if the whole book was going to be about basketball, I wasn't sure it would hold my interest. 

I was mistaken.

There is a lot of basketball talk in this book, because Josh (the narrator) and his twin brother are basketball stars at their school. Basketball talent must be hereditary in their family; their father is a retired pro basketball player.  But there's so much more to this book. For example: 

  1. Josh is part of a loving family. But they are headed for some rough patches in this book, which test their bonds.  
  2. Josh loves words!  In between the poems that move the story along, there are poems about vocabulary words. 
  3. Basketball is a metaphor in this book.  Especially the term "crossover." Read the book. Think about this. Then tell me what you think about it.
  4. Josh's poems are so varied! Some of them have fun visual effects; some sound like lyrics from a song. Others are more like narratives.  I found myself wondering what I would find, whenever I turned a new page.
  5. Remember what I said about not being sure the book would hold my interest? I got so absorbed in this book, I didn't want it to end.

Middle school and high school aged readers will especially enjoy The Crossover, but I would recommend it to anybody from 6th grade and up.

No comments:

Post a Comment