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:
- Josh is part of a loving family. But they are headed for some rough patches in this book, which test their bonds.
- Josh loves words! In between the poems that move the story along, there are poems about vocabulary words.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.