As the NBA finals get underway, I am digging out my copy of my favorite basketball book!

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

This book is a perfect mix of basketball and just plain life. Twin boys are stars of their middle school basketball team, mentored by their father, a former professional basketball player. When one of the boys falls for his first girlfriend, spending more time with her and less time with his brother, the relationship between the twins becomes strained as the other twin struggles to find his place in the new configuration of relationships.

The plot kept me interested from beginning to end. But it is the writing that is one-of-a-kind. The author had me hooked from the very beginning all the way through. Written like a long poem, the word choices are delicious. And the rhythms add a musical quality that intensified my experience of the narrative. Listen to this: “My shot is FLOWING, Flying, fLuTtErInG OHHHHHHHH, the chains are JINGALING ringaling and SWINGALING Swish.”

I am not the only one who loves this book. The Crossover won top honors: the Newbery Award and the Coretta Scott King Award. A great read.

Pegged for grades 6-12.

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