The Crossover
The Crossover

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Series: Crossover   

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Annotation: Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Catalog Number: #129385
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 251 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-93520-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-95687-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-93520-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-95687-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013013810
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences sh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks th twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. With a former professional basketball player dad and an assistant principal mom, there is an intensely strong home front supporting sports and education in equal measures. When life intervenes in the form of a hot new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful. An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both.
Horn Book
Twelve-year-old twins Josh and Jordan (JB) are a well-oiled machine on the basketball court. But then JB gets a girlfriend, and before Josh knows it, things start to change. Josh's narration is a combination of exciting play-by-play game details, insightful observations on middle school, and poignant meditations on sibling dynamics and familial love. This verse novel has massive appeal for reluctant readers.
Publishers Weekly
Josh Bell, known on and off the court by the nickname Filthy McNasty, doesn-t lack self-confidence, but neither does he lack the skills to back up his own mental in-game commentary: -I rise like a Learjet-/ seventh-graders aren-t supposed to dunk./ But guess what?/ I snatch the ball out of the air and/ SLAM!/ YAM! IN YOUR MUG!- Josh is sure that he and his twin brother, JB, are going pro, following in the footsteps of their father, who played professional ball in Europe. But Alexander (He Said, She Said) drops hints that Josh-s trajectory may be headed back toward Earth: his relationship with JB is strained by a new girl at school, and the boys- father health is in increasingly shaky territory. The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh-s sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worthy triumph to profound pain. This verse novel delivers a real emotional punch before the final buzzer. Ages 9-12. Agent: East West Literary Agency. (Mar.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 6&11;10&12; Twins Josh and Jordan are junior high basketball stars, thanks in large part to the coaching of their dad, a former professional baller who was forced to quit playing for health reasons, and the firm, but loving support of their assistant-principal mom. Josh, better known as Filthy McNasty, earned his nickname for his enviable skills on the court: "&30;when Filthy gets hot/He has a SLAMMERIFIC SHOT." In this novel in verse, the brothers begin moving apart from each other for the first time. Jordan starts dating the "pulchritudinous" Miss Sweet Tea, and Josh has a tough time keeping his jealousy and feelings of abandonment in control. Alexander's poems vary from the pulsing, aggressive beats of a basketball game ("My shot is F L O W I N G, Flying, fluttering&30;. ringaling and SWINGALING/Swish. Game/over") to the more introspective musings of a child struggling into adolescence ("Sit beside JB at dinner. He moves./Tell him a joke. He doesn't even smile&30;.Say I'm sorry/but he won't listen"). Despite his immaturity, Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk.&12; Kiera Parrott , School Library Journal.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Josh, nick-named Filthy McNasty, is a dred-headed basketball player.á So are his bald-headed twin brother, Jordan, and his father who played in the NBA.á Together, the twins dominate their middle school court with their father shouting from the bleachers and their mother, the assistant principal, trying to constrain their father.á Josh relies on his family but things are falling apart.á He has never known what it is like to be estranged from his twin brother, but then AlexisMiss Sweet Teacomes between them. ááHe has never worried about his father, but starts to when he sees his dad reaching for his heart during a pickup game. Josh is growing up and crossing over, the hard way.While the story is compelling enough, what makes this verse novel excel is the poetry itself.á The language paces the novel.á Basketball games are succinctly captured in quick, staccato rhythms; languid free verse makes waiting for his punishment seem endless.á Almost every page is an example of this synergy between diction and discourse. This book will appeal to both fans of basketball and fans of poetry.á Teachers will love using this book for teaching language usage and vocabulary since much of the chapters are structured as definitions of words in the context of Josh's story.á This quick read is highly recommended.Ann Reddy Damon.
Word Count: 16,888
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 164734 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.6 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q63507
Lexile: 750L
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X
Dribbling
At the top of the key, I'm
   MOVING & GROOVING,
POPping and ROCKING--
Why you BUMPING?
   Why you LOCKING?
Man, take this THUMPING.
Be careful though,
'cause now I'm CRUNKing
   CrissCROSSING
FLOSSING
flipping
and my dipping will leave you
S
L
I
P
P
I
N
G   on the floor, while I
SWOOP in
to the finish with a fierce finger roll . . .
Straight in the hole:
Swoooooooooooosh.

Josh Bell
is my name.
But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame.
Folks call me that
'cause my game's acclaimed,
so downright dirty, it'll put you to shame. My hair is long, my height's tall.
See, I'm the next Kevin Durant,
LeBron, and Chris Paul.

Remember the greats,
my dad likes to gloat:
I balled with Magic and the Goat.
But tricks are for kids, I reply.
Don't need your pets
my game's so
fly.

Mom says,
Your dad's old school,
like an ol' Chevette.
You're fresh and new,
like a red Corvette.
Your game so sweet, it's a crêpes suzette.
Each time you play
it's ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL net.

If anyone else called me
fresh and sweet,
I'd burn mad as a flame.
But I know she's only talking about my game.
See, when I play ball,
I'm on fire. When I shoot, I inspire.
The hoop's for sale, and I'm the buyer.

How I Got My Nickname
I'm not that big on jazz music, but Dad is.
One day we were listening to a CD
of a musician named Horace Silver, and Dad says,

Josh, this cat is the real deal.
Listen to that piano, fast and free,
Just like you and JB on the court.

It's okay, I guess, Dad.
Okay? DID YOU SAY OKAY?
Boy, you better recognize

greatness when you hear it.
Horace Silver is one of the hippest.
If you shoot half as good as he jams--

Dad, no one says "hippest" anymore.
Well, they ought to, 'cause this cat
is so hip, when he sits down he's still standing, he says.

Real funny, Dad.
You know what, Josh?
What,  Dad?

I'm dedicating this next song to you.
What's the next song?
Only the best song,

the funkiest song
on Silver's Paris Blues album:
"FILTHY
   McNASTY."

At first

I didn't like the name
because so many kids made fun of me
on the school bus,
at lunch, in the bathroom.
Even Mom had jokes.

It fits you perfectly, Josh, she said:
You never clean your closet, and
that bed of yours is always filled
with cookie crumbs and candy wrappers.
It's just plain nasty, son.

But, as I got older
and started getting game,
the name took on a new meaning.
And even though I wasn't into
all that jazz,
every time I'd score,
rebound,
or steal a ball,
Dad would jump up
smiling and screamin',


That's my boy out there.
Keep it funky, Filthy!

And that made me fee
real good
about my nickname.



Excerpted from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

New York Times bestseller Newbery Medal Winner Coretta Scott King Honor Award 2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Publishers Weekly Best Book School Library Journal Best Book Kirkus Best Book "A beautifully measured novel of life and line." -- The New York Times Book Review "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," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood--he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it's all on the line. As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets a girl, the twins' bond unravels.Told in dynamic verse, this fast and furious middle grade novel that started it all absolutely bounces with rhythm and bursts with heart.


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