Y’all, if you have not yet read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover, do yourself a favor and pick it up NOW! This book was on our school’s summer reading list, and many of my boys were excited to see it. This book had everything they were looking for – basketball, girls, family, and poetry (have I mentioned how much my students dig poetry?) The verse in this novel wraps you up and entices you to flip page after page, moving forward to find out what happens to Josh (Filthy McNasty) and JB, whether their dad is sick, and what happens to the Miss Sweet Tea. What I did not expect from this book was the emotional roller coaster it took me through. I naively thought The Crossover was going to be a lighthearted read about a boy and his favorite sport. I knew early on, however, that this was not the case, and the depth of story and characters made it that much better.
My favorite part of the book is the Basketball Rules. These rules are metaphors that serve as life lessons. When taken in the context of the overall story, readers understand the meaning to the characters, but in isolation these Basketball Rules can apply to our daily lives.
Basketball Rule #3
Never let anyone
lower your goals.
of you are determined
by their limitations
The sky is your limit, sons.
for the sun
and you will shine.
I am so looking forward to discussing this book with my students. I also cannot wait to use this book as a model text for figurative languages and poetic devices. There are many great examples of rhythm and rhyme, onomatopoeia, and visual structure.
I hope you enjoy The Crossover as much as I did!