I’m on fire.
When I shoot,
The hoop’s for sale,
And I’m the buyer.”
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is an epic mash-up of free verse and hip-hop poetry which creatively tells the story of Josh Bell, young basketball prodigy. The narrative revolves around Josh and his twin brother Jordan as they rule the court, but also as their relationship evolves.
I was tempted to title this post “Love and Basketball” but I’ll refrain since I haven’t seen the movie. Anyway, I enjoy watching basketball, and reading books about it so when I saw this book I was intrigued. Then, I found out it was written in verse and I couldn’t wait to read it.
The mixture of free verse, rhyming hip-hop poetry, and play-by-plays by Josh immediately hooked me. There are also short pieces called “Basketball Rules” which are similar to proverbs or life advice. All these pieces are organized into sections named with basketball terminology (1st quarter, overtime etc.) which I found very creative.
Sometimes in novels written in verse it becomes harder to connect with the characters, but in this story I immediately felt connected to the characters, especially Josh. His personality was quite distinct from Jordan’s and his voice came through clearly. I also loved his parents, instead of being faceless like in some books, they had personality and a real relationship.
Plot-wise this book was amazing, there’s an unexpected twist at the end, so definitely read it!