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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

AR Level: 4.3
AR Points: 2.0
AR Quiz Number: 164734
Page Count: 237

I feel like I showed up late to the party on this one. I purchased and read through The Crossover last Fall, the weekend before I was set to meet and hear author Kwame Alexander speak. I knew going into it that it was written in prose, and that it had won a Newbery Medal. The book was popular with my middle school boys and girls alike (which is saying something). I read through it in a flurry (I think I read it all in one evening), and I came away both stunned and moved by the storyline and the artful telling of it.

In The Crossover we follow the first person narrative of a teenage boy and basketball lover as he takes us through the ups and downs of playing ball with his twin brother, the health struggles of his father, and in catching the eye of that one girl that everyone seems to admire. Each page has a rhythm that gives the book a physical aspect to it that is unique to Kwame Alexander's work.

This year's FAME (Florida Association of Media Educators) conference, featured Mr. Alexander as the keynote speaker. While it can be difficult to sit in an overly crowded room with a million new instructional ideas bouncing around in your head, Kwame held all of our focus completely. In telling his story and in reading excerpts from his writing, I left the conference eager to seek out his other works.

I feel like it is so important for a voice like his to be heard, because his writing is incredibly appealing to groups of students who typically do not enjoy reading (some of my middle school boys for example). Also, I feel like it is valuable for all students to hear voices from authors and perspective that are not like their own, and Kwame provides this for my school with The Crossover.

If you would like to learn more about The Crossover, check out the link below:
and say hello to me at www.facebook.com/mssmithreads/