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Alexander, Kwame.
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 4.3

(6 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Using rap poetry, Kwame Alexander introduces you to Josh and Jordan, twin basketball stars at their school. The twins are double trouble both on and off the court until Jordan gets a girlfriend.  Suddenly Josh feels left out; add to that his dad, a former professional basketball player, seems to be keeping secrets. Why is his mom on a sudden health food kick? What is his dad hiding? Find out while tapping to the beat of Josh’s rap.    (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Booktalk #2

This is the story of a set of twins, middle school basketball stars who are coached by their dad, a former NBA player. The boys are equally talented and work well together, but when a new girlfriend begins to split them apart, feelings of anger and jealousy develop. The novel, written in verse, emphasizes brotherhood and family bonds and has an unexpected ending that will shock the reader. (Booktalk by the Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Committee)

Booktalk #3

Twelve-year-old twin brothers Josh and Jordan (JB) Bell are kings on the basketball court. As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. JB becomes more interested in a girl than in the big game, and their father’s health deteriorates. Josh, who narrates the story, has a hard time coping with the changes around him. He wants to win it all and is dismayed by the distractions. Written in dynamic verse infused with hip-hop and jazz rhythms, this fast and furious middle grade novel bounces with energy and bursts with heart.   (Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award DCF 2015 - 2016)

Booktalk #4

“Filthy McNasty/ is a MYTHical MANchild/ Of rather dubious distinction/ Always AGITATING/ COMBINATING/ and ELEVATING his game”. Josh Bell’s talents on the basketball court have earned him the name Filthy McNasty. “Folks call me that/ ‘cause my game’s acclaimed,/ so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame,” he proclaims. Josh’s twin brother Jordan is equally talented on the court, and the two eighth graders are cheered on by their loving parents. However, jealousy, girls, and a bad temper are getting in the way of Josh’s success on the court. Now, Josh and Jordan’s dad is facing an opponent of his own, and the twins soon realize that their biggest challenges have nothing to do with basketball. How will Josh confront these challenges? Find out in the Crossover, a verse novel by Kwame Alexander.  (Oklahoma Sequoyah Award, 2017)

Booktalk #5

Josh and Jordan Bell are fourteen-year-old twins who live to play b-ball. They are exceptional on the court: fast, skilled and dedicated. Their father played professional ball, back in the day, and he encourages and coaches them in the game. Josh’s perfect world starts to fall apart when Jordan gets a girlfriend and the relationship the twins have had is put to the test. The family is further tested when Dad gets sick.

This fast-paced story is about the thrill of playing basketball and making amazing shots on the court. It is written in Josh’s voice who is a rhymer/rapper as well as a basketball phenomenon.

As he progresses through the season he learns that change is not necessarily a bad thing in relationships and that nothing can break the bonds of loyalty between family members. He come to realize that when things get tough it is family who ultimately come through for you. (Nickie Travis, Renton School District, WA Evergreen Teen Award, 2017)

Booktalk #6

Josh and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse. In this fast-paced novel they must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family. (New Hampshire Isinglass Read Award 2017-2018)

SUBJECTS:    African Americans -- Fiction.
                        Basketball -- Fiction.
                        Basketball stories.
                        Brothers -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Novels in verse.
                        Twins -- Fiction.

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