The Crossover

HMH. Sept. 2019. 224p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781328960016.
Gr 5-8–A fresh look at the Newbery Medal–winning book, still told in verse but now stunningly illustrated by Anyabwile. Josh and Jordan Bell are 12-year-old twins who have each other’s backs, on and off the basketball court. With the support of their loving parents, they’re on track for an amazing season, hoping to claim the championship trophy for their junior high. But everything changes, and the boys and their family find themselves on the brink of a crisis. Basketball is important to the novel, with the brothers’ rivalry and game action fueling many of the poems. But the heart of the story is the joy and heartbreak of family love. In this graphic novel/prose hybrid, characters are sympathetically drawn and distinct. The text is thoughtfully positioned and sized, moving the narrative quickly along and complementing the energetic artwork, which is rendered in grayscale with burnt orange accents.
VERDICT With lively poems that use basketball as a metaphor for life, this mix of free verse, hip-hop, and powerful artwork will resonate with fans of the original book and inspire a new audience of nascent players, artists, and poets

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