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The Crossover

The Crossover

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The Crossover

4.5/5 (60 Bewertungen)
264 Seiten
1 Stunde
Mar 18, 2014


In this Newbery Medal–winning middle grade novel in verse, twelve-year-old twins and basketball stars Josh and Jordan Bell must learn to deal with problems on and off the court as they navigate homework, first crushes, family and, of course, basketball.

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He 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 and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan 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.
Mar 18, 2014

Über den Autor

Kwame Alexander is a poet, an educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine books, including Rebound, the follow-up to his Newbery Medal–winning novel, The Crossover. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other picture books include Undefeated, Animal Ark, and Out of Wonder. A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of several awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, three NAACP Image Award nominations, and the 2018 inaugural Conroy Legacy Award. He believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his writing workshop, the Write Thing. Kwame is also the host and producer of the literary variety/talk show Bookish. You can visit him at

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Top Zitate

  • Basketball Rule #1  In this game of lifeyour family is the courtand the ball is your heart.No matter how good you are,no matter how down you get,always leaveyour hearton the court.

  • Basketball Rule #3  Never let anyone lower your goals. Others’ expectations of you are determined by their limitations of life. The sky is your limit, sons. Always shoot for the sun and you will shine.

  • Dad, this girl is makingJordan act weird.He’s here, but he’s not.He’s always smiling.His eyes get all spaceywhenever she’s around,and sometimes when she’s not.He wears your cologne.He’s alwaystexting her.He even wore loafers to school.

  • Because Jordan cut my hair and didn’t care.Because he’s always drinking Sweet Tea.Because sometimes I get thirsty.Because I don’t have anybody to talk to now.Because I feel empty with no hair.

  • Josh, you and JB are growing up.I know.  You’re twins, not the same person.But that doesn’t mean he has to stop loving me.  Your brother will always love you, Josh.I guess.


The Crossover - Kwame Alexander


Title Page






Josh Bell

How I Got My Nickname

At first

Filthy McNasty

Jordan Bell

On the way to the game

Five Reasons I Have Locks

Mom tells Dad


Basketball Rule #1

First Quarter

JB and I

At the End of Warm-Ups, My Brother Tries to Dunk

The Sportscaster

Josh’s Play-by-Play


The Show

The Bet, Part One

Ode to My Hair

The Bet, Part Two

The game is tied

In the locker room



Mom doesn’t like us eating out


The inside of Mom and Dad’s bedroom closet

pa·tel·la ten·di·ni·tis

Sundays After Church

Basketball Rule #2


While Vondie and JB



Walking Home

Man to Man

After dinner

After we win

Dad Takes Us to Krispy Kreme and Tells Us His Favorite Story (Again)

Basketball Rule #3

Josh’s Play-by-Play

The new girl

I Missed Three Free Throws Tonight

Basketball Rule #4

Having a mother

Mom shouts


To fall asleep

Why We Only Ate Salad for Thanksgiving

How Do You Spell Trouble?

Bad News

Gym class

Second Quarter



Basketball Rule #5


Out of Control

Mom calls me into the kitchen


Too Good

I’m on Free Throw Number Twenty-Seven

He probably


This Is Alexis—May I Please Speak to Jordan?

Phone Conversation (I Sub for JB)

JB and I

Boy walks into a room

At practice


Third Wheel

tip·ping point

The main reason I can’t sleep



Game Time: 6:00 p.m.

This is my second year

Basketball Rule #6

Josh’s Play-by-Play


Third Quarter




This week, I

Basketball Rule #7

The Nosebleed Section

Fast Break


The next morning


Article #1 in the Daily News (December 14)

Mostly everyone

Final Jeopardy

Dear Jordan

I don’t know

No Pizza and Fries

Even Vondie


I run into Dad’s room

Behind Closed Doors

The girl who stole my brother

Things I Learn at Dinner


Coach’s Talk Before the Game

Josh’s Play-by-Play

Text Messages from Mom, Part One

The Second Half

Tomorrow Is the Last Day of School Before Christmas Vacation

Coach comes over


School’s Out

The Phone Rings

Basketball Rule #8

When we get to the court

At Noon, in the Gym, with Dad

Fourth Quarter

The doctor pats Jordan and me on the back and says

my·o·car·di·al  in·farc·tion

Okay, Dad

Mom, since you asked, I’ll tell you why I’m so angry

Text Messages from Vondie

On Christmas Eve

Santa Claus Stops By


Tanka for Language Arts Class

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to

Basketball Rule #9

As we’re about to leave for the final game

During warm-ups

Text Messages from Mom, Part Two

For Dad

The Last Shot


Article #2 in the Daily News (January 14)

Where Do We Go from Here?


Basketball Rule #10

There are so many friends

Free Throws

Educator’s Guide

Sample Chapters from BOOKED

Buy the Book

Sample Chapters from REBOUND

Buy the Book

Read More from Kwame Alexander

Find Your Story

Books from Versify

About the Author

Connect with HMH on Social Media


For Big Al and Barbara,

also known as Mom and Dad

Copyright © 2014 by Kwame Alexander

Educator resources additional content © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

Cover photo © 2014

Cover design and hand lettering by Lisa Vega

The Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file.

ISBN 978-0-544-10771-7 hardcover

ISBN 978-0-544-93520-4 paperback

eISBN 978-0-544-28959-8



At the top of the key, I’m



Why you BUMPING?

Why you LOCKING?

Man, take this THUMPING.

Be careful though,

’cause now I’m CRUNKing




and my dipping will leave you








                     G on the floor, while I


to the finish with a fierce finger roll . . .

Straight in the hole:


Josh Bell

is my name.

But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame.

Folks call me that

’cause my game’s acclaimed,

so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame.

My hair is long, my height’s tall.

See, I’m the next Kevin Durant,

LeBron, and Chris Paul.

Remember the greats,

my dad likes to gloat:

I balled with Magic and the Goat.

But tricks are for kids, I reply.

Don’t need your pets

my game’s so


Mom says,

Your dad’s old school,

like an ol’ Chevette.

You’re fresh and new,

like a red Corvette.

Your game so sweet, it’s a crêpes suzette.

Each time you play


If anyone else called me

fresh and sweet,

I’d burn mad as a flame.

But I know she’s only talking about my game.

See, when I play ball,

I’m on fire.

When I shoot,

I inspire.

The hoop’s for sale,

and I’m the buyer.

How I Got My Nickname

I’m not that big on jazz music, but Dad is.

One day we were listening to a CD

of a musician named Horace Silver, and Dad says,

Josh, this cat is the real deal.

Listen to that piano, fast and free,

Just like you and JB on the court.

It’s okay, I guess, Dad.


Boy, you better recognize

greatness when you hear it.

Horace Silver is one of the hippest.

If you shoot half as good as he jams—

Dad, no one says hippest anymore.

Well, they ought to, ’cause this cat

is so hip, when he sits down he’s still standing, he says.

Real funny, Dad.

You know what, Josh?

What, Dad?

I’m dedicating this next song to you.

What’s the next song?

Only the best song,

the funkiest song

on Silver’s Paris Blues album:



At first

I didn’t like

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60 Bewertungen / 47 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    It was great I really loved it so so much
  • (5/5)
    It is a good book fro kids and it is very good to read
  • (4/5)
    My kids' school read this book a few years back as an all-district read, but I never picked it up. I wish I would have read it while my son did. There are lots of good life lessons in this book, like ask questions of those you love rather than just not speaking. And the need to work through the bad times rather than let them get worse.
  • (4/5)
    This book is incredible.

    I would absolutely say that to read this book you have to listen to it on audiobook. It's written in verse, so that makes the experience of it all the more powerful. It's rhythmic, melodic, prosaic and probably one of my favourite audiobooks ever. The author has such great little riffs and tricks that he can pull with his words, I didn't know a book could be so smooth, so effortless.

    If you like Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, you'll love this book.

    I know nothing about basketball, but it actually doesn't matter because the story is great, and the characters are so well-developed for a young adult novel. It really surprised me.

    I feel like I swallowed this book whole. Maybe I'm officially out of my reading slump thanks to this book.

    Either way, I have a new favourite genre. Thank you, Kwame Alexander, may you make poetry for the rest of your damn life.
  • (5/5)
    The Crossover is a realistic fiction book written in poetry/verse format. The verses tell the story of 14 y-o Josh Bell and his family. Mr. Bell is a former European League basketball star whose career was cut short due to a knee injury that he refuses to have surgery to fix. Mr. Bell passes his love and knowledge of basketball to his twin sons, Josh and Jordan. Both boys a standout basketball stars at their school however, Josh loves the game a bit more than Jordan. Jordan discovers girls and now has a girlfriend and Josh feels like he's losing his brother and best friend. Meanwhile, Mr. Fell's heart problems begin to get worse and both boys are affected by their father's decline health. Alexander beautifully captures this story of family, friendship, and loss in verse form. The way he changes the format of between chapters when Josh is narrating the story in a more traditional line and stanza poetry form to a free verse form when Josh is talking about his basketball skills and the game his playing helps draw the reader into the emotion and pace of the story. The entire story centers around basketball from the four sections of the book being called quarters to individual chapter titles. This is a great read for any 6-12 grader and for the reluctant male reader.
  • (4/5)
    Crossover by written in verse is the story of African American twins Josh and JP who are in middle schoolers with excellent grades and are basketball stars in their school. Although Josh and JP are twins they are completely different on the basketball court and hairstyles. Josh and JP relationship is tested when JP is attracted to the new girl in school and Josh is left fending for himself. The novel theme is family, basketball, dreams, and rhythm. The novel's format is especially important while reading this book because it flows like a basketball game through rhythm.
  • (5/5)
    This was a very well written chapter book that is written in verses. This book is about two brothers that are very good at basketball. These brothers stop talking to each other because of a girl that comes between them. The main character josh discovers information about his father that he has trouble overcoming. This book had a sad ending but it was very good. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to students in grades 4th-8th grade. Kwame makes the josh a relatable character and makes the book a smooth read.
  • (5/5)
    This book is amazing.
    I hate basketball, but I loved this book.
    The verses are insane and it all falls together so quickly.
    I ended with tears in my eyes and amazed it was over so quickly.

    Can't recommend this enough to anyone looking for a good different read.
  • (5/5)
    A quick, unforgettable read written in hip hope verse. On the surface The Crossover is about sports, but it's about so much more than that. Josh and his twin Jordan are real ballers. They are the stars of their middle school basketball team and if they weren't twins they would probably hate each other. Their relationship starts to sour when Jordan starts spending more of his time with a new girl then with Josh or basketball. To top it off he's worried about his dad and he wants the basketball championship trophy more than anything. Wonderfully written, appealing to boys and girls of all ages as well athletes, poets, and pretty much everyone. Definitely worthy of the Newbery medal.
  • (4/5)
    I wasn't super excited about reading last year's Newbery winner, despite the high ratings. Somehow a summary I skimmed of the book made me think the narrator was an arrogant preteen basketball player and the novel was just fun and action. I've also not really gotten into the "novel in verse genre" just yet.I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The narrator was quite lovable and full of enthusiasm, but he also had a lot of insecurities and fears. I was surprised that the book had me in tears by the end. The thing that bugs me about novels written in verse is that it seems like it is often just a gimmick. The writing is merely complete sentences broken up into random lines, and this fact doesn't really add anything to the story. If there is an attempt at rhythm or rhyme, it is so sporadic that it may as well not be there. I really liked that in this book Alexander picked certain sections that would have the rhythm and rhyme, and when it was done, it was done really well. He often used these devices in sections describing a basketball game, and as a reader, I could really feel the energy of the ball moving up the court and the adrenaline of the narrator as a part of the game. The story was engaging and I was surprised by the depth of emotion. I think kids might actually like this one too, but who knows.
  • (3/5)
    At first I was kind of bleh, but as I continued to listen I have to admit that the language is beautiful and the story is one that drew me in even though I'm not really into basketball. The family relationships and themes are universal.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. I read it with my son who I thought would enjoy it because he loves basketball. It is written in poems or raps which made it a little difficult for my son to follow at first but he did end up getting into the book. The design of the words on the pages was fun to see and the descriptions of the twins in action on the court were beautifully written. I didn't share those as my passages because you really have to SEE the words and read the poems in context to enjoy them properly. I would recommend this book for middle school age children.
  • (3/5)

    Josh and JB are twins, amazing on the basketball court, almost 13 years old. This is the year when everything changes. The story is written in beautiful verse.

    Josh and JB’s world is one in which both parents are professionals. Their father is a former European league basketball player, and their mother is an assistant principal at the boys’ junior high school. The fact that the twins are both college-bound is an understated given. This the sweet story of av successful, close-knit African-American family in the Obama era.

    “The Crossover” doesn’t ignore contemporary issues involving race. There is a traffic stop on the way to a game, in which the boys’ father (like many an African-American man) is pulled over for a minor infraction; Josh is warned by his mother about what happens to young black men who let their tempers get the better of them; his parents fight not over money or fidelity but over the father's diet and hereditary hypertension.

    This story has not been sugar coated.

  • (4/5)
    Loved this book, how the text moved with the story. Interesting subject matter, and I think it will grab a lot of young boys and reluctant readers. The ending was a little overly sentimental and dramatic, but it was a good book overall.
  • (5/5)
    This book ripped my heart out. The ending was devastating. Wow.
    It's one of the most original children's fiction books I've read. Written in verse. Extremely readable. Very well done.
  • (4/5)
    I have to admit that I approached this book a little skeptically: a middle-grades novel, written in verse, about identical twins who love basketball? I feared it might be a little gimmicky--a clever way to get boys to read poetry, like sneaking zucchini into brownies. But Kwame Alexander deserves all the accolades and awards (including the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King award) he's received for _The Crossover_. It's amusing and insightful and sad, and while the poems can be read separately, together, they tell a powerful story about a critical few months in the brothers' lives.What I really enjoyed about the book is the variety among the poems themselves. The topics range from basketball to sibling rivalry, and from family drama to "pink Reeboks-wearing girls." But the poems also vary in form: some are short, some are long, some are free-verse, and others are very traditional, such as Josh's "Tanka for Language Arts Class":This Christmas was notMerry, and I have not foundjoy in the new yearwith Dad in the hospitalfor nineteen days and counting.I especially like the poems where Alexander makes use of different fonts and unusual layouts to capture the movement and rhythm of a basketball game. Those would be especially fun to teach on their own. In short, a highly teachable book--and while it's much more than a good book for getting those reluctant middle-school boys to read, it certainly works that way, as well.
  • (4/5)
    I read this book for my MLIS "Resources for Children" class. It's a great read that makes you feel while at the same time entertaining you. Told from a 12yo boy's point of view, in poetic form, it was fun and sad and real. Recommended.
  • (4/5)
    A book in verse that I read in an hour or two. Suffers from many of the awkward nuances that sports books do, but pairing it with verse makes it work a lot better. Josh is a twin and son of a former pro player. His father suffers from a heart disease which looms as a threat. Girls, basketball, his mom (also his school's AP), and his dad's disease combine to make this young mans life tumultuous.
  • (5/5)
    I had to see if it lived up to all of the praise that I had heard and it certainly did. This is a book in verse that will sing to your reluctant readers and fly off the shelves into the hands of middle school boys.
  • (4/5)
    Two twin brothers, the son of a great basketball player, play ball together but grow apart when one of the twins has a girlfriend. Things between the two brothers grow worse as their father shows signs of illness. All written in poetry. Newbery Award winner, and deservedly so.
  • (5/5)
    Josh Bell a/k/a "Filthy McNasty" and his brother Jordan Bell a/k/a "JB" are the stars of Reggie Lewis Junior High basketball team. The only way to tell them apart: Josh's dreads and Jordan's shaved head, also as Josh likes to point out at age almost thirteen he's an in taller than his twin and can dunk the ball. They are tight on the court and tight at home and school—until the new girl at school steals JB's heart and takes him away from his brother. Now he has to walk home alone.Alexander’s poems come at you as fast as thundering sneakers squealing and squeaking as they chase the rhythm of the ball pounding up and down the court. It’s a championship performance of accessible pyrotechnic verse with an explosive tale of basketball, family, and looming tragedy.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic! _The Crossover_ is a must read. Kwame Alexander utilizes the space on his pages to full effect, playing with font and shape in ways reminiscent of e.e. cummings. Beautifully rendered verse coupled with basketball and growing pains. What's not to like? A fantastic addition to any school library, I recommend _The Crossover_ for youth grades 6 and up. 2015 Newbery Medal Winner2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner
  • (5/5)
    Twelve-year-old Josh Bell is a basketball player, just like his dad, hoping to be as famous as his dad was, someday. Josh and his twin brother Jordan have been inseparable, on the court and off, all their lives. This year, though, things are changing. Jordan has a girlfriend, and Josh is, let's face it, a little bit jealous. When a spur-of-the-moment bad choice leads to Josh's suspension from the basketball team, he has to face up to more than one issue in his life and in his family.More than a novel about basketball, this is a story of family dynamics that tugs the heartstrings with its pitch-perfect voice. I'm loving the fact that this Newbery medal winner is a book that I'll be able to recommend to all kinds of readers: sports fans, lovers of verse novels, readers who like a good story about siblings and families . . . really, anyone who enjoys a good, solid read.
  • (5/5)
    As a fan of basketball this book had the hook waiting for me to grab it. What I found was something remarkably more than I could have even conceived. The free form poetry was amazing and had me smiling and grinning throughout the book. I just was not expecting that at all. It only added to the story even more. The way in which the author sometimes arranged the words on the page had you eating out of the palm of his hands.The two brothers are portrayed by my favorite analogy in the book. As two goals on the opposite side of the court but identical. Everything down to how they played the same game was different. But they both had the love for the game. And it was fueled by their father who was a legend in his own right. He had a championship ring and was Da Man.One of the most interesting things to me were the pages that the author defines a word and uses it in many situations that had just transpired in the book.Everything about the family dynamic is amazing. Except the fathers vice for fired and fatty foods. The same thing killed his father so he has been skeptical of hospitals ever since. It even stopped him from playing in the NBA for the LA Lakers.Everything about this book is so intensely personal. And the perspective is great. Two brother united through basketball. United because of their fathers love. Separated because of a girlfriend. All of this is told through their interactions on the court, which can be seen at the best of times and at the worst of times.I have never had a brotherly bond like these two twin brothers have. And their bond may have been broken but it is strengthened by their father. And even more so after he passes away, from the same heart disease as his father.Such a great book that I literally could not stop reading it.
  • (5/5)
    Wow. Need a way to turn a boy into a poetry lover—or anyone into a poetry lover? This middle grade novel in verse is about so much more than basketball. It's about family relationships, priorities, dealing with preteen/teen emotions . . . While I found one of the poems near the end to be a bit on the didactic side, it didn't take away from the story. And such a mix of poems! From the high energy of the basketball poems to the vocabulary poems (woven masterfully into the story) to the heartache poems, the story moved briskly along. In fact, I had to slow myself down so that I could reflect on some of the words (even though I was anxious to find out what was going to happen next). I highly recommend this from fifth grade right up to adults. Kwame Alexander, congratulations on this book and your well-deserved Newbery medal.
  • (5/5)
    Free verse is a powerful tool in the hands of a gifted author. This Newberry award winner shows how it is done right. Twins, Josh and Jordan, live for their middle school basketball games. With their mother the assistant principal at the school and their father a professional basketball ball player they are expected to keep grades up and play hard. The crossover, moving ball from hand to hand to deceive the opponent, is tough, but dad is insistent they can do it. Continual worry about their dad proves right when he is hospitalized for heart trouble and dies. The characters are true to life and likeable middle schools crossing over to adulthood.
  • (4/5)
    Exhilarating and heartfelt.
  • (4/5)
    My initial thoughts were blah blah free verse sports blah—how boring. But actually, it was wonderful. It took a while to get going (for me), but soon I was routing for these boys and their family and feeling their pain. With his verse, Alexander captures the excitement, attitude and rhythm of the sports, portrays the humor and playfulness of home life, and he breaks our hearts with deeply felt emotions. I loved the basketball rules which translate (of course) to very valuable life wisdom. I would love to see how kids respond to this (esp. boys).
  • (5/5)
    A novel in verse explores the middle school basketball season and lives of two star players and twin brothers. Their dad is Da Man, a former professional baller who has lots of love for his family and health problems he is denying. The brothers feel a rift when JB has his first girlfriend and Josh feels alone. I ate up this book. It is a quick, fun, and heartfelt read.
  • (5/5)
    The 2015 Newbery Award winner, and well deserved. Written in prose. Basketball is life for Josh, his twin Jordan and their father, a former NBA player. It all seems so simple until Jordan gets a girlfriend, Josh feels left out, and their Dad starts to show signs of heart trouble, even though he brushes it off. A quick read, sure to relate to boys, and written with heart. This won after a year of calls for diversity within children's books, and I hope people don't think that it won just because the committee realized we need more diversity in our books. This book won because it's fabulous.