That’s how I’d describe The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.
Filthy Mcnasty is a name that has been earned. Thirteen year old, Josh Bell towers over the other players on the court, soaring in the air for the dunk! His game is so good, it’s downright nasty the way he plays.
Josh and his twin brother Jordan (JB) are seventh grade basketball prodigies. Their father, Chuck Bell played pro ball in the Euro-league where he earned the moniker, “Da Man.”
His determination to make his sons not only the best ball players that they can be but also the best men they can be forges a bond between the three that is unshakeable. That is until JB gets a girlfriend.
Mcnasty’s world is rocked by sudden changes in his otherwise perfect world. When his identity struggle boils over on the court, he has to decide what is more important in life and then live with the decision he makes.
The Crossover is unlike any book I’ve read. Picking up this book, I was curious about a nationally acclaimed book about basketball. Written in verse, the narration flows fluidly off the pages as if the reader is there inside the character’s mind. The author plays with words in the same fashion that the main character plays with a basketball, allowing for the story to stay fresh and engaging.
Despite having very few words overall, there is no lack of substance to this novel. Alexander writes in a way that speaks to youth directly. This fast paced read is captivating. There’s a sense of nostalgia within each page that makes the characters relatable, familiar, family even.
I would recommend this book to all readers, especially those who may not particularly care for poetry or verse; this book will be a pleasant surprise.
Review by Trinika A.