If you have not read Crossover by Kwame Alexander, you must add it to your to-read list today! Kwame Alexander writes in a way that gets boys reading poetry. And then, once you finish it, I highly recommend his latest book in verse, Booked.
Summary by Goodreads:
Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!
This past year I turned to the book, Crossover, whenever I had a student who struggled to find a book to read. I am thrilled that Alexander’s latest book, Booked, did not disappoint. I loved how the poetic verse is almost rap-like and while the themes are serious, there are some laugh out loud moments throughout the novel. Children need books like these to hook them into reading and Kwame Alexander has done it again. Loved, loved, loved this one!
Side note: for my teacher friends looking for mentor texts, here is my favorite poem (though there are plenty in here to use) to get students writing about someone or something they love, hate, miss, etc.:
cinnamon French toast with blueberry preserves
her headlocks and sloppy kisses
her saying sugar balls when she is pissed
her cheering at matches
Ping-Pong late Saturday nights
clean clothes on Sunday
double fudge milkshakes after church
dinner with real plates and glasses
her bad horse jokes at the table
both of them holding hands watching TV
you even miss the group hug after family meetings
neither your mom nor dad
is a monster
and you don’t need