Synopses & Reviews
"Josh Bell, known on and off the court by the nickname Filthy McNasty, doesn't lack self-confidence, but neither does he lack the skills to back up his own mental in-game commentary: 'I rise like a Learjet / seventh-graders aren't supposed to dunk./ But guess what?/ I snatch the ball out of the air and/ SLAM!/ YAM! IN YOUR MUG!' Josh is sure that he and his twin brother, JB, are going pro, following in the footsteps of their father, who played professional ball in Europe. But Alexander (He Said, She Said) drops hints that Josh's trajectory may be headed back toward Earth: his relationship with JB is strained by a new girl at school, and the boys' father health is in increasingly shaky territory. The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh's sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worthy triumph to profound pain. This verse novel delivers a real emotional punch before the final buzzer. Ages 9 12. Agent: East West Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
* "Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heat and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk." School Library Journal (starred review)
"This novel in verse is rich in character and relationships. . . . Poet Alexander deftly reveals the power of the format to pack an emotional punch." Kirkus (starred review)
"Alexander fully captures Josh's athletic finesse and coming-of-age angst in a mix of free verse and hip-hop poetry that will have broad appeal. . . . This will inspire budding players and poets alike." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
2015 Newbery Medal Winner
2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner
New York Times Bestseller
"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. Heand his twin brother Jordanare awesome on thecourt. 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 furiousmiddle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.
Josh and Jordanmust come togrips 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.
In this middle grade novel in verse that's Love That Dog meets The Watsons Go to Birmingham meets Slam, twelve-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
About the Author
Kwame Alexander is an award-winning children's book author and poet. His Book-in-a-Day writing and publishing program for upper elementary, middle, and high school students has created more than 2500 student authors in 50 schools across the U.S., and in Canada and the Caribbean. He lives with his family in Herndon, Virginia.