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The Crossover is a realistic fiction told in verse about twin brothers Josh and Jordan who both play basketball. When one of them gets a girlfriend, the two slowly grow apart. Add to that their dad’s health problems, and Josh is having a lot of trouble, it even starts interrupting his A-game on the basketball court. Josh takes it out in his rhymes (which are the vehicle of this story).

I liked the storyline and the fact that the boys are African Americans and not portrayed as ghetto or trouble makers. I liked that it shows different things that teen boys are asked to balance in their life and how that causes a lot of stress for them. I like that the message is that you don’t have to win a ball game and life is not just about that. I like that the book has supportive parents who are involved in the kids’ lives and don’t just magically drop away like most juvenile fiction books.

What I don’t like is probably the reason it won the Newbery Medal. I didn’t like the verse. Yes, you heard me right. I didn’t think it sounded authentic. It sounded like an adult trying to write kid poetry and making it badly. We shouldn’t assume that kids write poetry badly because they aren’t adults. I didn’t the like the poems. It was more like they took the actual story and just put in random line breaks. I did like the use of the vocabulary words and definitions and how Josh applies the words to his life.