HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014
"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 (He Said, She Said 2013).
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.
This book definitely did deserve the Newbery Award. I think it will appeal to kids and was an interesting, well-written story. Personally, I thought it was a bit predictable, but I think that kids will not feel that way. It’s got the cool basketball factor, and that will keep kids interested, too. It’s a fresh pick for the award, not just another historical fiction, and will expose kids to different writing techniques.