Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8X4.316888

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. 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.


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.

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published on March 18, 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0544107713
ISBN-13: 9780544107717
72 Book Reviews
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  • lovetoread26
    lovetoread26Friday, July 3, 2020 at 8:54 am55 stars
    I wasn’t sure at first if I would like this book! It was written in a style I don’t normally read, and I don’t really like basketball. But this book wasn’t at all what I expected! Josh Bell plays basketball. So does his twin brother JB. Their dad is the famous basketball star Chuck Bell. Josh and JB were very close until JB meets Alexis, or “Miss Sweet Tea”, and dedicates all his time to her. Josh gets mad at JB, and he throws a basketball at his face. JB won’t speak to Josh, and then their dad goes to the hospital. Josh and JB make it through the sadness and worry and become close again. Don’t judge a book by its cover! (Or it’s length!)
    • sarale1920
      sarale1920Monday, May 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm
      Have you dribbled a ball? Have you stepped between the lines on the court? Have you gotten that feeling when you run so fast you can feel the wind against your face, legs, and your whole body? In my book The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, one of the main characters Josh faces some consequences after what he did. The setting is mainly at the basketball court and just play basketball or at his house. Josh and his twin brother don’t really get along unless they play basketball. During this one basketball game, Josh had the ball and was going to pass to Jordan, but Josh's nickname is Filthy McNasty. So just before Josh was going to pass to Jordan, Jordan said can you just give me the ball Filthy McNasty? When Josh was so mad he threw the ball at Jordan as hard as he could and after that Jordan got a bloody nose. That night his mom suspended Josh from the team. Josh’s, again and again, is when people always call him Filthy McNasty and he will tell them to stop but he knows that will never happen. If you like basketball I think you would really like this book. It’s not too easy or too hard. It’s a little like a poem. It’s interesting if you like basketball. So if you like a just-right read, poems, and basketball this book is for you definitely.
      • glowinq_stxrs
        glowinq_stxrsMonday, April 13, 2020 at 6:20 pm55 stars
        This book is very interesting because this book is different than any type of book.
        • a-panda
          a-pandaThursday, October 10, 2019 at 6:25 pm44 stars
          I love this book. It is a novel in verse(that means poems!). I read it for school and I want to read more of this author's books.
          • sofi_juarez
            sofi_juarezThursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:35 am55 stars
            I read this book for a book club and I was hooked to it. Even if the book 's ending wasn't really great, it was still really good.
            • PanchoBeast2013Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 9:05 am
              This was a really good book i recommend it for people who like basketball
              • tcwgaming
                tcwgamingTuesday, December 18, 2018 at 12:03 pm55 stars
                This amazing book is a mix of poetry and rap. It is about Josh Bell and his brother Jordan Bell (JB). This book is about their strive to become better basketball players like their dad, who was an NBA player. Now for those who watch NBA, Jordan Bell is now one of the best players in the league. In this book Josh is trying to improve his shot and crossover. Every time during a game when he misses a shot, his dad makes him go to the rec. and work on free throws.
                • sarale1920
                  sarale1920Monday, April 6, 2020 at 9:51 am
                  I agree with you! This review is very well written. I read the book and everything you said is right!
                • Mr. ShafferWednesday, September 26, 2018 at 10:45 am
                  This is a moving book of poetry that basketball fans with love. The movement of the poems captures the action on and off the court in this emotional story.
                  • lilpumpboi
                    lilpumpboiThursday, April 5, 2018 at 6:43 am55 stars
                    Its about 2 kids that have a father in the NBA and there really good to.The dad has heart problems and then he dies. Jb the son hits a game winner to win the champion ship.
                    • coolFriday, January 26, 2018 at 10:35 am
                      nice