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The Crossover

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Kwame Alexander's The Crossover is brought to life as a graphic novel with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile.  "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," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh ha Kwame Alexander's The Crossover is brought to life as a graphic novel with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile.  "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," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line. See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations as the brothers' winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change.


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Kwame Alexander's The Crossover is brought to life as a graphic novel with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile.  "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," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh ha Kwame Alexander's The Crossover is brought to life as a graphic novel with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile.  "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," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line. See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations as the brothers' winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change.

30 review for The Crossover

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jojo

    This book was awesome! Personally I think that I like it better than the original because you could see the characters and their emotions and you didn't have to imagine them and personally I can make better connections with people in the book if I can see them. I also really like a graphic novel so the style of the book was amazing I would recommend this book to anyone who has read crossover, its 218 pages, and a quick read. This book was awesome! Personally I think that I like it better than the original because you could see the characters and their emotions and you didn't have to imagine them and personally I can make better connections with people in the book if I can see them. I also really like a graphic novel so the style of the book was amazing I would recommend this book to anyone who has read crossover, its 218 pages, and a quick read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clare Lund

    Incredible graphic novel adaptation of a student favorite! I know this will be another book I just can't keep on the library shelves. Ages 10 and up. Incredible graphic novel adaptation of a student favorite! I know this will be another book I just can't keep on the library shelves. Ages 10 and up.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jay G

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review* 3.5/5 Stars Josh and Jordan Bell are twelve-year-old twin brothers. Their father was a semi-pro basketball player nicknamed "Da Man". He passed down his basketball knowledge to his boys, also talented up and coming players. As the boys grow up, Jordan's eyes stray away from basketball and move towards a girl leaving Jo Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review* 3.5/5 Stars Josh and Jordan Bell are twelve-year-old twin brothers. Their father was a semi-pro basketball player nicknamed "Da Man". He passed down his basketball knowledge to his boys, also talented up and coming players. As the boys grow up, Jordan's eyes stray away from basketball and move towards a girl leaving Josh feeling left out and abandoned. Their father starts to have some health problems and Josh's world is flipped upside down. This is the graphic novel version of The Crossover, a novel written in verse. I like how the text in this was also in verse. I really loved the colour choices of black, white and orange in this. I've been playing basketball since I was 4, and connected with my Dad through it, just like the twins so I related so much to this book. I love the relationship dynamic between this family. The parents have some great banter between them, while still discussing important topics, such as the father's health issues. I liked how the parents were present in their children's lives, and were raising them to be good men. I also really liked the sibling dynamic. The twins acted like actual siblings, arguing at times over stupid things, but always coming back together in the end. I also really liked the portrayal of Josh feeling hurt and abandoned by his brother when JB started dating Alexis. His reaction was what a lot of brothers would have felt, and I'm glad his parents reacted the way they did. Definitely recommend checking this out!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was very, very curious (and, honestly, excited) to see how a novel-in-verse would be adapted into graphic form. So, while I was reading this, I also read the original so I could check the text for changes. As far as I can tell, the only change is that a reference to a girl's butt being big became a reference to her mouth being big. I don't quite understand why that change was made, but okay. Other than that, all of the poems were rendered faithfully in the spaces between drawings. This wasn't I was very, very curious (and, honestly, excited) to see how a novel-in-verse would be adapted into graphic form. So, while I was reading this, I also read the original so I could check the text for changes. As far as I can tell, the only change is that a reference to a girl's butt being big became a reference to her mouth being big. I don't quite understand why that change was made, but okay. Other than that, all of the poems were rendered faithfully in the spaces between drawings. This wasn't a traditionally paneled graphic novel, but it was still clearly a graphic novel and not an illustrated edition. I really loved the energy of the artwork; the use of color (orange, shades of black, and blank paper) was wonderful. My big negative was how much I missed the creative use of formatting and blank space in the original book. I don't think it would have been possible to recreate all the formatting, and the artwork kind of takes over the work that the formatting did, but it's not the same and it upset me a little. Format is really important to poetry, and I just missed it is all. Still, gorgeous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jolene

    Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations are beautiful, so I hate to say it, but I think I missed out by reading the graphic novel rather than the original verse structure. I didn't have a sense of the individual poems--of where they started and ended and how they look on the page--so I think some of the meaning was lost. In any case, this is a compelling story about being a teammate and a brother. It's a go-to recommendation for students who don't consider themselves readers, especially if they play spor Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations are beautiful, so I hate to say it, but I think I missed out by reading the graphic novel rather than the original verse structure. I didn't have a sense of the individual poems--of where they started and ended and how they look on the page--so I think some of the meaning was lost. In any case, this is a compelling story about being a teammate and a brother. It's a go-to recommendation for students who don't consider themselves readers, especially if they play sports. They always want to go on to the sequel. What more can you ask for from a YA read?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette Kearns

    I have a feeling that this graphic novel version will be a big hit with my 6th grade students. The illustrations add another dimension to the story, but I have to admit that I actually missed the clean look of the verse and white space.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jayden S.

    The Crossover in graphic novel form was by far way better than in poetry form. Even though it is the same story and the same exact events, seeing the pictures of every happening helps you illustrate a better picture in your mind and see how the characters fit their descriptions. I loved this book the same as the previous Crossover content-wise and still would recommend it to anyone especially for people who are basketball lovers and know the game well. It has a great plot and never makes you bor The Crossover in graphic novel form was by far way better than in poetry form. Even though it is the same story and the same exact events, seeing the pictures of every happening helps you illustrate a better picture in your mind and see how the characters fit their descriptions. I loved this book the same as the previous Crossover content-wise and still would recommend it to anyone especially for people who are basketball lovers and know the game well. It has a great plot and never makes you bored or lose interest. Definitely a 10 out of 10.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Parker

    I adore Kwame. I've read each of his books at least 5 times aloud, so I knew the story-line of this. The graphic novel is almost identical in text, just with illustrations throughout. I wouldn't recommend reading it if you've already read the regular version. I found that the original version is great for readers with low-motivation, as it's written in verse. So, this version must be for readers VERY little motivation. I adore Kwame. I've read each of his books at least 5 times aloud, so I knew the story-line of this. The graphic novel is almost identical in text, just with illustrations throughout. I wouldn't recommend reading it if you've already read the regular version. I found that the original version is great for readers with low-motivation, as it's written in verse. So, this version must be for readers VERY little motivation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I enjoyed this piece and think it could be a great addition to an 8th or 9th grade classroom. I don't remember any objectionable elements except maybe a few choice words. I think the specific themes interwoven into this work, the style of writing, and the perspective of the narrator combine to make it a great discussion starter, with junior high boys especially, about the power of our choices and other great themes. I enjoyed this piece and think it could be a great addition to an 8th or 9th grade classroom. I don't remember any objectionable elements except maybe a few choice words. I think the specific themes interwoven into this work, the style of writing, and the perspective of the narrator combine to make it a great discussion starter, with junior high boys especially, about the power of our choices and other great themes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I cry everytime I read this book. Now in graphic novel format, I still cry.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    4.5 Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC! I adored Kwame Alexander's The Crossover a few years back. As a person who has very little interest in sports, I loved the way Alexander wove sports and family together through his beautiful poems. I loved the Bell family, I loved Josh's narration, and there was also something about the twists and turns in Alexander's prose that just had me completely head-over-heels. This graphic novel version of The Crossover may even be better than the original. Havi 4.5 Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC! I adored Kwame Alexander's The Crossover a few years back. As a person who has very little interest in sports, I loved the way Alexander wove sports and family together through his beautiful poems. I loved the Bell family, I loved Josh's narration, and there was also something about the twists and turns in Alexander's prose that just had me completely head-over-heels. This graphic novel version of The Crossover may even be better than the original. Having Dawud Anyabwile's gorgeous illustrations accompany Alexander's poetry is phenomenal. I felt like Anyabwile's artwork really showcased the heart and soul of the Bell family's trials and tribulations in such a way where it connected to the text perfectly. I loved the artwork, and how Josh and Jordan were designed, and I loved the attention to detail throughout. The Crossover is still a wonderful and powerful story about family. A lot of what Alexander's words stated in 2014, are just as true in 2019. This edition boasts amazing artwork to accompany Alexander's beautiful words, and is a great addition to anyone's graphic novel collection or just for anyone who loves story about family and the turbulence than comes with being a part of one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This was fantastic! You could really feel the energy and the emotions in this graphic novel which is an adaptation of the original novel with the same name. I think kids will love this book. This is not your typical graphic novel with text boxes, this graphic novel’s illustrations and text fill up the entire page. Whether the page includes one illustration or four, it is the exact amount that is needed to get the point across. With varying sizes of text, you will find yourself catching the rhythm This was fantastic! You could really feel the energy and the emotions in this graphic novel which is an adaptation of the original novel with the same name. I think kids will love this book. This is not your typical graphic novel with text boxes, this graphic novel’s illustrations and text fill up the entire page. Whether the page includes one illustration or four, it is the exact amount that is needed to get the point across. With varying sizes of text, you will find yourself catching the rhythm of the book, as the story unravels. Using only shades of orange, black, and white, throughout the book, it’s amazing how captive you will become to Josh’s story. You see, they were twins, Josh and Jordan. Great basketball players who did a lot together. Their father was a legend, on the court, many years ago. Lately though, Jordan’s eyes have not been on the ball so much. His eyes are on a girl and Josh feels ignored/left out/abandoned. Josh wants his father to intervene but his father won’t. Dad has some health issues that mom has been riding him on but dad says he’s fine. I love the word play this couple speaks to one another. You can feel the energy soaring through the pages, the pain that’s growing inside of Josh, and witness the relationship that’s building between Jordan and his new friend. The words were carefully chosen, they fit, they fit like a glove to make this graphic novel pulse. Then, he does it. Josh unleashes his frustration and I hope that he feels better because everyone else doesn’t. He’s done more harm then good and the repercussions of his anger, he’s paid a price for it. Excellent graphic novel! Very powerful and is one that is definitely worth reading.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Thank you to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Group and NetGalley for sharing an advance copy of The Crossover (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander in exchange for an honest review of the book. This graphic novel is based on Kwame Alexander’s 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The text in this version remains in free verse and the orange and black images make the story pop. Reluctant readers will love reading this book and it might even entice them to pick up some of his other fantastic free verse Thank you to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Group and NetGalley for sharing an advance copy of The Crossover (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander in exchange for an honest review of the book. This graphic novel is based on Kwame Alexander’s 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The text in this version remains in free verse and the orange and black images make the story pop. Reluctant readers will love reading this book and it might even entice them to pick up some of his other fantastic free verse titles. I just received two copies of the book for my middle school library and am going to rush them to the shelf. Kwame Alexander is very popular in my building and I’m sure this will fly off the shelf and rarely make it back. The story revolves around Josh and Jordan Bell and their life through basketball, girls, hip-hop, and family. The free verse form is easy to read and uses just enough pop culture references to make it fun for middle schoolers. My students love his other novels and I’m sure this graphic novel will be a big hit too. #TheCrossoverGraphicNovel #NetGalley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara Riggle

    Now I know what all the fuss was about when several of my students kept checking it out at our school library. This is my first time reading a graphic novel, and I picked a good one. I love how the illustrator made the words (written in verse) as part of the illustrations. The Crossover is an excellent read for middle school readers, especially those who love basketball. I feel this novel is very relatable to boys that have a sibling close in age, as the main character has a twin brother. It is Now I know what all the fuss was about when several of my students kept checking it out at our school library. This is my first time reading a graphic novel, and I picked a good one. I love how the illustrator made the words (written in verse) as part of the illustrations. The Crossover is an excellent read for middle school readers, especially those who love basketball. I feel this novel is very relatable to boys that have a sibling close in age, as the main character has a twin brother. It is also a fast read, which is why I would recommend it to reluctant readers, also. I am a big fan of Kwame Alexander, and this novel did not disappoint. As one of my students said, now I "have to read Rebound," the prequel to The Crossover.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    Please see my 5 star review of the original novel in verse here Although I enjoyed this version of Alexander's story it just didn't read as a graphic novel at all to me. This takes nothing from Anyabwile's illustrations and limited colour palette which are excellent but I think that the structure of the poems themselves meant that there was little space room for creative play with regards to pace frame and spread. I realise that for many readers the illustrative element of the novel could be the Please see my 5 star review of the original novel in verse here Although I enjoyed this version of Alexander's story it just didn't read as a graphic novel at all to me. This takes nothing from Anyabwile's illustrations and limited colour palette which are excellent but I think that the structure of the poems themselves meant that there was little space room for creative play with regards to pace frame and spread. I realise that for many readers the illustrative element of the novel could be the hook that they need and want but this is my own personal opinion. Would I have it in the classroom? Of course! Do I prefer the original? I do.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    So, this started out a bit difficult for me with the transition from poetry to prose and the basketball focus. But about halfway, when it made the transition to more story and character development, it turned around. I won't say a lot because ... spoilers. But it's not a big surprise for the most part. I'm not sure that I will go out and read the book version or even continue if they release graphic novels for the other parts of the series. But it was a better read than I had originally thought. So, this started out a bit difficult for me with the transition from poetry to prose and the basketball focus. But about halfway, when it made the transition to more story and character development, it turned around. I won't say a lot because ... spoilers. But it's not a big surprise for the most part. I'm not sure that I will go out and read the book version or even continue if they release graphic novels for the other parts of the series. But it was a better read than I had originally thought.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kꌗꌗ

    The ending wrecckkeddd me! I didn't think it was gonna be like that! How could you do that to us, Mr. Alexander??? Also, I tried to read this book in it's original verse form. But I just couldn't get through it. But this version was easier for me to get through. This is a great book for pre-teens who are struggling with the changes in their lives and their friends lives as new things/people take priority over past people and hobbies. The ending wrecckkeddd me! I didn't think it was gonna be like that! How could you do that to us, Mr. Alexander??? Also, I tried to read this book in it's original verse form. But I just couldn't get through it. But this version was easier for me to get through. This is a great book for pre-teens who are struggling with the changes in their lives and their friends lives as new things/people take priority over past people and hobbies.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    This book was one of my favorite graphic novels I've read so far. You could almost feel how the brothers felt towards each other and towards their dad. The book has a good concept, interesting characters, and also makes you feel connected to the characters. The book is a graphic novel, but still feels like a book that keeps you interested. It's a very good story, and I also loved the prequel of this book. This book series is a sad and fun read, and I'd recommend it to almost all readers. This book was one of my favorite graphic novels I've read so far. You could almost feel how the brothers felt towards each other and towards their dad. The book has a good concept, interesting characters, and also makes you feel connected to the characters. The book is a graphic novel, but still feels like a book that keeps you interested. It's a very good story, and I also loved the prequel of this book. This book series is a sad and fun read, and I'd recommend it to almost all readers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Kwame Alexander's writing is breathtaking. This is such a beautiful story about family and being a basketball player that was exciting, heart-warming and heart-wrenching all at the same time. I loved the family dynamics and how sibling relationship was portrayed. Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations are also beautiful and perfectly fits to the story. I recommend. Kwame Alexander's writing is breathtaking. This is such a beautiful story about family and being a basketball player that was exciting, heart-warming and heart-wrenching all at the same time. I loved the family dynamics and how sibling relationship was portrayed. Dawud Anyabwile's illustrations are also beautiful and perfectly fits to the story. I recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I loved the original Crossover but this graphic novel adaptation is also wonderful! The art is so bold and I LOVE the way the lettering plays with size/shape/placement of words to really capture the rhythm of the poems/raps.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Smith

    This book is about twins that love to play basketball like their dad who was really good at basketball and was called "Da Man." The twins Jordan and Josh are in middle school and they play basketball every change they get in till Jordan gets a girlfriend and basketball isn't that important anymore. Jordan and Jose's dad is sick and refuses to go see a doctor and because of that thing don't turn out good. This book is full of family, friends, siblings, relationships and basketball. I really liked This book is about twins that love to play basketball like their dad who was really good at basketball and was called "Da Man." The twins Jordan and Josh are in middle school and they play basketball every change they get in till Jordan gets a girlfriend and basketball isn't that important anymore. Jordan and Jose's dad is sick and refuses to go see a doctor and because of that thing don't turn out good. This book is full of family, friends, siblings, relationships and basketball. I really liked this book because I love basketball and I can relate to some of the stuff that happens in the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    I was apprehensive about this graphic novel because I love the novel in verse version of it, but the graphics give it a whole new feel and really captures the characters and the poetry just jumps out at you. This is a book not to be missed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Same text and awesome illustrations that make it better than the original.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diana Parker

    This is an awesome book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    An excellent story made even better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Esther Keller

    Look out for my review on Good Comics for Kids. http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/ Look out for my review on Good Comics for Kids. http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rawnsley

    Couldn’t put it down!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Chavira

    This was a read-a-loud with my two sons 11 and 7 years old. FANTASTIC! They loved the poetic/rap writing style. This was a graphic novel, the pictures were fun, and relevant. My boys loved seeing Lebron James and MJ. My sons could relate to the relationship between the brothers, and their passion for sports.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mashed Potato

    3.5 novel in verse AND graphic novel? sign me up

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    This graphic novel version of The Crossover was so mesmerizing that I read it cover to cover as if I didn’t already know the story. The color and graphics add SO much to the story. So very well done.

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