Rating: 3.8 Stars
Nick takes us on a tour through his twelve-year-old life through poetic form. He lives for soccer, isn’t wild about school, but begins to find interest in literature through a rapping librarian. He goes through struggles we all face, bullying, family trouble, impressing girls, sports injuries, the works.
I love the idea of poetry meeting literature to create a different kind of book. This piece tells the story through poetry that flows beautifully and avoids pretention. I found it highly accessible to a variety of readers as those non-readers can fly through it. The language is fun, the voice is entertaining and feels authentically young and heartfelt. I thoroughly enjoyed the piece. I’m keen to check out Alexander’s other book “The Crossover” soon.
The difficulty I can see is those who have a hard time with poetry might not even give this book a chance, even though its completely different than studying and reading poetry. I also fear that educators will see this as a “lesser book” as its not a “complete novel” but rather a continuous book of poetry.
Recommendations: I find this book difficult to pick a reader for. The poetic style is a bit of a barrier and a draw depending on the kid. I’ve had bigger sports readers look at it and shrug their shoulders, wanting a “real book”, and others pick it up and fly through it. Its definitely appropriate for all ages.