Rating: 4.5 Stars.
The story of Josh and Jordan Bell is told in poetic style through Josh’s voice. He carries us through a time in his life where basketball is life and faces the challenges the world throws at you head on.
After having read the Booked, I was intrigued by the style of Alexander’s work, and wanted to check this out. I understand now why Booked was written, as although it was an interesting read, this one nailed the genre Kwame was working with. Considering how similar these books are, they are worth comparing to each other.
This piece flows more lyrically more beautifully. The rhythm and meter behind the book really push the book forward. The lines are well written, and its no wonder it won several awards. Its not very visual, but the story really carries you through. The story and the rhythm are heavily ingrained in basketball, so its one for your sports readers.
Its just as accessible as Booked, and again, I found it highly accessible to a variety of readers as those non-readers can fly through it. I did like the strength of this character a bit more. I found his struggles to be a little more believable.
Recommendations: Again, similarly to his other book, the poetic style is a bit of a barrier and a draw depending on the kid. I would however try to push more students to read this book, rather than the other given the choice. If it speaks to you, then try the second. It is a great middle grade novel.