Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Rebound Book Poster Image
Heartfelt, soaring, fast-break story of loss and growth.

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Exposes kids to poetry, higher-level vocabulary words, and factoids as part of the story, making it an easy way for kids to digest information. 

Positive Messages

Rebound focuses on resilience, picking friends, and making good decisions. "You put the wrong people on your team and you gonna lose every time, whether you mean to or not."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chuck is a role model for his honesty. Best friend CJ helps Chuck communicate his feelings in a journal. And Skinny is unwaveringly loyal. Also great adult role models: His mother, grandfather, and grandmother act as the backboard to Chuck's basketball game of life, lending support to landing buckets. 


One instance of a fight and running from the fight, which results in a police chase with guns drawn. Mention of blood on one fight participant's shirt. 


Some typical boy-girl stuff; girl kisses boy on the cheek. 


Mild name-calling, including "punk."


A few brands are mentioned to set the scene, including Now & Later candy, Nike Jordans, Pro-Keds, and Funyuns. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen is described as changing personalities when he started smoking weed. The same teen and his friends are seen drinking from bottles in brown paper bags, most likely alcohol. Two teens are caught with marijuana on them and get arrested. A boy looks forward to trying beer with his parent and hates it. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that New York Times best-seller Rebound is a stand-alone prequel to Kwame Alexander's Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Book The CrossoverThis powerful novel in verse is set in the late 1980s and focuses on the childhood experiences of Chuck, who will grow up to become the beloved dad of The Crossover's Jordan and Josh. It deals with the death of a parent and grief along with normal teen-growth drama. Parents should be prepared to discuss  coping with loss and feelings, as well as choosing the right people to allow in your life. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybellabout September 13, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byTrobot45 August 8, 2018


i recommend this book

What's the story?

Twelve year old Chuck Bell may never REBOUND. After losing his dad, he's a ship without an anchor, drifting through life angry, sad, and lost. Then his mom ships him off to live with his grandparents for the summer, where he's forced to listen to jazz, work, and play basketball -- a game he sucks at -- with his cousin Roxie. Just when Chuck is certain life will never be good again, he learns that it's all about taking your shot when you can. 

Is it any good?

This sweet, surprising, gut-wrenchingly powerful novel in verse moves to the beat of life. It's a slice of life captured in words that have the ability to jump, slam, and slide across the page. Accompanied by powerful graphic novel sections illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, Rebound lets us get to know the wonderful kid who grew up to became Josh and Jordan's beloved dad from The Crossover. It has laugh-out-loud moments and moments when Chuck and his family's tender vulnerability is hard to witness. Both boys and girls will love this prequel's realism, and adults will love the poetry experience and positive messages.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about journaling and the role it plays in Rebound. Have you ever journaled before? How did it help you with your feelings? How do you think it helps the twins cope with their own feelings after getting their dad's journal? 

  • How does Chuck's choice in who he hangs out with affect him? Have you ever gotten in trouble because of a friend or associate? How did it make you feel?  

  • How do sports help Chuck cope with everything going on in his life? Does exercise help you think and deal better with stress?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories of grief and coming-of-age

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