Parents' Guide to

The Crossover

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.

The Crossover Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+

Great for engaging kids who love basketball!

This book is all about basketball and is great for kids who love basketball. I have not found any questionable terminology in the book. You can read the first poem in the preview given on some websites, the terms are all referencing basketball. If they were used in a different manner some of the terms may be questionable, but as it stands they are completely appropriate. (i.e. "take this thumping" means that the boy is beating the other team. One of the meanings for thumping in the Oxford Living Dictionaries is "defeat heavily")
1 person found this helpful.
age 9+

Love love love

Many of the parent's reviews that state sexual content is overtly present in this book hasn't read many poetry books, especially the comment that stated the line, "getting under her skin" was a sexual innuendo. I implore you to explore the rest of Kwame Alexander's book before writing it off as crude, really get to know the author and his text before you write it off. I am a librarian who has studied and read this book multiple times. Kwame Alexander's work offers an honest, delightful, innovative and exciting story written from the perspective of young black boys, a perspective that should be present more heavily in the books we keep in our libraries. Kwame Alexander says this about his books, and this comment is why I will continue sharing his books with young readers. When Kwame was asked why he writes, he said, "to be authentic and tell my story. I was a black boy who laughed, had crushes, cried, played, felt, had troubling friendships, ate dinner with my family each evening. I want my writing to be a mirror for kids who look like me and a window for kids to look at different life and recognize it as very much like their own. I want every kid to know that they are worthy, valuable, and important." (

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (14):

Wow -- Kwame Alexander's THE CROSSOVER is a fast-moving, poignant, rhythmic ride that will leave readers breathless and in tears. Written in verse that's at times boundless and at other times masterfully restrained, it could have been just another ode to urban life, the world of sports, and teenage basketball phenoms. Instead, readers realize within a few pages that they're in for much more. Alexander tells the stories that need to be told: intact families of people who care for one another more than they care for the game, strong role models who support their children's dreams, and the realities faced by a young person growing up in today's world.

Readers will fall in love with the characters, feeling the ache of loneliness, the heavy weight of worry, and the joy of family fun. Parents will love the opportunities the book presents for positive, deep discussions, as well as its slyly hidden life lessons and basic good values.

Book Details

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