A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Crossover offers the opportunity to discuss sports culture, sibling rivalry, commitment to family, and the sacrifices people make for the ones they love.
Families are important, and each member should take responsibility for his or her actions. Although athletics are important, education must also focus on academics. Problems can usually be solved through honest discussions.
Positive Role Models
The Bell family is depicted as hardworking, loving, and committed individuals who work together to achieve success. The twins' mother holds advanced degrees, and their father was a star athlete. Until Josh lashes out at Jordan, the boys enjoy a close relationship.
Violence & Scariness
A boy deliberately lobs a ball into another's face, almost breaking his nose.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A boy has a girlfriend. He flirts with and kisses her.
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Mild sports-related trash talk. Josh is known as "Filthy McNasty."
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Products & Purchases
Mr. Bell enjoys Krispy Kreme donuts when he knows he shouldn't. Jordan spends a lot of money on Michael Jordan products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know at The Crossover: The Graphic Novel is an adaptation of Kwame Alexander's novel in verse about twin,12-year-old African American basketball players. Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, the book follows Josh and Jordon Bell as they deal with issues between them at home and on the court. The brothers start being very emotionally close to each other, but Josh doesn't think Jordon takes the game or his family seriously enough. There's some extremely mild kissing, one instance of purposeful violence, and only a sprinkling of on-court trash talk with no profanity.
Is It Any Good?
Sports are often seen as building character, and this action-packed and affecting coming-of-age tale uses basketball as a metaphor for commitment and achievement. In The Crossover, Kwame Alexander's energetic verse strikes the right note as he spins the story. Illustrator Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic drawing captures both the external and the internal struggles of the characters, on and off the court. An excellent choice for reluctant readers, the graphic novel of The Crossing has the narrative magnetism to attract more than just sports fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.