The Crossover

The Crossover

by Kwame Alexander

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book

"A beautifully measured novel of life and line."The New York Times Book Review

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. ’Cuz tonight I’m delivering," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line.

As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets a girl, the twins’ bond unravels.Told in dynamic verse, this fast and furious middle grade novel that started it all absolutely bounces with rhythm and bursts with heart. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780358008408
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/23/2018
Series: Kwame Alexander's Crossover Series
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, public speaker and performer. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than 500 students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area. Visit his website at

Read an Excerpt

At the top of the key, I’m
Why you BUMPING?
   Why you LOCKING?
Man, take this THUMPING.
Be careful though,
’cause now I’m CRUNKing
and my dipping will leave you
G   on the floor, while I
to the finish with a fierce finger roll . . .
Straight in the hole:

Josh Bell
is my name.
But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame.
Folks call me that
’cause my game’s acclaimed,
so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame. My hair is long, my height’s tall.
See, I’m the next Kevin Durant,
LeBron, and Chris Paul.

Remember the greats,
my dad likes to gloat:
I balled with Magic and the Goat.
But tricks are for kids, I reply.
Don’t need your pets
my game’s so

Mom says,
Your dad’s old school,
like an ol’ Chevette.
You’re fresh and new,
like a red Corvette.
Your game so sweet, it’s a crêpes suzette.
Each time you play

If anyone else called me
fresh and sweet,
I’d burn mad as a flame.
But I know she’s only talking about my game.
See, when I play ball,
I’m on fire. When I shoot, I inspire.
The hoop’s for sale, and I’m the buyer.

How I Got My Nickname
I’m not that big on jazz music, but Dad is.
One day we were listening to a CD
of a musician named Horace Silver, and Dad says,

Josh, this cat is the real deal.
Listen to that piano, fast and free,
Just like you and JB on the court.

It’s okay, I guess, Dad.
Boy, you better recognize

greatness when you hear it.
Horace Silver is one of the hippest.
If you shoot half as good as he jams—

Dad, no one says “hippest” anymore.
Well, they ought to, ’cause this cat
is so hip, when he sits down he’s still standing, he says.

Real funny, Dad.
You know what, Josh?
What,  Dad?

I’m dedicating this next song to you.
What’s the next song?
Only the best song,

the funkiest song
on Silver’s Paris Blues album:

At first

I didn’t like the name
because so many kids made fun of me
on the school bus,
at lunch, in the bathroom.
Even Mom had jokes.

It fits you perfectly, Josh, she said:
You never clean your closet, and
that bed of yours is always filled
with cookie crumbs and candy wrappers.
It’s just plain nasty, son.

But, as I got older
and started getting game,
the name took on a new meaning.
And even though I wasn’t into
all that jazz,
every time I’d score,
or steal a ball,
Dad would jump up
smiling and screamin’,

That’s my boy out there.
Keep it funky, Filthy!

And that made me fee
real good
about my nickname.

Customer Reviews

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The Crossover 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book very enjoyable to readgreat writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book id boss and whoever likes basketball will realy enjoy this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was informative, and relatable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading The Crossover by Kwame Alexander for the second time, I am giving this book a five out of five star review. The story is told be an eight grade boy - Josh Bell - who not only loves basketball, but is pretty great at it too. He is the son of a former professional basketball player whose career ended early from a knee injury. Josh also has a twin brother who loves basketball. The story follows Josh's conflicts both on and off the court with his dad and brother - but most importantly himself. Basketball turns out to be so much more important than game, but a way to learn so much about life. Kwame Alexander tells the story of Josh, his family, and basketball through poetry. Each chapter is its own poem. Each poem has a different style and rhythm to it. Some are short and some are longer. Some unfold events in the plot, while others unfold Josh's feelings to the reader. I love Kwame's ability to mix up the type of poem from one chapter to the next. He uses such a variety of tools, such as rhyme, metaphor, foreshadowing, and symbolism to keep the story and style interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a banger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book for real my life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a really good book. If you like basketball, this is a good book for you. It is the first book in the series by Kwame Alexander. There is also a book about soccer in this series too.
The-Broke-Book-Bank More than 1 year ago
I am always a sucker for verse books. Add in the blurb and I was hooked. I got lucky and it was available from my library while I was browsing through. I did take a couple pages to get into the flow and style with the capitalization and spacing. It'd been so long since I read a verse book! But once I was in, I was a goner. I finished it as quick as I could. I can def. see why it's so highly praised and won awards. The only little thing for me was the ending wasn't as conclusive and satisfying as I'd like. I'm the type to want all the answers on the page. But it's really great, even with my hang up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book review This book was about two twins and they play basketball. One of them is Josh Bell the other one is Jordan Bell. They have lots of things in common but something happens where they go down hill. Josh is the mane person in the book, and he has a brother and his dad was going play in the NBA but he has diabetes and he has his mother. Josh go to high school and he had dreads and .jordan is his brother and he has a little bit of hair and latter in the book he get a girlfriend . i give this a 5 star rating. I like the book mainly because they made some of the problems real. Also because it was basketball themed. I really liked that it was sort of a book that teaches you lessons in the book in every chapter. I liked that it was kind of of a action book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrew Collado Mrs. Brown 1/12/18 P.2 The story begins with the introduction of the characters. The main characters are a pair of twins josh and jordan bell, two young teenage, uprising basketball stars who are sons of a retired superstar, Charlie “Da Man” Bell. The text exposes that conflict of the story by stating, “Dear jordan, without you i am empty, the goal with no net, seems my life was broken, shattered, like puzzle pieces on the cort i can no longer fit, can you help me heal, run with me, slash with me like we used to? Like two stars stealing sun, like two brothers burning up. Together. Ps. i'm really sorry. This textual evidence provides the letter that josh wrote to jordan after in a rage of jealousy over his brothers girlfriend taking all his time they usually use to spend with each other throws a firing pass to him and breaks his nose. I enjoyed this story because it was not only a basketball novel it was a novel about family dedication, loyalty, loss, and redemption. It also teaches you that thru good times and bad you and your partner whether it be a best friend, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend etc., you always stick together. I recommend this book to others because it's a book u just cant put down.`
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is good but some parts are not
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fritz409 More than 1 year ago
This book is about Josh and JB, twin brothers who love basketball. Their lives are filled with the sport and their father, who was a professional basketball player. Strife and worry rear their ugly heads, and Josh, the narrator, reacts to the situations like any junior high young man would do. What makes this book unique - and powerful in turn - is that it's written in verse. I had heard the author speak on "Weekend Edition" on NPR, and he intrigued me. I'm glad that I picked up this book. I'll definitely be recommending it to the YA readers in my life. It's a great book to help them appreciate the stories, emotions and life lessons that poems can give to us.
damonte More than 1 year ago
filthy mc nasty is a cool kid and his brother too josh bell there is a lot of action is this book thats why i like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No wonder it won the newberry medal!!!!!!! THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book a lot it makes me feel happy everytime i read this book.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Like father, like son. Filthy is more like his father, than I think he saw himself to be. His father lived and breathed the game of basketball, his wife and family came before the sport but that was about the extent of the items that exceeded his fascination with the game. Being a basketball legend, his father led his twin boys into the court at a small age and disciplined them so that their love for the sport extended into their veins. He is their biggest fan, believing in them and pushing them to be successful. Their mother was not far behind in her love of the game and their children but it was the boys in the family who were consumed by the court, the sweat, the bouncing of the ball and the adrenaline of the game. Filthy McNasty and his twin brother J.B. were both stars on the court; both thirteen and each of them carrying a different talent onto the court making them a valuable asset to their team. Filthy is more devoted to the game though; he’s consumed by it just like his father was. Both individuals so devoted and so blind, like father, like son. J.B’s eyes begin to shift to the likings of Ms. Sweet Tea for his attention to basketball has now been diverted. J.B. realizes there is more to life than basketball and Ms. Sweet Tea starts to play an important role in his daily life. Tension starts to creep into the novel as I listened to it, slowly this shift occurs. J.B. has started to move his attention away from basketball, leaving Filthy alone for once in his life and the anger, frustration and let down you can feel in the language and the power of Filthy’s words. Filthy is not used to being alone, he’s not used to having to share his brother and this change is not welcomed. Dad’s health is deteriorating and why is all of this happening now? Mom’s the anchor in the family, her words are strong and she holds nothing back. She wants the world for them but she knows that they must do it for themselves. I think one of my favorite parts of this novel was the conversation between Filthy and his father in the hospital. Their question conversation where not one single answer is spoken was superb. The rapid fire questions, fired back-n-forth at each other, let you into the minds of these individuals and what they were really thinking. What a wonderful conversation tool, it really spoke volumes and cleared the air. I wasn’t too impressed with the ending, I don’t know what I would have done differently as an author, I just know as a reader, it didn’t settle right with me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be entering high school this fall and i enjoyed this summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh but hell never know plzzzzz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um no im rp ing with nick