I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel-in-verse with this sort of pace and feel to it. Usually novels-in-verse are on the quieter side, but this book changes the whole genre. There’s movement and depth. After reading it, I know exactly why Kwame Alexander just won the Newbery for The Crossover.
Everything about The Crossover just fits, from the title to the language (and the font and the layout–read only the first poem, “Dribbling” and you’ll know exactly what I mean), and oh, those characters. I’ll give you a tidbit, but only that, because you have to go read it yourself: Josh Bell and his twin brother are middle-school basketball kings who practice daily with their dad, a former basketball-pro. Josh’s troubles begin when his twin brother falls for a girl and his mom grounds him from playing ball.