Recommended by: Susan Polos, librarian, Bedford Teachers Association
Suitable for: Grades 3-8
Why I chose this book: This book appeals to the widest range of readers imaginable: strong readers, reluctant readers, sports lovers and anyone who loves a good story.
What I like best: Students learn the power of poetry, acquire new vocabulary and consider serious themes, including sibling rivalry, growing up, and even life and death as they are quickly drawn into the story through its rhythm and beat, each chapter mirroring part of a basketball game.
How teachers can use this book: The Crossover is rich with instructional possibilities. Alexander includes examples of vocabulary with words such as "calamity," "pulchritudinous" and "estranged." Students can discuss how the action in the chapters matches the phases of the game; or look at the different types of poetry in the book and consider why different types of poetry were written to tell different parts of the story. Students can learn what a crossover is in the game of basketball and understand how it means something more by the end of the book.
About the author: Kwame Alexander, a poet and author of 18 books, received the 2015 Newbery Medal for The Crossover. For more info, visit www.bookinaday.org.
"Check it Out" features books recommended to teachers and parents by school librarians and other educators. Have a recommendation? Send suggestions, along with your name and local union, to firstname.lastname@example.org.