Booked (The Crossover Series)

by Kwame Alexander

Paperback, 2019






Clarion Books (2019), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages


Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.


National Book Award (Longlist — 2016)
Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 2018)
Georgia Children's Book Award (Finalist — 2018)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2018)


Original language


Physical description

336 p.; 7.62 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member DavidNaiman
You love
this book
not just because it's fun
to read free verse

Or to write
in the second person

Instead, you smile
AT the witty banter
AT the word play
AT the nuance in brevity
AT the cadence in verse

You think this is just
the sort of book
that might get
reluctant readers to,
get this,want to read more!
LibraryThing member detailmuse
I was still in the afterglow of loving Brown Girl Dreaming and hoping lightning would strike twice in the form of two terrific middle-grade books written in free verse. While Booked isn’t lightning, it is good.

Twelve-year-old Nick Hall’s life revolves around playing soccer; hanging with his
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best friend Coby; getting to know a girl named April; resisting his linguistics-professor dad’s urging that he read more; and reeling from his mom’s decision to go back to work training horses ... in far-away Kentucky.

It does not take
a math genius
to understand that
when you subtract
a mother
from the equation
what remains
is negative.

It’s fairly realistic in content and very playful in structure, both the free-verse aspect (which takes just two pages to become comfortable with) and that some of the narrative work is done via changes in fonts. It veers close to feeling “teach-y” with its footnotes that define fun, odd words (Nick’s resistance to his dad’s influence is futile!), and yet doesn't feel teach-y at all as it actually guides readers in learning how to read -- to navigate unattributed dialogue, to jump without transitions from scene to scene. The fast-paced vignettes and copious white-space on the page make it appealing to reluctant readers. And its mention of numerous other real middle-grade/YA books (many of them also free verse) is a terrific what-to-read-next list.

(Review based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.)
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LibraryThing member EllsbethB
I love Alexander's voice and the way he plays with words and their physicality in his writing. This is a good read.
LibraryThing member ewyatt
Nick Hall feels like his life is falling a part a little. His parents suddenly announce they are separating and his mom moves to Kentucky for work. He's getting bullied at school. He does have a couple things going he seems to be making progress with his crush, his best friend Coby always has his
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back, and it's soccer season.
Nick's dad loves words and has written a weird word dictionary, Nick has an impressive vocabulary to boot.
Footnotes with definitions are peppered throughout the text. There is a little pandering to librarians with the cool rappin' school librarian in the story who helps connect Nick to book club and books.
A quick, engaging read.
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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Like "Crossover," the protagonist of "Booked" comes across vividly and likably as your typical middle school boy, with a sports passion, a crush on a girl, and an aversion to reading. But there is trouble on the home front with his parents and a health issue sidelines him from his favorite sport.
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Kwame Alexander makes poetry cool.
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LibraryThing member sgrame
tween fiction, novels in verse, soccer, family separation
LibraryThing member JRlibrary
Bought and read this one after I read the Crossover book. Very similar format except this one is about soccer and the personal tragedy is not the father's death. If you liked Crossover, I think you'll like Booked equally well.
LibraryThing member asomers
I just love books told in verse and this one certainly didn't disappoint. This book had everything a librarian loves - books, a library, a book club , a COOL librarian, a love of words..... But it also throws in just enough sports, teen romance, teen angst, and family dynamics to make it appeal to
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a young reader.
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LibraryThing member Jennifer LeGault
Told in verse, the story follows Nick, a 12 year old boy who love football and dislikes books. Nick finds himself using words in an unexpected way.
LibraryThing member CalebB.G1
This book is about a kid who likes soccer and it's made in poems.
LibraryThing member St.CroixSue
This is a middle grade novel (written in verse, but this is not obvious when listening), about a 12 year old soccer kid, his family, dealing with bullies and very young love. An award winning author
LibraryThing member VClarke
Booked by Kwame Alexander is a great book for struggling readers. The book is written in verse and leaves white space on the page. The language is friendly. The plot is relatable. Nick struggles with his relationship with his parents. He also is a struggling reader, but he develops a relationship
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with the school librarian. Recommended for middle and high school.
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LibraryThing member lissabeth21
Less about the sport than Crossover was, but heavy on the real life emotions and experiences of junior high - perfect in other words. I really enjoyed this very much and was engaged with the characters and their lives. From the super cool, ex-rapper librarian (who reminded me of a good friend), to
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the parents coming to grips with the changes in their relationship and in their own dreams, even to the bullies who jumped off each page they appeared on... there was serious truth happening here.
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LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
This is the second book I have read by Alexander. I don't like the writing style, personally. To me it's choppy.
LibraryThing member jennybeast
Like the soccer aspect, and some of the word nerd parts. It felt like a love letter to libraries and vocabulary — cool, but sometimes felt a bit forced to me. Still, I think kids who love poetry will enjoy it.




(116 ratings; 4.2)
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