The Crossover

The Crossover

Book - 2014
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Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014]
ISBN: 9780544107717
Characteristics: 237 pages ; 22 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

Author of the Month Kwame Alexander

Identical twins Josh and Jordan couldn’t be more different – even on the basketball court where they both shine thanks to their dad’s pro ball experience – but their bond of brotherhood has always been strong. When a new beauty starts school, both boys fall head over heels, but she's only got eyes for one. Will this new interest break their bond? Basketball, girls and family abound in The… (more)

Basketball and Reading for Teens

Yes, basketball and reading can, and do, go together! Not only are there many teen books about basketball and basketball players, there are also some organizations that encourage both sports and literature together. Wade's World Foundation: "Every Child Deserves a Shot" Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade worked to create this foundation to encourage literacy and to give back to his community.… (more)

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From Library Staff

List - 14 First Crushes
ChiPubLib_Kids Jan 16, 2020

Fourteen-year-old identical twins Josh and Jordan are total opposites but as close as can be - until a new girl enters the picture.

Identical twins Josh and Jordan couldn’t be more different – even on the basketball court where they both shine thanks to their dad’s pro ball experience – but their bond of brotherhood has always been strong. Will the “pulchritudinous” new girl break their bond?

Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Newbery Medal

Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Honor

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 02, 2021

Josh and Jordan are twins, though on the basketball court they're "Filthy McNasty" and "JB". The main character is Josh. Their father is legendary basketball player Chuck Bell. Josh and JB's relationship begins to deteriorate after JB gets a girlfriend. Josh finds himself alone, as JB doesn't even sit with him at lunch anymore. Soon, during a game, Josh blasts JB in the face with a basketball. But that isn't the worst of their problems. Their father, Chuck, is ignoring the fact that his health is deteriorating. He is soon routinely visiting the hospital. Can Josh and JB overcome the odds to get to the County Championship?

JCLBrittanyC Mar 24, 2021

This was our March pick for Tween book club which follows twins Josh and Jordan through their basketball and life highs and lows. This is a book written in verse, and though I am not a big sports fan, Kwame Alexander made the poems so animated you couldn’t help but get invested in the games. As many of us do, Josh and Jordan were able to learn so many relevant skills on the court that were utilized in their real life. They face issues with their father’s health, difference between one another, and other relationships they are developing as young teens. This is definitely a quick read, and comes in a graphic novel format as well. If you have or know a reluctant reader, hand them this one, and they might just change their mind!

Nov 16, 2020

This is a great book for those who love basketball (like me).

_Robin102_ Jul 13, 2020

This is a marvelous book.
It does not matter if you love, or hate, poetry and basketball. This book has something for everybody.
It is an emotional, relatable, and powerful story about the bond of family and the game of life.

Jun 14, 2020

Okay. If you like sports, or poetry, or both, this book is for you. I personally don't like basketball, or any other sport for that matter, but I still loved this book. I finished it in one day, and I cried at the end. I highly recommend this book.

ArapahoeStaff26 Apr 15, 2020

This 2015 Newbery Medal winner is written in free verse. The author uses different font sizes and spacing on the page, as well as the energetic voice of the 12 year old narrator, to quickly engage the reader. The basketball and school slang and similes, metaphors, and analogies will create a vivid experience for middle graders, ages 9 and older. The ALD Koelbel YA/Teen Book Group agreed it is a realistic coming-of-age story that we would be comfortable recommending. It brings up interesting issues such as the importance of sports, of family loyalty, and the helpless feeling of watching a loved one neglect their health.

Nov 25, 2019

I adored Kwame Alexander's The Crossover a few years back. As a person who has very little interest in sports, I loved the way Alexander wove sports and family together through his beautiful poems. I loved the Bell family, I loved Josh's narration, and there was also something about the twists and turns in Alexander's prose that just had me completely head-over-heels.

This graphic novel version of The Crossover may even be better than the original. Having Dawud Anyabwile's gorgeous illustrations accompany Alexander's poetry is phenomenal. I felt like Anyabwile's artwork really showcased the heart and soul of the Bell family's trials and tribulations in such a way where it connected to the text perfectly. I loved the artwork, and how Josh and Jordan were designed, and I loved the attention to detail throughout.

The Crossover is still a wonderful and powerful story about family. A lot of what Alexander's words stated in 2014, are just as true in 2019. This edition boasts amazing artwork to accompany Alexander's beautiful words, and is a great addition to anyone's graphic novel collection or just for anyone who loves story about family and the turbulence than comes with being a part of one.

Oct 07, 2019

This book is one of those books that you just can't put down! I recommend that not only basketball fans (like me) read this but everyone who wants to be successful in life to read this!

OPL_KrisC Oct 03, 2019

Loved reading this book in graphic novel form & think this is a great way for the book to reach new readers!

Jun 21, 2019

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander, is about twin brothers/basketball players, Josh and JB. The guys are inseparable both on and off the court. They also have a father that was a famous basketball player for Italy. The brothers are determined to lead their team through a great season as well as possibly winning the championship for their junior high. Then things start to change extremely. JB starts to spend more time with a new girl that turns into his girlfriend, they notice their mom and dad are fighting regarding an issue, and the twins grow apart. This book is one of the best poetry books I’ve ever read. The Crossover is a rhythmic/poetic adventure that can really connect you emotionally to all of the events that take place in the novel. I found myself constantly flipping the pages, eagerly waiting to see what was going to happen next. Kwame Alexander did an amazing job on this novel and continues to with his other ones as well. I absolutely recommend this book, you will not regret reading it 4.5/5.
@CreativityReader of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

The Crossover is about two twins who play basketball together, Josh and Jordan. Ever since they were little they loved playing basketball. Now they are 12 years old, and they are getting to a stage of life where they have other interests than just basketball. Jordan is interested in girls and Josh hasn’t hit that stage of life yet. Their dad who also loves basketball has heart trouble and he is in the hospital. While their Dad is sick, Jordan spends less time with Josh and more time with his girlfriend (Alexa). Their dad is also spending less time with them because he is in the hospital. Overall the family becomes very separated, especially the brothers and this creates a lot to challenges. Eventually, they all work together to connect the family, including Alexa, back together. This book was a really nice read. It is one of my favourite books and it is written in a poem style. Aside from being very touching, it is an easy and quick book to read!
@rusty_reads of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Apr 02, 2021

blue_shark_2181 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

OPL_KrisC Oct 03, 2019

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Add a Quote
ArapahoeStaff26 Apr 15, 2020

I've seen him launch it from thirty feet before, ALL NET. That boy is special, and it doesn't hurt that Chuck "Da Man" Bell is his father. And mine too. JB bounces the ball back to me. JB's a shooter, but I'm sneaky and silky as a snake ___ ... pg. 27
I love this game like winter loves snow. pg. 31

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 26, 2020

you stop
your game
you've already

JCLChrisK Mar 19, 2015

[kraws-oh-ver] noun

A simple basketball move
in which a player dribbles
the ball quickly
from one hand
to the other.

As in: When done right,
a crossover can break
an opponent's ankles.

As in: Deron William's crossover
is nice, but Allen Iverson's crossover
was so deadly, he could've set up
his own podiatry practice.

As in: Dad taught me
how to give a soft cross first
to see if your opponent falls
for it,
then hit 'em
with the hard crossover.


Add a Summary
Nov 17, 2020

Basketball loving twins, Josh Bell aka Filthy McNasty and Jordan Bell aka JB are trying to follow in their father's footsteps who people on the court called Da Man. Their father had played professional basketball in Italy. After finding out their father quit because of a medical condition, they do all they can to make things better. Things get complicated when Jordan gets a girlfriend and the dad's health issues getting worse. Josh gets mad at JB and this anger shows in a basketball game. Can Josh patch things up with his brother? Will their dad get back to full health? Read the book to find the answers.

LibraryK8 Jun 24, 2014

Josh Bell, known as Filthy McNasty to those on the court, is one of top two players on his middle school basketball team. The other player is his twin brother, Jordan. The two are expected to become big stars as their father was an amazing basketball player before he retired, known to his fans as Da Man!

Filthy and Jordan are ready for an epic year on their team, taking them all the way to playoffs, when things are complicated by a new girl, who captures Jordan's eye and their father's heart problems.


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