by Kwame Alexander
Recommended Ages: 12+
This is an excellent and fascinating book, told in a succession of poems in various forms, ranging from a Japanese Tanka to dramatic free verse, plus a number of rap songs enhanced by fancy typesetting, as though to guide the reader in performing them out loud. It spotlights complex family issues. It hints at a magical connection between two brothers, who can seemingly read each other's minds even when they aren't on speaking terms. And in the often proven and seldom matched manner of sports fiction, it taps into a strongly moving current of emotion.
This 2014 young-adult verse novel is both a Newbery Medal winner and a Coretta Scott King honor book. Its author, the founder of the Book-in-a-Day program that encourages teens to write, is a poet, TV writer, publisher, radio host, teacher, musician, globetrotting goodwill ambassador, and all-around mover and shaker who has also written the teen novels He Said, She Said and Booked, six poetry collections, four picture books including Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, and two non-fiction books about writing.