|Harcourt Brace and Company|
First, the Crossover is a verse novel, which usually does not appeal to me, but just like past novel in verse winners (Out of The Dust comes to mind), I loved it.
Josh Bell is a master with a basketball, but also a master with words. His vocabulary is out of this world as is his playing skills. Lucky for Filthy McNasty, nickname provided by his father, he has his family to keep him grounded. As he speeds down the court, Josh has his brother JB by his side and he feels like he will always have JB's attention, but things change when JB attracts the attention of the new girl. As JB hangs more with "Ms. Sweet Tea," Josh still has his dad, former basketball star, "Da Man," to work with him on his game. When Josh and JB fight, his mother, the principal, has to discipline Josh leaving him angry and lost. When an illness strikes, the family must come together and Josh must live up to what it means to be "Da Man."
I loved this one and I am trying to not have any spoilers with this one, but that ending was a shocker and a bit heart-breaking. I can't imagine any middle schooler not loving this book. I have already recommended it to a local teacher as a possible class read and I could not be happier with this year's Newbery choice. I read this in one sitting and was blown away. 5 cups of cocoa and a recommended read!