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The Crossover Graphic Novel

Written by Kwame Alexander

Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Graphic Novels & Comics Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) School Stories Sporting Stories

LoveReading View on The Crossover Graphic Novel

This prize-winning novel here in lively graphic form

March 2020 Book of the Month

The novel of The Crossover is a Newberry Medal Winner, and a Coretta Scott King Award Winner in the US and was Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in the UK. This graphic novel version is the whole story complete with large and small two-coloured illustrations gracing every page. This is a deceptively simple read – a novel in verse about siblings getting through middle school, their lives, their crushes, their family interactions, and basketball.  

The boys are twins Josh and Jordan Bell, sons of a famous basketball player, and aiming to make a mark in the world of basketball.  There are rivalries between the boys, they revel in their differences, but family holds them together whatever the world throws at them. 

The words and pictures work so well together, you will be on the edge of your seat, rooting for the team as they play and crying with the twins when thigs go awry. To tell such a complex story with so few words, with such emotional depth – Alexander is a master of devastating and uplifting storytelling. Anyabwile’s illustrations enhance a superb story – adding expressions and movement to an already great novel.

Tricia Adams

The Crossover Graphic Novel Synopsis

'With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. 'Cuz tonight I'm delivering,' raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell.

Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood - he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it's all on the line.

See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic illustrations as the brothers' winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change.

The Crossover Graphic Novel Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

Josh and Jordan have spent their life together and basketball is their thing. When Jordan gets a girlfriend, Josh must learn how to deal with a change to his life. Full review

Sara Bloomfield

This is a powerful and emotional novel and one that will engage with readers of all ages and all abilities. It will appeal to a variety of readers, not only fans of Kwame Alexander but readers who love graphic novels, those who love stories about sport, real-life and those who like a quick read – this book has it all. Full review

Julie Broadbent

An interesting style of book. Full review

josh parcell (Age 12)

A fictional, children's literature, poetic novel with a positive message and educational value. Full review

Rodborough Reader (Age 12)

A powerful exploration of grief and growing up, Alexander spins a masterful tale that shines a light on love, loss and life on the basketball court. Full review

Alison King

A heartwarming and touching read. Full review

Connor Lobban (Age 11)

The Crossover Graphic Novel Press Reviews

This graphic-novel adaptation . . . offers powerful visuals to an already-cherished narrative. A slam-dunk thrill - Kirkus

A fresh look at the Newbery Medal-winning book . . . stunningly illustrated by Anyabwile. With lively poems that use basketball as a metaphor for life, this mix of free verse, hip-hop, and powerful artwork will resonate with fans of the original book and inspire a new audience of nascent players, artists, and poets - School Library Journal

This adaptation evokes the imagery of the basketball, ensuring that readers feel Josh Bell's experiences come to life. An energetic and lively re-envisioning - Booklist

Alexander's complex, affectionate family portrait is augmented by Anyabwile's dynamic characterizations . . . the graphic version brings out the best in the original, as any good teammate should - Publishers Weekly

A beautifully measured novel of life and line - The New York Times Book Review

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781783449590
Publication date: 05/03/2020
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781783449590
Publication date: 5th March 2020
Author: Kwame Alexander
Illustrator: Dawud Anyabwile
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Graphic Novels & Comics, Personal Social Health Economic , Death / Bereavement, Siblings, School Stories, Sporting Stories
Recommendations: Reluctant Readers, Reviewed by Children
Collections: Diverse Voices - 80 Children's Books that Celebrate Difference, Our favourite children's books of 2020,

About Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, public speaker, performer, and winner of the Newbery Medal for his novel-in-verse, The Crossover. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than five hundred students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area. 

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