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Booked
by Kwame Alexander


Overview - National Book Award Long List
New York Times Bestseller


Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can't nobody stop you/
can't nobody cop you...
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    Booked (Library Binding)
    Published: 2016-04-05
    Publisher: Turtleback Books
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More About Booked by Kwame Alexander
 
 
 
Overview
National Book Award Long List
New York Times Bestseller


Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can't nobody stop you/
can't nobody cop you...
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick 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. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544570986
  • ISBN-10: 0544570987
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 320
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-13
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Stories in Verse (see also Poetry)
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Sports & Recreation - Soccer
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

Alexander scores again with this sports-themed verse novel, a companion to his Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover. Eighth grader Nick, a devoted soccer player and fan, enjoys some friendly competition with his best friend, Coby. What Nick doesn't like is words—neither the ones in the dictionary that his linguistics professor father wrote (and is making him read) nor the ones he learns in his honors English class. But the school's quirky rapping librarian, Mr. Mac, helps Nick discover both a love of reading and a way to connect with the girl of his dreams. Alexander skillfully juggles verse styles to realistically capture Nick's humor and smarts (showcased in witty footnoted definitions of words like "cachinnate" and "mewling"), passion for soccer, and vulnerability when being bullied, having surgery, or facing his parents' troubled marriage. Emotionally resonant and with a pace like a player on a breakaway, Nick's story will have readers agreeing: "The poems/ were cool./ The best ones were/ like bombs,/ and when all the right words/ came together/ it was like an explosion./ So good, I/ didn't want it to end." Ages 10–12. Agent: Arielle Eckstut, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. (Apr.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Quick footwork and swift verse

BookPage Children's Top Pick, April 2016

Malapropism. Flummoxed. Rapprochement. Stupefy. “The average person knows about twelve thousand words. / Average president knows twice that. . . .” In Booked, the new novel-in-verse by Newbery Award winner Kwame Alexander, 12-year-old Nick knows all about words. His father is obsessed with them and makes Nick read every day from Weird and Wonderful Words, a dictionary that he wrote. Though immersed in books and language at home, Nick’s passion lies somewhere else: the soccer field.

Nick is a talented soccer player and just made the A team for his travel soccer club—but his best friend, Coby, didn’t. So now Nick plays for a rival team. If that’s not bad enough, Nick is being bullied on a regular basis, and he’s finding it harder than he hoped to talk to April, the girl of his dreams. On top of everything else, his mom is leaving Nick and his dad to pursue her dream of training racehorses. 

Filled with rich, brilliant language and sharp, staccato verse that drives the reader forward, Booked handles difficult and painful realities with the ease of a superstar on the soccer field. While eschewing the eclectic verse structures and concrete poetry in exchange for more traditional free verse (with a sprinkling of informative and very funny footnotes), Alexander recaptures the magic of The Crossover and delivers a powerful story that will leave the reader breathless, right to the very end. 

 

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews