Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ARC review: Booked by Kwame Alexander

Note: The following review is based on an unpublished advance reader copy.

Just like The Crossover does with basketball, soccer circumvents what Booked is really about: family relationships, this time the main character Nick is dealing with his parent's impending divorce and a strained relationship with his parents, particularly his father. 

While it doesn't have the same bounce and groove of The Crossover, Booked is a fantastic stand-alone follow-up to Alexander's Newbery-winning novel in verse. I especially loved the character of Mr. MacDonald, AKA "The Mac," the rapping librarian.

What I love most about Alexander's work is that he has made it cool for kids to be lovers of words and language. Booked only further strengthens that conviction. While I try to tell this to my students, Alexander's books are actually showing it to them.

Other things I loved about Booked:
  • How the title has multiple, layered meanings throughout the story
  • The subtle and not-so-subtle homages to the poetry of Langston Hughes
  • While it is mentioned in passing and with lowercase letters, Alexander gives a shoutout to the Nerdy Book Club
  • Nerds and Words is a great name for a book club. I kind of want to steal it.  :)

Booked by Kwame Alexander 
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel in Verse
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Disclosure: ARC received at ALAN workshop, November 2015

*Purchasing the book from the above Bookshop affiliate link supports independent bookstores and gives me a small percentage of the sale. 


  1. Oh, goodie! I am glad to hear you loved this book. It is on my list. :) :)
    Nerds and Words. I love it!

  2. I am so excited about this one!