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 hits store shelves on April 5, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel in Verse
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Disclosure: ARC received at ALAN workshop, November 2015
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