BOOKED by Kwame Alexander
Kirkus Star

BOOKED

Age Range: 10 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nick Hall is a bright eighth-grader who would rather do anything other than pay attention in class.

Instead he daydreams about soccer, a girl he likes, and an upcoming soccer tournament. His linguistics-professor father carefully watches his educational progress, requiring extra reading and word study, much to Nick’s chagrin and protest. Fortunately, his best friend, Coby, shares his passion for soccer—and, sadly, the unwanted attention of twin bullies in their school. Nick senses something is going on with his parents, but their announcement that they are separating is an unexpected blow: “it’s like a bombshell / drops / right in the center / of your heart / and it splatters / all across your life.” The stress leads to counseling, and his life is further complicated by injury and emergency surgery. His soccer dream derailed, Nick turns to the books he has avoided and finds more than he expected. Alexander’s highly anticipated follow-up to Newbery-winning The Crossover is a reflective narrative, with little of the first book’s explosive energy. What the mostly free-verse novel does have is a likable protagonist, great wordplay, solid teen and adult secondary characters, and a clear picture of the challenges young people face when self-identity clashes with parental expectations. The soccer scenes are vivid and will make readers wish for more, but the depiction of Nick as he unlocks his inner reader is smooth and believable.

A satisfying, winning read. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-544-57098-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2016




BEST MIDDLE-GRADE VERSE OF 2016:

ChildrenYOU CAN FLY by Carole Boston Weatherford
by Carole Boston Weatherford
ChildrenDANCING IN THE RAIN by Lynn Joseph
by Lynn Joseph
ChildrenBOOKED by Kwame Alexander
by Kwame Alexander

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for THE SLEEPING BEAUTY KILLER
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for <i>THE DAILY SHOW</i> (THE BOOK)
VERDICT:
BUY IT

MORE BY KWAME ALEXANDER

ChildrenSURF'S UP by Kwame Alexander
by Kwame Alexander
ChildrenTHE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander
by Kwame Alexander
ChildrenHE SAID, SHE SAID by Kwame Alexander
by Kwame Alexander

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE MIGHTY DYNAMO by Kieran Crowley
by Kieran Crowley