Alexander, Kwame. Booked. Puffin Books, 2016. 336 pages. Hardcover $14.49, ISBN 978-0-544-57098-6; PLB $18.51, ISBN 978-1-51817-158-1
TL;DR: Do I Recommend This? YES
Genre: Novel in Verse
Part of a series? No, but very similar to another Alexander novel, The Crossover.
Nick has a lot on his plate — he’s a superstar soccer player in his club, he wants desperately to ask out April from his etiquette class (which will be difficult, since all he has managed is a strangled “hello”), and he is being forced to read and memorize his father’s dictionary of obscure words. Life gets more exciting as his soccer team receives an invitation to play in a major tournament in Dallas … as does his best friend, co-captain of his rival team. Then his parents announce they are separating. Mr. Mac the librarian tries to recruit Nick for the book club, and Nick keeps getting into trouble for zoning off in English class. When a medical emergency forces Nick to stay home from the tournament, life as he knows it is over. Or is it?
Critical Evaluation/Reader’s Comments:
This is a marvelous novel in verse about soccer, middle school life, and reading.
Curriculum Ties/Library Use:
The action flies — the poems capture Nick’s feelings, thoughts, and actions on the soccer field. It’s a great read for anyone — bookworms, soccer fans, and reluctant readers. This could be a fun book club book or poetry unit read. (Idea from myself)
Grade Level: 6 and up
Awards and Starred Reviews:
Booklist starred 2/1/16
Horn Book Guide starred 10/1/16
Horn Book Magazine starred 3/1/16
Kirkus Reviews starred 1/15/16
Publishers Weekly Annex starred 3/7/16
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) starred 4/1/16
Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group. (2016, Apr. 12). Teens review the latest from Kwame Alexander, Deb Caletti, and more (blog post). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2016/04/teens-ya/teens-review-the-latest-from-kwame-alexander-deb-caletti-and-more/