Cover image for Booked
Title:
Booked
Author:
Alexander, Kwame, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
Physical Description:
314 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon 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.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Young Adult.

660 Lexile
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.9 3.0 181133.
ISBN:
9780544570986
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

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!


Author Notes

Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, speaker, and performer. His books include And Then You Know: New and Selected Poems, Crush: Love Poems, Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, and Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band. He won the 2015 John Newbery Medal for his bestselling novel The Crossover. Since 2006, his Book-in-a-Day writing and publishing program has created more than 2500 student authors in 50 schools across the U.S., and in Canada and the Caribbean.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Nick doesn't think he is extraordinary, but it is true that he and his best friend, Coby, are stupendous soccer players. In addition, Nick's dad has written a dictionary, which means that Nick has a vocabulary that stupefies ordinary 12-year-olds. And there's the fact that the lovely April seems to like him. Abruptly, however, Nick's life crumbles when his mom announces she is leaving home to take a job in Kentucky, and a ruptured appendix lands Nick in the hospital, keeping him from playing in a prestigious soccer tournament. It sucks. Alexander treats readers to the same blend of poetry, humor, and insight that graced his ­Newbery-winning The Crossover (2014), enhanced with a thrilling literary zest. Mr. Mac, the school librarian, is a former rapper who, after undergoing brain surgery, joyfully embraced his true calling peddling books to middle-school students. Book after wonderful book is suggested to smart but reading-averse Nick. It's not a small thing to incorporate big issues like bullying and divorce into eminently readable free verse that connects boys, sports, and reading. While some may find Mr. Mac's passion a bit overwhelming (while others may find it simply delightful), middle-school readers and their advocates will surely love Alexander's joyous wordplay and celebration of reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Newbery winner and New York Times best-seller? Alexander's latest will surely have a lengthy waiting list.--Colson, Diane Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Eighth grade soccer star Nick Hall is doing his best to stay penalty-free in the game of life and on the field. He has two goals: eat, live, and breathe soccer and score a girlfriend. Unfortunately, his world flips upside down. Nick's parents are getting divorced, an emergency appendectomy removes him from the Dallas Cup roster, and a pair of "pit-bull mean" twins place Nick in their crosshairs. Nick's father, an author and linguistics professor with chronic verbomania, has a goal for him, too-reading regularly from his dictionary of weird and wonderful words. This frustrates Nick to the point of declaring he hates words, yet, ultimately, words help deflect the bullies' attack and get the girl. Alexander's spare text creates a rich, emotionally charged novel in verse about the pendulum moments in a young teen's life. The author's narration, from poignant pauses to a crescendo scoring kick, lifts the words off the page. -VERDICT The audio is worthy of first selection, but it fails to capture the powerful visual effect of verse on the page. Pairing the text with audio would be a sound investment for language arts classes. ["Authentic characters and amusing situations abound, making this story one that will be welcomed by readers of all levels": SLJ 3/16 review of the HMH book.]-Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Gameplay on the pitch, lightning faSt, dribble, fake, then make a dash player tries tO steal the ball lift and step and make him fall zip and zoom to find the spot defense readies for the shot Chip, then kick it in the air take off like a Belgian hare shoot it left, but watch it Curve all he can do is observe watch the ball bEnd in midflight play this game faR into night. Wake Up Call After playing FIFA online with Coby till one thirty a.m. last night, you wake this morning to the sound of Mom arguing on the phone with Dad. Questions Did you make up your bed? Yeah. Can you put bananas in my pancakes, please? Did you finish your homework? Yeah. Can we play a quick game of Ping-Pong, Mom? And what about the reading. I didn't see you doing that yesterday. Mom, Dad's not even here. Just because your father's away doesn't mean you can avoid your chores. I barely have time for my real chores. Perhaps you should spend less time playing Xbox at all hours of the night. Huh? Oh, you think I didn't know? I'm sick of reading his stupid words, Mom. I'm going to high school next year and I shouldn't have to keep doing this. Why couldn't your dad be a musician like Jimmy Leon's dad or own an oil company like Coby's? Better yet, why couldn't he be a cool detective driving a sleek silver convertible sports car like Will Smith in Bad Boys ? Instead, your dad's a linguistics professor with chronic verbomania* as evidenced by the fact that he actually wrote a dictionary called Weird and Wonderful Words with,       get this, footnotes. * verbomania [vurb-oh-mey-nee-uh] noun: a crazed obsession for words. Every freakin' day I have to read his "dictionary," which has freakin' FOOTNOTES. That's absurd to me. Kinda like ordering a glass of chocolate milk, then asking for chocolate syrup on the side. Seriously, who does that? SMH! In the elementary school spelling bee when you intentionally misspelled heifer, he almost had a cow. You're the only kid on your block at school in THE. ENTIRE. FREAKIN'. WORLD. who lives in a prison of words. He calls it the pursuit of excellence. You call it Shawshank. And even though your mother forbids you to say it, the truth is you HATE words. Excerpted from Booked by Kwame Alexander All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.