Shooting From the Free Verse Line

“See when I play ball,

I’m on fire.

When I shoot,

I inspire.

The hoop’s for sale,

And I’m the buyer.”

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is an epic mash-up of free verse and hip-hop poetry which creatively tells the story of Josh Bell, young basketball prodigy. The narrative revolves around Josh and his twin brother Jordan as they rule the court, but also as their relationship evolves.

I was tempted to title this post “Love and Basketball” but I’ll refrain since I haven’t seen the movie. Anyway, I enjoy watching basketball, and reading books about it so when I saw this book I was intrigued. Then, I found out it was written in verse and I couldn’t wait to read it.

The mixture of free verse, rhyming hip-hop poetry, and play-by-plays by Josh immediately hooked me. There are also short pieces called “Basketball Rules” which are similar to proverbs or life advice. All these pieces are organized into sections named with basketball terminology (1st quarter, overtime etc.) which I found very creative.

Sometimes in novels written in verse it becomes harder to connect with the characters, but in this story I immediately felt connected to the characters, especially Josh. His personality was quite distinct from Jordan’s and his voice came through clearly. I also loved his parents, instead of being faceless like in some books, they had personality and a real relationship.

Plot-wise this book was amazing, there’s an unexpected twist at the end, so definitely read it!

Stay fly


5 thoughts on “Shooting From the Free Verse Line

  1. Definitely seems interesting! However, since the main character is a prodigy, does he encounter real, serious problems that he has to overcome (and not easily?) since if he can overcome everything swiftly, it takes the fun out of reading 😦


    1. Great question! Since Josh is a basketball prodigy and the problems he faces revolve around the “real world” we still get to see him struggle and grow as a character. I found it far from boring.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great to know! 😀

        I believe social struggles are more interesting to read about rather than the other forms of conflicts, so yeah, this sounds great XD

        Thank you for responding! 🙂


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