I read this really great article on The Hub the other day and thought I would share it with all of you.See their text below
Published February 22, 2016
Newbery award winner, Kwame Alexander visited my school, Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, this month. His novel The Crossover (2014) has received recognition and numerous awards: the Newbery Medal (2015), NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor for Outstanding Fiction for Children (2015), Coretta Scott King Author Honor (2015). Penn State/Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award (2015), and Paterson Poetry Prize for Young People’s Literature (2015).
The appeal of The Crossover stretches beyond age and gender of the reader – and reading level as many reluctant readers have enjoyed the focus on basketball in this story. It focuses on fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan who wrestle with the highs and lows of high school (on and off the court) while their father ignores his declining health. The “Basketball Rules” mentioned throughout The Crossover are inspiring rules that can be incorporated in life, not just basketball.
After a very engaging talk to middle school students, I was able to sit down with Mr. Alexander and ask what were his 5 good picks for (older) teens.
Soon after his mother’s death, Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man. (The plot contains profanity.)
In Seattle in 1937, two 17-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, during which Hendry and Flora must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.
Newbery Honor (2015)
Siebert Honor (2015)
Coretta Scott King Award for Author (2015)
Claudia Lewis Award for Older Readers (2015)
Raised in South Caroline and New York, author Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. Through vivid free verse, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s.
Scott O’Dell Award (1998)
In a series of poems, fourteen-year-old Billy Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm. It is set during the Great Depression and focuses on the family’s hardships during the Dust Bowl.
A black family living in the South during the 1930’s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don’t understand.
(Summaries provided by AR Book Finder, www.arbookfind.com)
— Sarah Carnahan, currently reading The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness