Review: Booked by Kwame Alexander

BookedTitle: Booked
Author: Kwame Alexander
Genres: Middle Grade contemporary

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!


I picked up The Crossover, book one in this companion series, a few days ago and I fell in love with it, so of course I wanted to pick up Booked as soon as possible. So when I had time I sat down, started the audiobook, and didn’t stop listening until it was finished.

To be totally honest with you, I was a little scared going into this book. I’m not a big fan of companion series because they can get very repetitive and I was scared that was going to be the case with this book as well. Luckily, I had no reason to be scared.

While Booked does follow the same formula as The Crossover – 12 year old kid, written in verse, involves sport and real life/family issues – and has the same feel to it, it feels completely different. It’s like when you change the words to a song, but keep the melody; it feels familiar, yet different.

I, once again, absolutely loved Kwame Alexander’s writing. He has a real way with words, but he also knows how to balance every single element of his book very well. The style of poetry shifts often so that it keeps your attention, and we never linger on one element of the story for too long. In the end, it really feels like every single element got just enough attention, nothing is overdone or too little. It’s brilliant.

Following Nick’s story was an absolute joy. I loved reading about his love for soccer, him liking a girl for the first time, him dealing with his parents separating, and him falling in love with reading through the help of the former-rapper-now-librarian The Mack.

Plus, I loved the ending of the book.

So, overall, Booked definitely didn’t disappoint me and Kwame Alexander is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors. I believe a prequel to The Crossover was published not too long ago, and I can’t wait to pick that one up as well!

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