Following his Newbery Medal winning book  The Crossover, Kwame Alexander returns to the world of sports--this time soccer--where protagonist teen sports star Nick Hall  loves soccer, daydreams in school, and thinks about having a girlfriend. Everything turns upside down  for Nick when his parents tell him they are getting a divorce. Worse still, Nick's mother is taking a job in another city, leaving him alone with his father. Nick's dad pushes him to study and learn new words, saying that he will have to cram for college in order to make something of himself. Nick has other ideas. He hates all this word study and he hates that his dad is always carping on him.

Nick is going to have to make some grown up decisions. If he wants to continue  to compete in soccer, his father insists that Nick read and  study. Lucky for Nick he has a best friend who shares his enthusiasm for soccer.

One thing I loved about Booked is the compassionate and COOL librarian who leads Nick to great reads and gives him advice. Kwame Alexander gives a  shout out to YA title Rhyme Schemer, when the Mac (Nick's librarian) gives Nick one last book before he tells him goodbye. Mac won't be returning to Nick's school the following year as he is dating fellow teacher Ms. Hardwick and transferring to a new school. I loved the relationship between a teen sports fan and his ex-rapper librarian.

I love the clever placement of words on the soccer ball on the front cover and the larger ball on the back cover.

Recommended for sports fans and fans of books in free verse. Grade 6-up.

978-0544570986  Ages 10-13  316 pages

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas

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