Alexander, K. (2014). Crossover. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Crossover is the story of a close-nit African American family, the Bell family, set in a contemporary time period. Josh and JB are almost 13 years old and are the sons of a famous, professional basketball player and the school’s assistant principal. When the reader first encounters the twins, they are deep into a school year and a serious basketball season. Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell struggles at first with his brother getting a girlfriend then the more serious issue of his father’s death at the end of the story. His interesting and poetic style adds depth to the story through his use of many different types of literary elements.
Style and Culture-
The most obvious and important evaluative criteria in this story are style and culture. The story is written in poetic verse, and this style adds substance for the reader rather than confusion. JB, the narrator, mixes different types of figurative language, (similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, hyperboles, etc.) to enhance the story line. Culture is also important in this story as it centers around a modern day, African American family. The reader can pick up on the subtle hints at cultural issues such as when the father is pulled over on the way to the basketball game and Josh’s references to his hairstyle of choice.