Download The Crossover Audiobook

The Crossover Audiobook, by Kwame Alexander Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kwame Alexander Narrator: Corey Allen Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Crossover Series Release Date: July 2014 ISBN: 9781490626970
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“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks … The court is sizzling. My sweat is drizzling. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, twelve-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood; he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle-grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize that breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game changer for the entire family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kwame Alexander’s beautifully measured novel…is written in verse, but have no fear: Here, poetry is in service to the interior and exterior worlds of Josh, who plays forward to JB’s shooting guard…Basketball is the novel’s red-hot engine. It is the glue connecting the sons and source of the wisdom their father passes down…The biggest surprise of The Crossover is that, for all the bells and whistles of a young man’s game, it is most boldly and certainly a book about tenderness.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh’s sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worth triumph to profound pain.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Alexander fully captures Josh’s athletic finesse and coming-of-age angst in a mix of free verse and hip-hop poetry that will have broad appeal…This will inspire budding players and poets alike.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

  • “This novel in verse is rich in character and relationships…Poet Alexander deftly reveals the power of the format to pack an emotional punch.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Alexander’s lyrical free verse and Corey Allen’s musical narration are as magical a combination as this story’s pairing of basketball and poetry. Allen blends rhyming, hip-hop, and jazzy words into a melodic flow. His tones switch like a fast-changing crossover dribble as he narrates from the viewpoint of thirteen-year-old Jordan Bell…Allen maintains the tension throughout the sibling rivalry, athletic competition, and sudden tragedy. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Josh is growing up and crossing over, the hard way. While the story is compelling enough, what makes this verse novel excel is the poetry itself. The language paces the novel. Basketball games are succinctly captured in quick, staccato rhythms; languid free verse makes waiting for his punishment seem endless. Almost every page is an example of this synergy between diction and discourse. This book will appeal to both fans of basketball and fans of poetry. Teachers will love using this book for teaching language usage and vocabulary since much of the chapters are structured as definitions of words in the context of Josh’s story. This quick read is highly recommended.”


  • “Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both.”


  • “Concrete poems that simulate on-court action, the novel’s organization into ‘four quarters’ (plus ‘warm-up’ and ‘overtime’) and a smattering of their father’s ten rules of basketball—as applicable to life as they are to the game—will draw in less avid readers, and the fully-fleshed characters and Josh’s spellbinding wordplay will keep all readers riveted to find out if the brothers can mend the breach in their once iron-clad bond.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • Winner of the 2015 Coretta Scott King Award

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About the Author

Kwame Alexander is a poet, speaker, educator, and bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children. His other works include the novels He Said, She Said and Booked, as well as his nonfiction debut, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. He is the cofounder of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program.

About the Narrator

Corey Allen, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, has been labeled by artistic collaborators as a “journeyman” and “chameleon-like” actor, relentless in his pursuit of truth and transformation in his work. As a voiceover artist, his talents have been heard in sound plays, commercial copy, industrial and documentary films, and many audiobooks. He is based in New York City and is a founding member of Coyote REP. He holds a BA from the University of California–Irvine and an MFA from the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.