PUBLISHED: April 5, 2016
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…
Nick Hall lives and breathes soccer. But when he’s sidelined by an injury, his word-loving father takes the opportunity to try to instill a love of reading into his reluctant son. Nick’s mother leaves for a job out of state, he and his best friend hit the skids, he’s dealing with a bully, and on top of all of that, he has to navigate the highs and lows of a first crush.
With an impressive array of poetry styles—free verse, acrostics, haiku—and the pacing of a soccer match—at times leisurely and thoughtful, at others frenetic and heart-stopping— Booked (HMH BYR: April 5, 2016) is both poetry for Lionel Messi fanatics and a sports novel for those more likely to memorize a sonnet than kick a soccer ball. But what it is—at its rhythmic, loving heart—is a novel about a father and son, family and friendship, and the true power that words can have on and off the page.
“A satisfying, winning read.”
—Kirkus, starred review
“Booked ’s pages will be turned swiftly and enthusiastically."
—Horn Book, STARRED review
“Middle-school readers and their advocates will surely love Alexander’s joyous word play and celebration of reading."
—Booklist, STARRED review