PUBLISHED: April 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