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Staff Reviews

For eighth-grade soccer star Nick Hall, nothing could be more boring than reading a book. When his parents make a shocking announcement, and circumstances on the field leave him unable to play soccer, Nick feels that his life is falling apart. With the encouragement of his school librarian and his crush, however, Nick decides to give reading a try. Could it be that escaping into the right book is exactly what he needs in order to face his current reality? The verse format keeps the pages turning quickly, but a relatable protagonist and wonderful supporting characters make this a book worth savoring.

~ Eight Cousins

— From Holiday Picks 2016


National Book Award Long List
New York Times Bestseller

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...
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544570986
ISBN-10: 0544570987
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English