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Author: Alexander, Kwame
Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon 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.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 181133
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 67770
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/16)
Booklist (+) (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/16)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2016 *Starred Review* Nick doesn’t think he is extraordinary, but it is true that he and his best friend, Coby, are stupendous soccer players. In addition, Nick’s dad has written a dictionary, which means that Nick has a vocabulary that stupefies ordinary 12-year-olds. And there’s the fact that the lovely April seems to like him. Abruptly, however, Nick’s life crumbles when his mom announces she is leaving home to take a job in Kentucky, and a ruptured appendix lands Nick in the hospital, keeping him from playing in a prestigious soccer tournament. It sucks. Alexander treats readers to the same blend of poetry, humor, and insight that graced his Newbery-winning The Crossover (2014), enhanced with a thrilling literary zest. Mr. Mac, the school librarian, is a former rapper who, after undergoing brain surgery, joyfully embraced his true calling peddling books to middle-school students. Book after wonderful book is suggested to smart but reading-averse Nick. It’s not a small thing to incorporate big issues like bullying and divorce into eminently readable free verse that connects boys, sports, and reading. While some may find Mr. Mac’s passion a bit overwhelming (while others may find it simply delightful), middle-school readers and their advocates will surely love Alexander’s joyous wordplay and celebration of reading.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Newbery winner and New York Times best-seller? Alexander’s latest will surely have a lengthy waiting list. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.