Kwame Alexander

Pages: 314
sport, friendship, love of reading, relationships


Eighth grader Nick, a devoted soccer player and fan, enjoys some friendly competition with his best friend, Coby. What Nick doesn't like is words-neither the ones in the dictionary that his linguistics professor father wrote (and is making him read) nor the ones he learns in his honors English class. But the school's quirky rapping librarian, Mr. Mac, helps Nick discover both a love of reading and a way to connect with the girl of his dreams. Alexander skillfully juggles verse styles to realistically capture Nick's humor and smarts (showcased in witty footnoted definitions of words like "cachinnate" and "mewling"), passion for soccer, and vulnerability when being bullied, having surgery, or facing his parents' troubled marriage.