The Crossover. Yep. It won. I had a feeling it was going to win. True story. This is the first time I have ever been this close to calling something. Well, the story takes a few weeks…
Last reflection, I spent time talking about a Silverbirch nominated book by Evan Munday. You can read the blog here. Now when I wrote that blog, I wrote about the fact that Evan Munday was haunting me. And that he works at a local independent book store. I actually bought The Crossover from him. He was behind the counter when I went to pick up my copy of the book I ordered.
Now go back another week when I ordered the book. The person who ordered the book for me, asked me why a lot of people were ordering the book. I said that based on my blog research and the Twitterverse, I believed that it was a contender for the Newbery award.
Then, I read it. And yes, I read it on the subway. At times, I regretted reading it on the subway as I started to get teary eyed and had a lump in my throat.
The boys, Josh and Jordan Bell, and their family become a part of your heart as you read Kwame Alexander‘s energetic text. At times, your heart is in your chest and your breathing so hard, as if you are on the court with the two boys. You are a part of the game from the first verse (yes, the book is written in verse, as is Brown Girl Dreaming).
So, this story has been in my heart for two weeks and I held it close to my chest as I waited with bated breath to hear the words I heard this morning. Today, I was beaming with pride, as if I had written all the books and was so excited I could burst. I emailed fellow teachers, readers, friends and my mother to share my excitement. And my book club readers were excited as they voted on which one of the three books they are going to read together. It’s amazing how books bring us all together.
I can’t wait to share this book with my students at school. These boys should be on every library bookshelf. I will also email my friends, that I didn’t email today, to tell them they should read it too. Especially all my former co-workers at a middle school where the basketball game is a huge part of the culture and lexicon. This is the book that will turn non-readers into readers.
Even though two of the books are memoirs, the book that won the medal, has so much truth on its pages as well.
Thank you Newbery Committee 2015. You had this Brown Girl Dreaming cheering for The Crossover and advocating for the little bunny in El Deafo. Well played team. Well played.
The complete winners list: http://www.ala.org/alsc/2015-alsc-book-media-award-winners