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The Crossover - Kwame Alexander, Corey Allen

Like father, like son. Filthy is more like his father, than I think he saw himself to be. His father lived and breathed the game of basketball, his wife and family came before the sport but that was about the extent of the items that exceeded his fascination with the game. Being a basketball legend, his father led his twin boys into the court at a small age and disciplined them so that their love for the sport extended into their veins. He is their biggest fan, believing in them and pushing them to be successful. Their mother was not far behind in her love of the game and their children but it was the boys in the family who were consumed by the court, the sweat, the bouncing of the ball and the adrenaline of the game. Filthy McNasty and his twin brother J.B. were both stars on the court; both thirteen and each of them carrying a different talent onto the court making them a valuable asset to their team. Filthy is more devoted to the game though; he’s consumed by it just like his father was. Both individuals so devoted and so blind, like father, like son. J.B’s eyes begin to shift to the likings of Ms. Sweet Tea for his attention to basketball has now been diverted. J.B. realizes there is more to life than basketball and Ms. Sweet Tea starts to play an important role in his daily life. Tension starts to creep into the novel as I listened to it, slowly this shift occurs. J.B. has started to move his attention away from basketball, leaving Filthy alone for once in his life and the anger, frustration and let down you can feel in the language and the power of Filthy’s words. Filthy is not used to being alone, he’s not used to having to share his brother and this change is not welcomed. Dad’s health is deteriorating and why is all of this happening now? Mom’s the anchor in the family, her words are strong and she holds nothing back. She wants the world for them but she knows that they must do it for themselves.   I think one of my favorite parts of this novel was the conversation between Filthy and his father in the hospital. Their question conversation where not one single answer is spoken was superb. The rapid fire questions, fired back-n-forth at each other, let you into the minds of these individuals and what they were really thinking. What a wonderful conversation tool, it really spoke volumes and cleared the air. I wasn’t too impressed with the ending, I don’t know what I would have done differently as an author, I just know as a reader, it didn’t settle right with me.