by Kwame Alexander
Houghton Mifflin, 2014. Fiction
Josh and Jordan Bell are middle-school-aged twins who are both basketball proteges. The boys make an unstoppable team on court and are leading their school in a undefeated season. The twins have always been close, until a new girl moves into town. Jordan's growing relationship with the new girl forces a wedge between the brothers. At the same time both boys worry about their father who used to be a pro ball player, but now suffers from health problems. When Josh's hurt feelings lead him to make a bad choice, more than the basketball championship is at risk.
Alexander's fast-moving novel is written in verse. Some sections have the pulsing beat of rap music while others are written in more reflective free verse. It is a great choice to give to a reluctant reader who is a sports fan. This quick read, full of heart and exciting basketball action, well deserves its Newbery medal.