By Kwame Alexander
Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2016. Fiction.
Tweleve-year old Nick loves playing soccer and hates reading - especially when he's forced to read his dad's big dictionary of weird words. Nick would much rather daydream about soccer, his big upcoming tournament, and April - the girl he likes. As Nick's life begins to unravel, though, he starts to appreciate the power that the books and words around him can hold while he faces changes at home, at school, and on the field.
Booked is a readable and enjoyable, and somewhat more introspective, follow-up to Kwame Alexander's 2015 Newbery Award winner The Crossover. Nick's story is told almost entirely in free verse which makes for a quick read with some of the vivid wordplay readers have come to expect from Alexander. Nick is a clever and very bright central character, and logophiles will love his malapropisms and the interesting vocabulary words he introduces. This book is getting a bit of deserved Newbery buzz itself as a good read for book or soccer lovers.