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The Crossover Book Talk
Transcript of The Crossover Book Talk
How Could this fit in a Classroom?
This book could be used during a poetry unit...Josh writes raps, which is sometimes a form of poetry.
In this game of life
your family is the court
and the ball is your heart.
No matter how good you are,
no matter how down you get,
on the court.(Alexander 2014)
Basketball Rule #1
Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are basketball stars at their middle school, where their mother is the assistant principal. Their dad, who used to play basketball professionally, taught them everything that they know, even his famous crossover technique.
When Jordan gets a girlfriend, Josh begins to feel left behind; he and his twin have always done nearly everything together, and for the first time, Jordan is doing things without him.
When Josh and Jordan's father gets sick, Josh feels even worse; now not only does he not have his best friend/brother, but now he doesn't even have his dad to help him practice with his basketball.
This book is a series of raps that describe Josh's struggle with his changing family.
My thoughts on the book
This book took me a while to get into; for the first part or two I took an efferent stance, reading only to finish.
By the time I made it halfway into the book, I was hooked; I started to take an aesthetic stance, connecting deeply with Josh's emotions.
The book hit me really hard at the end, because what Josh and his family went through was very relatable to me; I have experienced the same thing at least twice in my own life, and reading it was almost like re-living it again.
Context clues in the story lead the reader to believe that Josh and Jordan's family are black/African-American, but it is never directly said.
It gives the reader a glimpse of African-American culture through a story that has nothing to do with the family's ethnicity.
The events that happen to Josh, Jordan and their family are not specific to their race or culture, but Josh's descriptions of them and how he and his brother deal with them are influenced by their culture and can be used both to show the reader a way to deal with family struggles and to give them insight to another culture (assuming they have a different one than Josh and Jordan)
For a reader who is African-American, it can make the book more relatable and therefore more interesting to them.
Poetry is a unit that students sometimes have trouble getting interested in, and this book would give students more than just random, unconnected poems to study.
Standards (Fifth Grade Standards)
CC.RL.5.10: By the end of the year, and comprehend literature, including stories, drama,s, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently
CC.RF.5.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
a. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
b. Read grade level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
c.Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
-Flip through the book and find a quote that stands out to you.
-Create an illustration/sketch that shows how or why you think that quote might be important to the book.
Based on what we've discussed so far, can you think of any other way you could teach this book besides poetry?
Small Side Note About the Book...
-I like that the poems are arranged differently on each page, depending on how Kwame Alexander wants you to react. (Ex: pg. 94)
Basketball Rule #10
A loss is inevitable,
like snow in winter.
the storm. (Alaxander 2014)