‘Hoop kings SOAR
in kicks with wings.
Game so sweet
it’s like bee stings.’
(Rebound by Kwame Alexander.)
1988. Charlie Bell is trying to cope with the loss of his Dad, but he finds it difficult to express his emotions. When he gets into trouble following the wrong crowd, Charlie is sent to spend the summer with his grandparents. He is introduced to a routine of hard work, and respect … and basketball.
Charlie is a legend on the court. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to make something of his talent?
Kwame Alexander’s prose poetry novels have been one of my favourite discoveries of 2018. I picked them up at the Andersen blogger event earlier this year, and I haven’t stopped raving about them since. The poetry has a huge emotional depth. Prose poetry proves that one line can say more than a whole chapter.
Charlie Bell is the dad in The Crossover. Rebound is the story of his childhood, and how he came to play basketball. I felt as if I was right there with Charlie, following his ups and downs. He’s not a bad kid but he doesn’t know how to resume life after losing his dad. He would rather bottle his emotions up and isolate himself. This is making him vulnerable to trouble.
Rebound is perfect for people who think they don’t like reading. The second-by-second account of basketball games will prove popular with sports fans, as will Alexander’s sports-based metaphors. Charlie is a relatable protagonist and the book has a strong supporting cast. Some of the poems are told through comic strips, which should engage fans of graphic novels.
The story is a prequel to The Crossover but the two can be read in any order. Having read The Crossover, I loved the extra information this gave us about Charlie Bell’s life, and I found the ending particularly poignant. If I had to recommend a reading order, I would suggest reading The Crossover first.
Another winner from Kwame Alexander. Be warned – buy multiple copies because you will want to share this with everyone.
Thanks to Andersen Press for my copy of Rebound. Opinions my own.