Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2016 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Kwame Alexander
ISBN: 9780544570986
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Eighth-grader Nick is passionate about playing soccer with and against his best friend Colby. He is not passionate about reading books or school. Despite pressure from his parents to apply himself to his studies, he resists at every turn. While focusing on a tournament to be played in Dallas, Nick also focuses on April, a girl in his class - until his home life comes crashing down when his mother leaves him with his professor dad. His father is the more difficult parent - plus, he can't cook.

The author enters into the thought processes and painful emotions of a young teenager whose parents are divorcing. When Nick is hospitalized, he believes his life has been restored, because his mother returns - but only temporarily.

Within first-person poems, some prose and some rhyming, the author gradually reveals Nick's response to the adults - a teacher, Ms. Hardwick, a librarian, Mr. MacDonald, his parents - who are trying to get him to read. The titles of books, frequently with comments, are woven into the text. The white spaces around the poems make it look inviting and easy to read. The content is stellar.

Kemie Nix   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Look for this product at:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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