The Michigan Reads! selection for 2014 was Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, which is a hilarious, rhyming picture book about a music loving rooster who starts his own jazz band.
Portland District Library was very fortunate to be chosen as one the Michigan libraries that the author of Acoustic Rooster, Kwame Alexander, visited.
Of course, it is always exciting to meet an author, but the experience is so much better when you truly admire their work. I loved how Alexander included a glossary of jazz terms in the back of the book. Also, the characters in Acoustic Rooster are based on real Jazz legends: Duck Ellington, Mules Davis, Bee Holiday, and Ella Finchgerald. Not only is the book fun and adorable it perfect for introducing kids to a music genre that they may be unfamiliar with.
Tim Bowers is one of my favorite illustrators and he did a remarkable job of using the real musicians as inspiration for their animal counterparts.
To put it simply, I am over the moon in love with this book!!! Twelve year old twins Josh and Jordan excel at basketball, but life off of the court is not always so easy. The Crossover is so much more than a sport story; it is about growing up, choices, change, and consequences.
Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen, but what makes The Crossover a shining star is the lyrical and soulful text.
Dribbling At the top of the key, I'm MOVING & GROOVING, POPping and ROCKING -- Why you BUMPING? Why you LOCKING? Man, take this THUMPING. Be careful though, 'cause now I'm CRUNKing Criss CROSSING FLOSSING flipping and my dipping will leave you
S L I P P I N G on the floor, while I SWOOP in to the finish with a fierce finger roll . . . Straight in the hole: Swoooooooooooosh.
You can almost hear the the staccato thumping of the ball being dribbled up the court. The rhythm of the text has so much impact and it is also fun to read. The Crossover is a great book for reluctant readers because there is lots of white space on every page and since it is in verse it reads very quickly.
If you are a girl and think The Crossover is just for boys YOU ARE SO WRONG!!! If you think poetry is stupid so a novel in verse must be horrible YOU ARE SO WRONG!!! My 13 year old daughter, Zoe, read The Crossover (because I made her). She was reluctant since it had a basketball player on the cover, but she ended up loving it. Her comment was that it had basketball, but it was so much more than that.
In case I was not clear: You should check out this book, because it rocks!
|Zoe and Kwame|