Monday, March 19, 2018

Rebound by Kwame Alexander - ESSENTIAL

Alexander, Kwame Rebound, 414 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. $17. Language: PG (1 swear, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.

In this thrilling prequel to Crossover, 12-year-old Charlie has had a rough year.  He and his dad had been planning this year’s summer vacation, but when dad collapses in the kitchen right in front of Charlie, and the hospital does all they can, but it doesn’t save him, Charlie turns from a sweet boy into an angry teenager.  Mom is having trouble making ends meet, and when Charlie steals from his neighbor’s front porch, that’s the last straw - it’s off to his grandparents for the summer. His cousin Roxie lives nearby, and together they spend time at the Boys and Girls club, where Charlie really starts to get good at basketball. But the pain of his dad’s death is ever present, his grandparents feel it too.  Loss is hard.

The poetic rhythm of the on court action is magical.  But, even more magical are the short comic panels interspersed with Charlie’s dreams of being a super basketball player.  What a terrific addition to an already wonderful book! The rest of the story is full of heart, joy sadness and love. I loved the nostalgia of the skating rink, the arcade and the comic books.  This one will stay with me, I’ve been thinking about it all day.  Charlie is so likeable, his cantankerous grandfather was just like mine.

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL  Lisa Librarian

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