by Kwame Alexander
AR Level 3.9, 3 points
Booked didn’t look interesting to me, but I ordered it from Scholastic for one of my athletic, book-hating, reluctant reading boys along with The Crossover, which won the Newbery in 2015 (but I haven’t read yet). Then, I opened Booked. I discovered it is written in verse, not paragraph form! It isn’t a boring sports-related novel as I expected, but an exciting novel written in verse about a boy and his struggles, who happens to be a big soccer fan.
Nicholas is about 12 years old, and he lives with his mom and dad. He has a good relationship with his mom, but his dad gets on his nerves when he forces Nick to read the dictionary he personally wrote, full of interesting words, which Nick learns, resentfully. Nick also has a crush on a girl named April, and he has a best friend named Coby. Nick and Coby are typical pre-teen, soccer-obsessed boys who like girls and hate school. However, when Nick learns his parents are separating and he gets bullied at school, his life starts to fall apart and he has to rely on soccer and hope to get him through a tough year.
What I liked about this book was a few things. It was a surprising read for me, because I never expected to like a book about a boy who likes sports. Sports aren’t my thing, but soccer in this novel is secondary to Nick’s life events and struggles, which is what I enjoyed reading about. I also liked that his character is intelligent and likable, and I like to think relatable for many of my students. I also really appreciated that it was written in verse by a very talented poet author.
What I didn’t like about this book was that I wanted to know what was up with the Dragonfly box! What was inside of it?!
Book 5 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)