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Publisher's Summary

In this middle grade novel-in-verse by the Newbery Medal-winning and Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author of The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage as 12-year-old Nick learns the power of words when he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate, Coby; and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.

This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!

©2016 Kwame Alexander (P)2016 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Author Kwame Alexander ( The Crossover) brings a natural energy to his reading..." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Booked

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, disappointed in narration

I was so excited when I saw that the author was the narrator of the story. I struggled though, with the fact that the author / narrator didn't seem to change voices at all for different characters and it made it very confusing at times when listening to dialogue. I also felt many times like the author was reading a script he had not read before versus the book that he wrote himself. It is a great story though, but I think it would have been better if I read the actual book instead of listening to the audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

This book was beyond amazing. 😁
EVERYONE MUST READ IT!!! Oh my gosh it was so amazing

1 person found this helpful

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I like the audio versions of novels in verse.

I have grown to enjoy novels in verse. Kwame Alexander has been the author of most of them, but also the memoir in verse Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I need to seek out some other authors. I mostly listen to these as audiobooks because hearing them read rightly feels like the most authentic choice. But I also try to read enough of them in print to get a sense of the poetic style. I likely should fully read them in print and fully listen to them because there are often hidden aspects of the verse in the print layout. And their audio often has a better orientation to the intention of the author's writing than what I would do for myself.

My wife is teaching a unit on figurative language to 5th graders right now, and she is using the lyrics of songs from Encanto. The students know all the songs, and they can analyze the lyrics differently than they would if they were coming at poetry without any history. At the same time, our understanding of the lyrics is influenced by the movie's visuals. She told me last night that there were multiple arguments about whether one line or another was figurative or literal or hyperbolic or some other characteristic. She would have to bracket the conversations by asking whether the line abstracted from the movie is an idiom or tends to be used in a hyperbolic way, and then ask, "Was there actually any clouds in the sky? Then he said there were no clouds in the sky?" The artists were often very literal in their representation of the lyrics, likely more literal than Lin Manuel Miranda may have intended.

I bring this up because one of the complaints I have heard is that either kids are not interested in poetry or cannot really understand the lyrical depth of poetry. Anyone that had been a teen pouring over lyrics trying to understand exactly what they were saying and what it means knows that this isn't true. Kids do get poetry, or at least they can get poetry if taught well, and it is interesting for them.

Like many of these novels in verse, there are a lot of pages, but the audio is pretty short. This one was 326 pages but only 2 hours and 36 minutes in audiobook. Which shows how much space is on the page. That sparseness is part of what I like. There is often a density to the lines that says more than one thing at a time. That being said, Kwame Alexander is writing this as a middle-grade book to get boys more interested in reading. So you must come into the book expecting a middle-grade novel.

Nick is an eighth-grader who loves soccer. He and his best friend Coby excel at soccer, but their whole lives are not consumed by it. Nick's father is a professor who has written a dictionary of unique words, and part of what Nick hates about the world is that he has to read a few pages every night. He learns despite himself, but he resents the obligation. Nick's mom is a horse trainer who has been unemployed since they moved into the city for his Dad's job. While his Dad may require him to read, his mom requires him to go to an etiquette class, which Nick also resents, but at least it has April, Nick's crush.

April thinks his father is cool because her book club read his dictionary. And eventually, she thinks his mother is cool because she is so good with horses. Nick (and April) come to find that their own families may be more interesting than what they had previously understood.

There is also a librarian who used to be a rap producer that all the kids love. And there are two bullies, a health crisis, and the potential of his parent's divorce. But, as an adult, my largest complaint about most middle-grade books is that they are not in-depth enough. I want more length and plot. But this is the right length for the target audience, and the plot doesn't feel too thin.

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Too much rhythm.

This book was much slower than the first, Crossover. The audible version by the narrator was a lot more “sing song”, yet monotone.

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nice

mmm yes very good book mmm yes good very good yes but yes much good

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Best

This book was great, I read it because Kwame Alexander is my favorite author.

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  • LL
  • 04-25-19

This book is great!

I teach 6th grade in Texas and my students as well as myself enjoyed this book! Hopefully, there will be a sequel to "Booked." The author writes in a way that catches you from the start. May God continue to bless you and your writing, Mr. Alexander.


Blessings,
L. Lewis

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Awesome!

My 9-year old son introduced me to this book! He got it from the school library and couldn't put it down! He suggested that we got the audible version so I obliged! Awesome book!

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What is in the Dragonfly box?

enjoyable teen fiction, you can't go wrong with Kwame Alexander to catch the issues of a young teenage boy. I still wonder what is in the dragonfly box. I guess you will just have to listen and make up your own mind. I have also listened to the crossover and will listen to his new book solo as soon as it comes out. I like that Nick actually struggles with life as most teenagers do but he does figure it out in the end.

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a solid book

it had a slow start but the book turned out interesting as the story progressed