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About Kwame Alexander
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times Bestselling author of 35 books, including BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI (co-authored with James Patterson), SOLO, REBOUND, which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book, THE UNDEFEATED, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and, his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, THE CROSSOVER. A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. Kwame is the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time.
Kwame's most recent book is LIGHT FOR THE WORLD TO SEE: A THOUSAND WORDS ON RACE AND HOPE. Find out more info on Kwame and where he'll be at www.KwameAlexander.com.
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Books By Kwame Alexander
A million copies sold
‘With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .
The court is SIZZLING.
My sweat is DRIZZLING.
Stop all that quivering.
Cuz tonight I'm delivering’
12-year-old Josh and his twin Jordan have basketball in their blood. They’re kings of the court, star players for their school team. Their father used to be a champion player and they each want nothing more than to follow in his footsteps.
Both on and off the court, there is conflict and hardship which will test Josh’s bond with his brother. In this heartfelt novel in verse, the boys find that life doesn’t come with a play-book and it's not all about winning.
Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/can’t nobody cop you…
Twelve-year-old Nick is a football-mad boy who absolutely hates books. In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel The Crossover, football, family, love, and friendship take centre stage as Nick tries to figure out how to navigate his parents’ break-up, stand up to bullies, and impress the girl of his dreams. These challenges – which seem even harder than scoring a tie-breaking, game-winning goal – change his life, as well as his best friend’s. This energetic novel-in-verse by the poet Kwame Alexander captures all the thrills and setbacks, the action and emotion of a World Cup match.
"Will resonate with any kid who's ever felt different—which is to say, every kid." —Time
Great stories take flight in this adventurous middle-grade anthology crafted by ten of the most recognizable and diverse authors writing today. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander delivers a story in-verse about a boy who just might have magical powers; National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson spins a tale of friendship against all odds; and Meg Medina uses wet paint to color in one girl’s world with a short story that inspired her Newbery award-winner Merci Suárez Changes Gear. Plus, seven more bold voices that bring this collection to new heights with tales that challenge, inspire, and celebrate the unique talents within us all.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson
“There’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.” —Booklist, Starred
“A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable.” —School Library Journal, Starred
“Thought provoking and wide-ranging . . . should not be missed.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
“Read more books by these authors.” —The Bulletin, Starred
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL and the CLIPPA
‘Hoop kings SOAR
in kicks with wings.
Game so sweet
it’s like bee stings.’
It's 1988. Charlie Bell is still mourning his father, and struggling to figure out how he feels for his best (girl) friend, CJ. When he gets into trouble one too many times, he's packed off to stay with his grandparents for the summer. There his cousin Roxie introduces him to a whole new world: basketball. A legend on the courts is born. But can Charlie resist when trouble comes knocking once again?
From the New York Times-bestselling author Kwame Alexander, Rebound is a stunning coming-of-age novel in verse about basketball, family and staying true to yourself.
A prequel to The Crossover, winner of the Newbery Medal, and follow-up to Booked, highly commended for the CLiPPA prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
With comic-book illustrations from award-winning graphic novel artist Dawud Anyabwile.
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius' family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve.
Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.
Fully authorized by and written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, and vividly brought to life by Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic artwork, Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag 2020 Readers Awards
'With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. 'Cuz tonight I'm delivering,' raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood – he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it's all on the line.
See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic illustrations as the brothers' winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change.
Dreams are today’s answers for tomorrow’s questions.
Eleven-year-old Kofi Offin has dreams of water, of its urgent whisper that beckons with promises and secrets. He has heard the call on the banks of Upper Kwanta, where he lives. He loves these things above all else: his family, the fireside tales of his father’s father, a girl named Ama, and, of course, swimming. But when the unthinkable – a sudden death – occurs during a festival between rival villages, Kofi ends up in a fight for his life. What happens next will send him on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves. Yet Kofi’s dreams may be the key to his freedom…
A Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree offer a glorious, lyrical ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder.
Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award–winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.
WINNER OF THE CALDECOTT MEDAL, THE CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD, THE KATE GREENAWAY SHADOWER'S CHOICE AWARD AND A NEWBERY HONOR BOOK.
This is for the unforgettable. The unafraid. The undefeated.
From New York Times bestselling-author Kwame Alexander comes this powerful and important ode to black history: the strength and bravery of everyday people and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest artists, athletes, and activists.
With references to lyrics and lines originally shared by our most celebrated heroes, this poem digs into the not-so-distant past to underline the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.
Listen to the powerful poem read by Kwame Alexander himself via an audiolink inside the book.
In this YA novel in verse from bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo), which Kirkus called “lively, moving, and heartfelt” in a starred review, Noah and Walt just want to leave their geek days behind and find “cool,” but in the process discover a lot about first loves, friendship, and embracing life … as well as why Black Lives Matter is so important for all.
Best friends Noah and Walt are far from popular, but Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan that includes wooing the girls of their dreams and becoming amazing athletes. Never mind he and Noah failed to make their baseball team yet again, and Noah’s crush since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. While Walt focuses on his program of jazz, podcasts, batting cages, and a “Hug Life” mentality, Noah feels stuck in status quo … until he stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each one contains words Noah’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his art becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out.
At the same time, American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.
As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really important when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
- is written by New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winner Kwame Alexander
- Features a diverse array of characters and perspectives
- tackles the biggest social issues of today, including racial prejudice and Black Lives Matter
- is perfect reading for the classroom or community-wide discussions
- is a 2020 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
- contains original artwork tied to the story
If you enjoy Swing, check out Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess.
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation's youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018!
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018!