REVIEW: Booked by Kwame Alexander

REVIEW: Booked by Kwame Alexander

Booked by Kwame Alexander

I finished this book on January 12. One month later…I am finally writing a review! Honestly, it’s not because I didn’t know what to write-I have SO MUCH to write-it’s because time got away from me. Life took over and I am trying to get back to my reviews. So, what better place to start than with Booked.

This is one of the few books I have read that I had so much to write about. I found so many themes and had so many ideas, so be prepared for a lengthy post. I do hope you read my review, and the book, and I hope you enjoy it!

Here we go. (May contain spoilers)

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…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as 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! – Amazon

Cover Thoughts

The silhouette of a soccer player with a soccer ball that has phrases from the book in it. At first, I am drawn to the simplicity, but not necessarily the sport. I am proceeding with caution.

First Glance

Kwame Alexander does a phenomenal job using text to grab a reader’s attention. Everything he does with text and word choice is done purposefully and well. Crossover had words “falling” that helped you read them like it was a basketball being dribbled down the court. Booked has letters bolded and capitalized somewhat randomly. (or is it random?) He also uses footnotes and excellent vocabulary. I definitely learned new words! Ha!

Mature Content

There are a few words and phrases that are for mature audiences, however rates this book at ages 10 and up. Check out concerns here.


“Who your parents are now is not/who they were or who they/will be. You may not like/them now, but you will.” -The Mac

“The only fight you really have to/ win is the one against the fear.”


There were many meanings for the title, Booked. Here are my thoughts: (spoilers!)

  • His dad’s dictionary
  • Kicked out of a soccer game
  • Not playing in Dallas
  • Parents splitting up
  • Books he has read

Books Within a Book

I love books that show other books some love! Here are some books that are referenced in Booked. I may have missed some!

  • Out of the Dust
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Three Muskateers
  • All the Broken Pieces
  • A Long Walk to Water
  • Peace, Locomotion
  • Heroes of Olympus

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I loved this book. I loved the references to other books. I loved the struggles Nick faced with bullies and how he grew from his struggles. I loved watching him grow through his struggles with his family as well-it was not an easy experience, but it was real. He would be a great character to do a character analysis on. I also loved they different styles of poetry, especially the black out poems! My students are definitely doing that soon!

Booked Word Cloud

As mentioned before, Kwame Alexander used excellent words in this book. I also chose keywords from the book. I have compiled them into a word cloud. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this lengthy review. Thanks for reading!

I am a middle school teacher who loves to read ALL KINDS of books. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew, a co-creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit and the Podcast Read to Write KidLit. Check out my Linktree for more:

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