Kwame Alexander

Andersen Press (12+)

9781783447206 (paperback)

It’s 1988 and twelve year old Charlie Bell is mourning the loss of his father and drifting into trouble. He isn’t thrilled when he’s separated from his best (girl) friend and packed off to spend the summer holidays with his Grandparents in another state. Long days of chores interrupted only by basketball games stretch ahead – a game Charlie doesn’t particularly like let alone play. Over the course of a long hot summer and under the tutelage of ornery Grandaddy and cousin Roxie, a gifted player herself, an unexpected talent emerges in ‘Chuck’ on the court, but can he keep to the rules when he’s off it?

This verse novel echoes with the hip hop rhythms and bounce of a basketball game and the free flow of Grandaddy’s favourite jazz to great stylistic effect. The crisp poetry works sparingly to portray a family coming together and to terms with grief sensitively and poignantly, lightened by some great one liners along the way. Although a prequel, Rebound works perfectly as a standalone, with graphic novel inserts reflecting Charlie’s love of comics and innermost desires. Readers will be gripped and ultimately uplifted by this affirming tale; “aim high, reach for the sky, take your piece of this world, and make it into something sweet.”


Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, public speaker, performer, and winner of the Newbery Medal for his novel-in-verse, The Crossover. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than five hundred students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area.

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