ReboundBy Kwame Alexander
It’s 1988, and 12-year-old Charlie Bell is going through some hard times. His father has passed away, and he doesn’t know how to deal with it. Neither does his mother. When Charlie gets caught stealing, his mother reaches the end of her rope and sends Charlie to his grandparents’ house in Washington D.C. for the summer.
Charlie does not want to go, but at least he has his cousin Roxie. Roxie LOVES basketball and she’s good. Charlie is not so good, and he’s afraid to play. But when Roxie’s teammate gets injured, Charlie is forced into the game. With a bit of practice, he learns that he can play. And after a few more rough times, he learns that playing basketball is a better way to cope with problems than getting into trouble.
As Charlie’s grandfather tells him, “[Life] is a team sport. You can surround yourself with people who don’t play by the rules, or you can surround yourself with those who do. But if you choose wrong, don’t start complaining when the coach takes you out the game.” (p. 374)
Rebound is not your typical novel. It’s written as a series of poems with a bit of graphic novel thrown in. The words flow quickly and easily, and the poems are inspiring. More than once I was brought to tears.