Nick Hall plays football – soccer – and he is good. So is his best mate, Coby. It’s a shame they are on different teams and will have to face each other in the cup match but they still hang out. And there is April – April he is definitely going to ask for a date. Reading does not feature much. But then his life falls apart . Why has his mother left?
Once again Kwame Alexander convincingly enters the mind and the world of the 14-year-old. Nick is the narrator, using blank verse, he comments on each situation, relaying his thoughts and reactions. The result is a lively monologue interspersed with the words of the other members of the cast – his friends, parents and teachers – neatly differentiated by font. This liveliness is enhanced by the variety of rhythms and presentation Alexander employs to create his verse narrative. Nick is a refreshingly normal boy with a refreshingly normal background. Alexander’s skill is to ensure the reader will turn the pages and follow Nick as he negotiates football, friends, family, bullies – and books.