Nicholas Hall lives and breathes soccer. It’s all he ever dreams about: in class, on the field, and at home. He shares this dream with his best friend Coby, who is Singaporean and Ghanaian and possesses the same passion. Nick lives in the city with his Mom, a former horse trainer, and Dad, a professor that studies linguistics. Nick is your average eighth grader, he attends Langston Hughes Middle School, takes etiquette classes, plays soccer, and has a crush on a girl named April.
The main conflict of this book begins when Nicks’ mother tells him that not only has she landed a job in Kentucky to train horses, but she and his dad are separating. This is where Nick’s character arc comes into focus as he confronts the sudden confusion and anger he feels.
I must say, of all the books I’ve read over the past few months, this book rates as one of my favorites. It has also motivated me to read more books. As a person who writes poetry, I was attracted to this book like a magnet. The author uses a combination of free verse and rhyme to both take you into Nicks’ mind as well as introduce surprise throughout the story. Although the poems are rapid fire they provide insight into Nick’s humor. This book had me laughing out loud.
A unique feature of this book are the words and definitions found at the bottom of the pages. This is helpful for kids; teaching them new vocabulary which could grow their love for reading. Maybe they’ll even develop a love for words and want to become a linguist as well *wink wink*.
Not only does this book use sports and intriguing vocabulary to capture kids attention, but it also places a spotlight on issues important to teens. BOOKED allows teens to voice their confusion as well as contemplate how best to solve problems on their own. A part of growing up is learning how to deal with problems as they arrive and not being overwhelmed by them.
Overall, Nick is a very smart and talented boy, capable of being successful no matter what problems come his way. He initially loses that sense of himself when he is faced with adversity. His perseverance is a good message for kids. Parents who also read this book may learn how to better help their child as he/she works through difficult issues. BOOKED is not just a book about soccer, but it has strong themes of family, friendship, and love…making BOOKED a great present around this time of the year.
Kyndell Toler-Masdeu is a 2nd year college student who spends her free time watching YouTube channels, reading, laughing with friends, and writing. She is an English major, who aspires to a career that takes her creativity and art to the next level. In her senior year of high school she won two poetry contests, earning a ‘Silver Key in Poetry’ from the 2016 Scholastic Writing awards and having a poem published in the Creative Communications book of Spring 2016. She has had a fascination with words since she was a baby, and actively writes poetry and short stories in her free time.