He Said, She Said

Kwame Alexander. HarperCollins/Amistad, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-211896-7
As the title suggests, Alexander’s (Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band) first book for teens jumps between the narratives of two teens who don’t see eye to eye: star quarterback Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls and Harvard-bound student activist Claudia Clarke. Omar is getting plenty of action, on and off the field, and he bets his friends that he can sleep with Claudia within a month (“Trust me, cuz, it’ll never happen,” says one of his friends. “She’s Oprah. You’re Flavor Flav”). Omar is shot down time and again, but he sees an opening when the school board cuts arts funding, aligning himself with Claudia’s mission to overturn the board’s decision. Claudia sees right through him (“Yeah, I’ll just string Mr. Football along until the protest gets some legs. Then I’ll cut him loose like the stray dawg that he is”), but the teens end up surprising each other as they mobilize a protest. Facebook posts, email exchanges, and articles in the school newspaper provide additional forums for classmates’ verbal sparring. A fiery and funny romance with an undercurrent of social justice and awareness. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 978-0-06-211897-4
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-211899-8
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-211898-1
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