In the fiction novel Rebound, by Kwame Alexander, a boy named Charlie “Chuck” Bell struggles to rebound from a tragedy he experienced during the summer of 1988.
After his dad dies, Charlie is different. He no longer makes jokes and he and his mom fight all the time. Charlie says he hates doctors because they couldn’t save his dad. It’s plain to see that Charlie is overwhelmed by grief.
When his mom sends him to his grandparents’ house for the summer, everything changes. Charlie’s grandfather teaches him how to overcome grief by using basketball metaphors. Charlie’s cousin, Roxie, teaches him how to improve his game, even though Charlie swears he will never play basketball again because it reminds him of his dad, who loved the sport.
Through it all, Charlie learns that although it’s hard, he has to rebound from this hardship.
Like his other books, Kwame Alexander delivered a creative plot that captured me with a lot of really good details. At first, the conflict of the story wasn’t very obvious to me because it was an internal conflict between Charlie and his grief.
Charlie struggles consistently with his grief throughout the story. Whenever Charlie hears sirens, he is brought back to the day an ambulance drove his dad to the hospital, when Charlie was sure his dad would make it out alive. Before I finished the book, I wondered if Charlie would even make it out of his grieving state because of how much his dad’s death had impacted him.
I highly recommend the book Rebound. It’s written in verse for readers who enjoy shorter stories. Readers who loved some of the author’s other books will enjoy this one as well. Rebound is actually a spin-off of Alexander’s Newbery Medal-winning book, The Crossover. He also wrote Becoming Muhammad Ali and The Undefeated.
The genre of this story is realistic fiction. Someone who has just experienced a loved one dying may find this story relatable. It’s so amazing to see Charlie gradually bounce back from his pain from the beginning to the end. Finally, it doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’ve been through, I can guarantee that you will love this book.
Four out of four roses!