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Be a poet on the football pitch with Kwame Alexander

A photo of author of the week, Kwame Alexander.
An image of the book cover for Booked by Kwame Alexander.

Our author of the week is Kwame Alexander

This week's author is Kwame Alexander! With the Euro 2020 tournament well underway, now is the perfect time to get stuck into a footie-themed read. Our free book, Booked, is all about football star Nick, who also has a way with words. It's written in the style of poetry and we think you'll love it.

You can also watch an exclusive video with Kwame Alexander, find out about his favourite children's books and tips to get the most out of reading.

For more football-themed book recommendations and your chance a title of your own, please visit Words for Life.

If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.

And for more reading fun including book recommendations, mini challenges, games and more, why not sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge

Watch the video

Kwame Alexander - Author of the week

Kwame Alexander's recommended reads

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola

This book is a great page-turning adventure and the first in a series.

Nobody Real by Steven Camden

You’ve got to read his verse novels - they’re all really good. This book is his brilliant, most recent one.

The Little Island by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Robert Starling

Smriti’s books are picture books, but of course everyone should read picture books because we can all learn so much from them.

Q&A with Kwame Alexander

If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?

If I could be a storybook character, wow, I might be Anansi’s Spider, or I’d probably be a character from one of my books… like Josh Bell in The Crossover, he’s pretty cool, and smart – no, I’d be Nick Hall in Booked, smart kid, reads the thesaurus, plays soccer – no, football, and is a really cool kid!

What is the best thing about reading?

The best thing about reading is being able to discover new people, places, things and ideas. Just think about the last year and a half. Throughout lockdown we’ve not been able to go anywhere, but I’ve gone to so many places through books! I’ve travelled around the world, and into other galaxies and it’s kept me sane!

What is your all-time favourite book?

My all-time favourite book? It depends on the week – today it’s probably a novel by Carl Hiaasen called Squeeze Me as that’s the book I’m reading. Last week it was a book of poetry by Pablo Naruda. It changes all the time.

What can you do to get better at reading?

It’s sort of like, what can you do to get better at dribbling a basketball – practise. If you dribbled a basketball for five minutes every day for a year, imagine how good you’d be by the end of the year. And it’s the same with reading – try it, try five minutes of reading a day. The only way to get better at reading is reading.