The Crossover

by

Kwame Alexander

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Crossover can help.
Josh and JB's mom; she's the assistant principal at their middle school. Mom is a fun, supportive, and loving parent. She encourages the boys to play basketball, gives hard-hitting pep talks when necessary, and supports them in academics. Josh eventually realizes that Mom also does her best to control Dad's diet, as she's aware that the boys’ grandfather died of a stroke caused by hypertension and knows that Dad also suffers from the disease. This begins with simply trying to control where her family eats out, but as Dad starts to experience more symptoms that something is wrong, she cuts fried food out of the family's dinner lineup in favor of veggie-heavy offerings. Both Mom and Dad do what they can to encourage Josh and JB in individual pursuits, and Mom in particular tries to impress upon Josh that he and JB are individuals, not the same person. Though she and Dad fight often about his health and his unwillingness to see a doctor, they're still very much in love and, as far as Josh can tell, have sex regularly. Mom does her best to make sure that Josh and JB don't worry too much after Dad is hospitalized for a heart attack, and she doesn't try to stop Josh from playing in the final championship game.

Mom Quotes in The Crossover

The The Crossover quotes below are all either spoken by Mom or refer to Mom. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Crossover published in 2014.
First Quarter Quotes

And while Dad is telling us another story
for the hundredth time, Mom removes the salt
from the table and JB goes to the buffet.
He brings back three packages
of duck sauce and a cup of wonton soup
and hands them all to me.
Dad pauses, and Mom looks at JB.
That was random, she says.
What, isn't that what you wanted, Filthy? JB asks.
And even though I never opened my mouth,
I say, Thanks,
because
it is.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), JB (speaker), Mom (speaker), Dad
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Second Quarter Quotes

On the way home
Dad asks if we should stop
at Pollard's.
I tell him I'm not hungry,
plus I have a lot of homework,
even though
I skipped lunch today
and finished my homework
during halftime.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), Dad, Mom
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Third Quarter Quotes

You're twins, not the same person.
But that doesn't mean he has to stop loving me.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), Mom (speaker), JB, Miss Sweet Tea/Alexis
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
Fourth Quarter Quotes

Because the only thing that matters is swish.
Because our backboard is splintered.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), Dad, JB, Mom
Related Symbols: The Backboard
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Crossover LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Crossover PDF

Mom Character Timeline in The Crossover

The timeline below shows where the character Mom appears in The Crossover. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Warm-Up
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...Manigault), but Josh brushes him off by insisting that he's too good for Dad's "pets." Mom tells Josh that Dad is old school, while Josh is "fresh and new." Josh explains... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...first. Josh explains that he wasn't sold on the nickname at first, because everyone, including Mom, made fun of him. However, as Josh got older and got better at basketball, he... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom tells Dad. Mom always makes Dad sit at the very top of the bleachers during... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...was playing, he never lost, had the best moves, and was popular with the ladies. Mom comes up behind Dad and teases him while Josh laughs. (full context)
First Quarter
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...team who can dunk. The gym is loud and filled with parents watching their children. Mom is talking to teachers as Coach calls the team in. He talks to them about... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...and now, there's a bald spot on the side of Josh's head. After the game, Mom is very upset to see Josh's hair and calls it a calamity. She tells Dad... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom doesn't like us eating out. Even though Mom doesn't like it when the family eats... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...insight on how they played. Dad says they did okay, but deems Josh's crossover lazy. Mom takes the salt off the table and JB goes to the buffet. He gives three... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
The inside of Mom and Dad's bedroom closet. Mom and Dad's closet is off limits. JB often asks Josh... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...a person jumps a lot. Josh uses it in a sentence and says that in Mom and Dad's closet, he and JB discovered that Dad has patellar tendinitis, which is known... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...bursts out that they'll win if Josh starts making free throws, nobody likes doctors, and Mom told Dad he can't eat foods with salt. Josh asks JB if he wants to... (full context)
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...dribbles all the way to the top of the court, but before he can shoot, Mom yells for Josh to come clean his room. (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...(Again). Dad bites into his third donut and, when JB asks if it's true that Mom banned donuts, Dad says that Mom will never know. He praises the boys' performance in... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Dad reminisces about how, when Josh and JB were two, he taught them to play. Mom thought he was crazy. Then, when the boys were three, he took them to the... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
Having a mother. Josh is grateful when Mom rescues him from free-throw practice. His arms feel heavy by then, as he's attempted 36... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom shouts. Josh listens to his parents fight. Mom wants Dad to see the doctor for... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
...also known as high blood pressure. Josh uses it in a sentence and says that Mom tries to keep Dad from eating salt, as too much salt can cause hypertension. In... (full context)
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...explains that every year, Grandma cooks dinner, but this year, she fell and couldn't cook. Mom's brother, Uncle Bob, fancies himself a chef since he watches Food TV. He decides to... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Bad News. Josh sits in Mom's office and reads about the Air Force and the Marines. Mom is busy for an... (full context)
Second Quarter
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...the ref that a kid on the other team was traveling (moving with the ball). Mom isn't at the game, so Dad spends his entire evening yelling at the officials. (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Mom calls me into the kitchen. After the game, Mom asks Josh to come into the... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom fixes Josh with a look when he tries to leave the table and tells him... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...He feels like he's winning in lots of places, and to make things even better Mom is away at a conference, which means that the assistant principal is gone as well.... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...of the U.S. economy was greedy bankers and housing gamblers. Josh is also afraid that Mom will reach her tipping point and ban basketball if he and JB get Cs on... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...doctors and ended up dead at age 45. When Josh points out that, according to Mom, his grandfather was really sick, Dad rolls his eyes. Josh tells Dad that just because... (full context)
Third Quarter
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
After. As the Bell family drives home from the hospital, the car is silent. Mom and Dad are serious, while JB leans his bandaged face against the window. Even though... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Suspension. Mom tells Josh to sit down, asks if he'd like a sandwich, and offers him orange... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
Mom insists that's not acceptable and reminds Josh that he'll need to apologize to JB. Then,... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
The Nosebleed Section. Josh sits with Mom and Dad in the top row of the bleachers. He thinks that they're in the... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...watches JB and his opponent eye each other and wants to go help Dad, but Mom shoots Josh a piercing look and he stays put. Mom and Coach try to calm... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
The next morning. At breakfast the next day, Mom tells Dad to call the doctor or else. Dad apologizes to his family for losing... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...is around. The team has also thanked JB profusely for leading them to the playoffs. Mom also said that Dad's blood pressure during the game was so high, his anger at... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and the team needs him. JB answers the Jeopardy question as he rolls his eyes. Mom points out that she cares about Josh's behavior, not his grades as Dad tries to... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
No Pizza and Fries. Josh thinks that Mom is cruel for packing him a spinach and tofu salad. However, the salad isn't as... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...need to work since he made so much money playing as a young man, and Mom thinks he should take it easy. Calling Josh "Filthy," Dad says he needs to get... (full context)
Identity and Language Theme Icon
Josh tells Dad that since it means so much to him, he'll ask Mom about the job on Dad's behalf. He does point out that Mom is really worried.... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Behind Closed Doors. Mom yells that she and Dad decided that he wouldn't play basketball. She won't listen when... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...who stole my brother." Maddeningly, when she comes for dinner, she asks for seconds of Mom's veggie lasagna. To make matters worse, JB even asks for more salad. JB is more... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Dishes. When Josh is finished cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, Mom comes in. Josh asks when Dad has his appointment with the doctor and when Mom... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...the team onto the court. As the game starts, Josh looks up and notices that Mom and Dad aren't in the bleachers. He turns back to the court and meets JB's... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Text Messages from Mom, Part One. Around 7 pm, Mom texts Josh to say that she and Dad went... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...test. In an aside, he asks the reader to not say the word "standards" around Mom, as she thinks they're silly. After the game, Josh studies all his vocabulary words and... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...head, so Coach tells Josh to fix things fast. He also tells Josh to give Mom something nice for Christmas; she's agreed to let Josh back on the team if they... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
School's Out. On the last day of school before winter break, Mom works late so Dad picks up Josh and JB. The boys still aren't talking, but... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
The Phone Rings. Josh answers the phone since Mom is decorating the tree and Dad is outside shooting free throws. Miss Sweet Tea asks... (full context)
Fourth Quarter
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...be fine; they'll be fishing again soon. Josh petulantly says they don't fish, which makes Mom gives Josh a look. Then, the doctor tells Mom that the myocardial infarction has caused... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
On Christmas Eve. Dad wakes up. He smiles at Mom, gives JB a high five, and then looks Josh in the eye. He says he... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...The Bell family celebrates Christmas in Dad's hospital room with relatives from five different states. Mom sings and Dad plays cards with his brothers. Uncle Bob's turkey and pound cake are... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...boys he wants them to always be there for each other. JB starts crying, so Mom takes him for a walk. Josh and Dad stare at each other in silence for... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
As we're about to leave for the final game. Mom's phone rings and she shrieks. She runs past the boys' room and when JB asks,... (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...to sit down. Instead, Josh goes to the locker room to check his texts from Mom. (full context)
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Text Messages from Mom, Part Two. Mom texts Josh and says that Dad is having complications, but he'll pull... (full context)
Overtime
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...and was the captain of a winning team in Italy. He's survived by his wife (Mom) and his twin sons, Josh and JB. The boys recently won their first county championship.... (full context)
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...to Dad's teammates tell funny stories and thinks that the choir's songs almost cover up Mom's sobs. Mom refuses to look in the coffin. Dad is gone "like the end of... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...Bells' house. Josh steps outside and listens to John Coltrane and Jay-Z coming from inside. Mom smiles and asks Josh to pick up the ringing phone. It's Miss Sweet Tea, whom... (full context)
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
Josh heads back outside. On his way out, Mom kisses him and gives him a piece of sweet potato pie. She also asks where... (full context)