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Bullet Point Paperback – April 27, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Budget cuts spell death for sports programs at East Canton High so Wyatt, a sophomore on the varsity baseball team, is encouraged to move to Silver City to play ball and continue his chances at a college scholarship. Even though a technicality dashes his hopes to join the team, he's at loggerheads with his stepfather and, after a particularly dangerous blowup, decides to move anyway. In Silver City, he realizes that he is now living in the prison town where the biological father he's never met is serving life for murder. Meanwhile, he meets 19-year-old impulsive Greer, whose father is also in prison. Curious to know the circumstances involving Wyatt's father's incarceration, they investigate in the hope that Sonny is innocent. Told in a rapid-fire style, this novel aims at dimension but comes up a little shallow. Too many coincidences render some characters mere plot devices, and Wyatt often comes to emotional understanding too quickly, as when he first meets his father or deals with a confusing girlfriend. That being said, the book will be an easy sell to teens, who will want to keep reading to unravel the mystery surrounding Sonny. With descriptions of foreclosed properties and tough economic realities peppered liberally throughout, along with strong language and sexual situations, this title is as gritty and raw as today's headlines.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s common enough to call a book a page-turner, but here’s one that should’ve been printed on a scroll—those pesky page turns take far too much time. With an engulfing plot, multifaceted characters, and a plausibility rare to the genre, Abrahams’ latest beats you senseless and leaves you for dead. Great, huh? When a budget crunch squeezes out his school’s baseball program, 16-year-old Wyatt moves across the state to take advantage of another school’s team. It’s there that he meets Greer—a few years older, beautiful, and equipped with wildly fluctuating mood swings. The frequent arguments between the two are the book’s heart, skipping fluently and believably between impatience, attraction, desperation, and hope. Like almost all characters in the book, Greer’s good/bad status is perpetually in doubt, especially when her incarcerated dad helps arrange a meeting between Wyatt and his biological father, who also resides in the local prison. When Wyatt begins to suspect his father’s innocence, he gets curious—and in trouble. Edgier and sexier than most YA novels dare, Abrahams’ thriller wrenches guts with a Richard Price–like facility. Readers will be as irretrievably drawn in as Wyatt. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Abrahams - "criminally gifted" according to the New York Times Book Review - is the author of 27 novels. These include the New York Times bestselling Echo Falls mystery series for middle-graders (DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INTO THE DARK) and REALITY CHECK (2009) for teens. Among his adult books are OBLIVION (Shamus prize finalist), THE FAN (made into a movie with Robert DeNiro) and LIGHTS OUT (Edgar award finalist). DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE was a finalist for the Edgar best young adult mystery award and won the Agatha in the same category. BEHIND THE CURTAIN and INTO THE DARK were Agatha finalists. In her Cleveland Plain Dealer review of NERVE DAMAGE (2007), Michelle Ross wrote: "I swear, if one more literary person says in that oh-so-condescendng tone, 'Oh, I don't read ... mysteries,' I'm going to take a novel by Peter Abrahams and smack him on his smug little head." REALITY CHECK won the best young adult mystery Edgar award in 2010. ROBBIE FORESTER AND THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD STREET, January 2012, is first in a new middle-grade series about a twelve-year-old Robin Hood in contemporary Brooklyn.
As Spencer Quinn, Abrahams also writes the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series: DOG ON it, THEREBY HANGS A TAIL, TO FETCH A THIEF, and THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. He has a website - peterabrahams.com; and so does Chet - chetthedog.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I went into this expecting a mystery; a pretty standard whodunnit. In fact, this book does not seem to be much of a mystery at all. It is a very good book though, no matter what category you put it in. In many ways, it's a coming of age tale for Wyatt, a 16 year old boy living in a town suffering from the effects of the economy. Wyatt lives for baseball, and when his school gets rid of it because of the budget, Wyatt moves to a nearby town for a fresh start and to get away from his abusive step-father.

It's after his move that Wyatt gets in contact with Sonny, his biological father, currently serving a life term in prison for murder. He also meets Greer, a girl with a shady past and her own set of father issues. It's then that Wyatt goes on a "quest" to determine if his father is really innocent, and if his girl friend is innocent as well. Wyatt's steadfast determination to view the world as black and white in the face of all the gray areas now confronting him formed the basis of his character and the main appeal of this book.

The author has told a good story here, pretty unique in YA fiction. His characters are 100 percent believable. He has created a sense of foreboding that runs throughout the book and it's that sense of dread as well as the compelling characters that keep the pages turning. There's no real action in the book until the very end, but the suspense runs deep. Read this book for the relationships - the dialogue between Wyatt and Greer is perfect. I won't speak to the ending except to say that even though I was expecting something drastic, I wasn't expecting that.

A warning to parents: this book is a good read for older teens and adults.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE Peter Abrahams books. So I've resisted criticizing this one. But to judge Bullet Point as good as earlier works would do great injustice to them. (For example, the Echo Falls series which are wonderful.)

Bullet Point starts strong: a normal kid, Wyatt, almost 17, is thrown by circumstance into unfamiliar situations. As usual, Abrahams does a great job of capturing the relationships among people.

The plot suddenly speeds up when an "older" woman (19), who Wyatt meets by chance, occasions the putting of him in touch with his biological father who is serving a life sentence.

Was Wyatt's dad guilty of the crime he's accepted punishment for? The story moves along OK as Wyatt unravels what happened 17 years ago, before he was born.

Why I judge the book less than Abrahams best is twofold.

The real "bad guys" appear at the end without enough set up early in the plot.

Mr. Abrahams way of dealing with the separation of Wyatt from his "older" woman didn't make sense given the profiles he'd established for the characters.

For new readers of Abrahams, don't judge him by this book. He has many many other ones without the flaws I saw in this one.
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Format: Paperback
A murder mystery set years after the suspect begins serving a life sentence, Bullet Point thrusts forth many questions and theories, engaging the reader early on. Wyatt has never known his biological father. In fact, until things start being churned up, Wyatt has rarely asked questions and doesn't even know which prison houses his lifer dad. Watching Wyatt face a series of unexpected and difficult situations, this book is a study in character development as much as it is a thrill ride. This is definitely a page turner, amping up the suspense.

Wyatt starts out as a strong main character, a mostly average teenage boy living in a town that's going nowhere. His main shining hope is baseball, particularly since his grades are nothing stunning. As the plot progresses, however, Wyatt's innate cleverness and reasoning skills become both evident and honed. He learns plenty of new things about himself and grows exponentially in both his maturity, his interactions with people and in the way he views the world around him. There is a very obvious shift in his overall frame of mine, pushing him from a high school kid to someone who has seen things others go through their entire lives without ever facing. The effect it has on him is striking and brought forth, leading to a very memorable ending.

Greer is snarky and independent, adding spark to both Wyatt's world and the plot itself. She is difficult to explain without giving too much away of the plot but she plays a central role in both Wyatt's personal development and that of the plot. She is a very memorable character even if moody, rapidly shifting in her reactions and emotions.
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Format: Paperback
Life for Wyatt and his friend, Dub, revolves around baseball. Well, it used to anyway. When the coach announces that baseball is being cut from the extracurricular schedule due to lack of funding, both boys are furious. Just when they are about to earn their spots in the varsity lineup, the program is yanked.

When Wyatt finds out there might be a way to play ball somewhere else, he jumps at the chance. Dub is going to live with his aunt in another more financially sound school district, and Wyatt is welcome to come along. Not only will he get a chance to play baseball, but he'll also be getting out of the house and away from his unpleasant step-dad, Rusty. Although he'll miss his mother and his little step-sister, he's all in favor of the move.

Just when it looks like his luck has changed, Wyatt learns that his new school only allows one transfer student on each athletic team per year. Dub's transfer was arranged first so he gets the spot. Wyatt's friend urges him to make the move anyway so he might have a chance to play next year.

The new school isn't bad and an added bonus is meeting a slightly older, quite attractive girl named Greer. She and Wyatt hit it off right away. It doesn't take long for Wyatt to discover an amazing coincidence. Greer's father is an inmate at the state correctional facility in the area, and he knows Wyatt's biological father, who is an inmate in the same prison. All Wyatt's ever been told is that just before he was born, his father and several acquaintances got the bright idea to rob a couple of drug dealers. There was gunfire exchanged when they broke into the house, killing a young woman and critically injuring her baby girl. Now, Wyatt is faced with a chance to meet the man he has only known by name and reputation.
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