From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7?In Granite Falls, WA, Albert and his four friends, all of whom live in temporary housing while their parents look for permanent homes, buy a tackle box full of baseball cards at a garage sale. They then discover that the contents range in value from pennies to $4,000. After dividing up the less valuable items, the boys are left with the "once-in-a-lifetime" Willie Mays rookie card. None of them wants to sell such a prize, so Albert suggests that they have a "Last Man Club," meaning that the last one to remain in the apartment complex will get the card. Then the boys hide it deep within a cave. Meanwhile, Albert becomes friendly with the gruff, sarcastic P.E. teacher, and discovers that the man's wife has cancer and needs expensive treatment that the couple cannot afford. Albert decides to retrieve the card and give his teacher the money; he becomes trapped in the cave with little hope for rescue, but all ends well. The boys' personalities blend together. Keeping the characters straight is not easy, as their names and nicknames are introduced in the first three pages and used interchangeably. Even so, the plot is unique and moves along at a fairly rapid pace. An adequate choice for patrons looking for a good adventure story that's a little different.?Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-8. It was a great idea, completely fair: form a "last man's" club, and the boy who ends up being the last living in the neighborhood receives the invaluable treasure, a Willie Mays rookie baseball card worth at least $3,800. Albert (Alibi for short), Nick, Mike, Joey, and Lester all have different reasons for wanting to be the last man, but none of the reasons are more compelling than Albert's. Although Alibi hardly seems the type to seek revenge on a particularly disagreeable teacher (and Mr. Rockwood's reason for being ill-tempered is predictably compelling), the strong characterizations and an airtight plot make what originally appears to be an improbable situation a truly exciting adventure--one that most early adolescents will be able to identify with totally. Frances Bradburn