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The Final Four Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670012645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670012640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Final Four by Paul Volponi:

"Volponi, a multiple award-winning author, keeps the tension high from the first to last page ... The Final Four is definitely a winner." —VOYA, starred review

"A triple-overtime game keeps readers on the edge of their seats, but nerve-wracking as the action on the floor may be, the baggage that the players bring to the game is equally fraught." —BCCB, starred review

"With exciting game action ... this gritty, realistic, and riveting novel deserves the wide audience it will no doubt attract." —School Library Journal, starred review

"Volponi nails it when it counts in this dynamic story." —Booklist, starred review

"Volponi's latest combines in-the-moment action, basketball history and the points of view of four college ballplayers with very different lives ... No story or character is simple." —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black & White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Great book with a lot of emotion packed into this book.
Baaron B. Pittenger
Some of his story is told through a personal journal that captures unforgettable moments of terror.
Milw. Writer
The book was amazingly good and interesting I liked it alot It was also a on the edge book .
Erick Thomas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Powell on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book and very exciting read Mr. Volponi. The story works on so many levels that anyone should feel at home in between its pages. It's not only a book for young adults, as I, an older battle scarred warrior, gained much pleasure and insight from the story.

All the excitement of watching a classic basketball tournament game is injected into this story. You'll catch yourself cheering for or against a team or player as if you've placed a bet down in Vegas. Though the primary focus is on four of the young players and their challenges on and off the basketball court, it's the inspiring people who've touched their lives that make this story go. If it were a movie the Oscar for supporting actor would be split between the two head coaches.

The pace of the story is not unlike a basketball game full of intense drama; up tempo fast breaks, slowed down game planning, exciting offense, pressuring defense and a heart pounding climax. Very creative idea using the historic Trojans vs Spartans battle as a theme for the competitors and their showdown. While one team must win and the other has their tournament bubble burst, the life lessons learned from a team experience is worth more than any trophy. Who, besides those playing the game, knew that basketball is a game of communication? Author Paul Volponi does!

I suppose the release date of this book was meant to coincide with the college March Madness schedule. It sure works for me as I will be tuned in to hopefully see yet another Cinderella team make a run at the championship.

5+ Stars

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milw. Writer on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE FINAL FOUR IS A SLAM DUNK! You don't have to know anything about basketball to get hooked.

For those who follow me on Twitter and Goodreads, it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Paul Volponi's. I became intrigued by his work when RESPONSE received the Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor in 2010. After that, I devoured his novels and dubbed Paul the King of Urban YA Fiction.

THE FINAL FOUR is one of Paul's finest novels. Volponi writes about March Madness, the time when the best college basketball teams play for the NCAA Championship. It's huge money, huge exposer, huge pressure. Volponi tells the story of two teams battling in the Final Four through the eyes of four players. Interspersed are newspaper and TV interviews, commentary. One of the characters is Michael Jordan-imagine what it must be like to love basketball, be named after one of the best players to ever play in the NBA, and always having to deal with being compared to your namesake: THE Michael Jordan. Another character is Malcolm McBride, a young man who'a nickname is "One and Done" because he's only playing one year of college ball until he's eligible to enter the NBA draft. Malcolm's outlook on life has definitely been shaped by poverty and the horrible experiences that have plagued his life. Crispin Rice is a character I really enjoyed, a leader for sure. But his life isn't as storybook as the media makes it out to be. My favorite character is Roco Bacic who survived some horrific experiences in Croatia to come to the US and fulfill his dream of playing basketball. Some of his story is told through a personal journal that captures unforgettable moments of terror.
The reader becomes immersed in the players' lives on and off the basketball court.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jalen Ashmon on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great novel of the game of basketball in fact I stayed up all night to read this book nice job .
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By Ron Fox on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book takes on a few important issues in college sports, though they are left unresolved.
- Team vs. individual
- School making big money of their student athletes
- Athletes using their position in the sports world as a springboard to the next level without regard for the opportunity for an education.

On the whole a good read, but there were a few distracting features for me:
- The Spartan coach is a really thinly disguised Tom Izzo (current MSU Basketball coach) in the sense that he loses his voice during the tournament as Izzo always does, and shoot free throws at practice also as Izzo is famous for doing...but the book coach has none of the values of the real Izzo. It would have been cleaner just to take out the Izzo-isms and create an entirely new coach.
- On the whole the characters seemed quite flat, without substance except for the Trojan point guard. Even Crispin (the Troy Center), and his interactions with his fiancee are very stereotyped and don't come off with any realism. This is a pity because the game served as a framing for flashbacks into the lives of the players on the court and those flashbacks are great opportunities to develop and plumb the depths of the characters, an opportunity that is lost
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By Nathan Mahloch on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this book was good. It was basically a game of basketball with diary flashbacks through the game and a ending nobody expects. I would recommend it to people who like sports or like reading flashbacks of people's.life's or to people who like science fiction
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By bernard gatewood on November 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was fantastic; I didn't want to put it down and didn't want it to end either. The main characters came to life right before your eyes. The struggles of Bacic and McBride served as a constant parallel to their roles in this game. This story would make a great movie. I would proofread the script if the opportunity presented itself.
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