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Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John…
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Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery

by John Feinstein

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For eighth graders Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson, March Madness has never been so mad. Both kids are winners of a fourteen-and-under writing contest sponsored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). The grand prizes have won them trips to the Final Four in New Orleans. Not only will they get to watch the most thrilling college basketball games of the year, but they'll also be considered working journalists for the event. They have press credentials and are expected to report on the exciting stories of the Final Four. Little do they know, however, that they will end up at the center of the most shocking and important story of all.

At the beginning of LAST SHOT, Stevie Thomas is a wide-eyed thirteen-year-old from Pennsylvania. He already knows that he wants to be a sports journalist and has decided that the trip to the Final Four "would not be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For him, it would be a first-in-a-lifetime experience."

Stevie, a huge St. Joe's fan (the Philly team) is thrilled to see the exciting lineup of teams. There's a Big East team --- Connecticut, a Big Ten team --- Minnesota State, and Duke. Like many northern sports fans, Stevie is not on the Duke bandwagon. Upon learning that his co-winner, Susan Carol, is from North Carolina, he says, "I just hope she's not a Duke fan." And of course she is. Stevie and Susan Carol learn to put their differences aside, however, when they accidentally overhear Minnesota State's star player being blackmailed to throw the championship game.

Stevie and Susan Carol have no choice but to put together their investigative journalism skills and uncover what really is going on behind the blackmail scheme. Can they save the star basketball player? Will the championship game be fixed? The stakes are high and it will be a dangerous ride along the way. Their trip to the Final Four will be a most memorable one indeed!

LAST SHOT is John Feinstein's first children's book. The author, a political and sports reporter for the Washington Post as well as Sports Illustrated and National Sports Daily, has written many bestselling sports-related books. Feinstein does a wonderful job of mixing real-life sports characters like Tony Kornheiser, Dick Vitale and Coach K, among others, into the fictional world of LAST SHOT.

LAST SHOT is successful at combining the elements of a nonfiction sports book with a mystery novel. Readers will imagine what it's really like to be a sports reporter, but will also be pulled into the story. After all, it's hard to imagine anything more exciting than the Final Four, but the Final Four with a mystery to solve? Now that's madness.

--- Reviewed by Kristi Olson
( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
The author's experience and background fully informs this press-pass look at the Cinderella's ball of college basketball. Audiobook review: The sports commentator and writer reads his own youth mystery novel set at the Final Four championship in New Orleans, giving it an appealing authenticity and insider's view for the listener. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.
  lkmuir | Dec 7, 2015 |
I thought I would hate this book because it is a sports book and I am so not sports girl, but it was actually pretty good. There are long passages with details about how college basketball works that I could have done without, but I have to admit they were helpful in figuring out how things could affect each other.

Stevie and Susan Carol win the US Basketball Writers Association young writers award and get to go to the final four in New Orleans to cover the games for smaller papers that can't afford to send someone. They overhear a teacher talking to Chip Graber, one of the most famous and important players at the game, blackmailing him to throw the final game. They mention what they heard to their supervisors but the supervisors think they misheard. They think it's impossible to throw the game. The kids eventually manage to contact Chip and tell him they want to help him. They uncover a gambling operation that relies on Chip losing the game. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I thought I would hate this book because it is a sports book and I am so not sports girl, but it was actually pretty good. There are long passages with details about how college basketball works that I could have done without, but I have to admit they were helpful in figuring out how things could affect each other.

Stevie and Susan Carol win the US Basketball Writers Association young writers award and get to go to the final four in New Orleans to cover the games for smaller papers that can't afford to send someone. They overhear a teacher talking to Chip Graber, one of the most famous and important players at the game, blackmailing him to throw the final game. They mention what they heard to their supervisors but the supervisors think they misheard. They think it's impossible to throw the game. The kids eventually manage to contact Chip and tell him they want to help him. They uncover a gambling operation that relies on Chip losing the game. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553494600, Paperback)

Steven Thomas is one of two lucky winners of the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association’s contest for aspiring journalists. His prize? A trip to New Orleans and a coveted press pass for the Final Four. It’s a basketball junkie’s dream come true!
But the games going on behind the scenes between the coaches, the players, the media, the money-men, and the fans turn out to be even more fiercely competitive than those on the court. Steven and his fellow winner, Susan Carol Anderson, are nosing around the Superdome and overhear what sounds like a threat to throw the championship game. Now they have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of MSU’s star players . . . and why.

Praise for John Feinstein:
“The best writer of sports books in America today.”—The Boston Globe

“Feinstein’s beat, it turns out, isn’t sports; it’s human nature.”—People on A March to Madness

“A basketball junkie’s nirvana.”—Sports Illustrated on A March to Madness

“One of the best sportswriters alive!”—Larry King, USA Today on A Good Walk Spoiled


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.

» see all 2 descriptions

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