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The Perfect Shot (2005)
by Elaine Marie Alphin
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NOTE: The protagonist's experience of being shot are an accurate description from a knowledgeable source. ( )
The Perfect shot was a great book for teens. The main character, Brian, goes through a lot during his two years in high School. While being the star point gaurd in high school, he is suffering from his loss of his best freind, Amanda. While in school he is assigned a school project that relates to the death of Amanda. He goes through a lot to find the killer of Amanda, While doing this project to keep him on the team. Read to find out what he is going to do to get through his most difficult of high School. I give it a 4 1/2.
I give The Perfect Shot 3 1/2 stars. I like the book, and have read it years ago and remember it was a good book. It definitely has a surprising ending. The book has a great plot with typical problems teenagers can relate to. However, sometimes it is confusing if it in the past or present. Some teens may not like this book because it is based around the sport of basketball.
Overall, this is an excellent book with many thought provoking actions that ask us to evaluate our own lives. As a teenager, Brian has suffered a huge loss in his life and then is forced to confront the truth head on, all the time wondering how he will survive and make it out alive. The plot line and characters are very well developed and make me want to keep reading. While the main character is a teenage boy, I could still identify with him and I think students will too. The author's theme is an underlying current throughout the whole book and really comes to head as the climax approachs and is resolved. This would be a great book to discuss with students and to ask thought provoking questions.
One weakness I might consider is the happy ending of the book. Brian had to make a really difficult decision. Many people in real life would not take the same route and so it is a little idealistic. Yes, there is conflict between the characters, but that too is resolved in a somewhat cheesy manner. It is not unbelievable, just a little unrealistic in today's society.
This book opens with a description of the murder of Amanda, her little brother, and mother as they return from the swimming pool on a summer day. Amanda's boyfriend, Brian, is just a few feet away outside playing basketball, but he doesn't hear anything unusual. When Amanda's father is put on trial for the murders Brian is surprised, but doesn't have any evidence to show otherwise... or so he thinks. But when Brian starts investigating the long-ago case of Leo Frank, a man who was lynched for a murder he didn't commit, Brian suspects that something is amiss in the case against Amanda's father. The drama is played out in and on the courts-- legal and basketball-- as Brian tries to make the perfect shot. This is a popular book in my high school library, especially among boys. Recommended.
Brian uses basketball to block out memories of his girlfriend and her family who were gunned down a year ago, but the upcoming murder trial and a high school history assignment force him to face the past and decide how far he should go to see justice served. Includes facts about miscarriages of justice in American history.
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