Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The Final Four

The Final Four
Title: The Final Four
Author: Paul Volponi
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 256
Age Rating: Readers over 10
My Opinion: 8/10

Hi, Readers!

       First of all, I want to congratulate both the men's and the women's UConn basketball teams for having amazing finishes and winning the NCAA championships!!!!!  Way to go!  After such an amazing NCAA tournament, this is the perfect opportunity to spotlight a book that is all about basketball - The Final Four, by Paul Volponi.  The novel spotlights individual basketball players from two different teams that are playing one another in order to get to the championship game.  It is a fantastic and relevant read for all sports lovers.

       The Final Four starts off in the middle of the action-packed semi-final game of the NCAA tournament, where the Michigan State Spartans are facing off against the Troy Trojans.  The Trojans are major underdogs who are lucky enough to have made it into the tournament in the first place, but they come out on the court with a vengeance like no other.  The Spartans, on the other hand, have been predicted to win the match up with ease.  When the Trojans give the Spartans a run for their money and the game goes into overtime, team drama begins to unfold and tensions run high.  The Final Four is narrated by four different players, Malcolm and MJ from the Spartans, and Roko and Crispin from the Trojans.  Each player's past, present, and future come into play as they each fight to bring their team to the NCAA Championship.


       Talk about a book that is spot on with current events.  Aside from the NCAA championship recently ending, there has also been talk of changing certain NCAA policies.  In The Final Four, Malcolm from Michigan State has high hopes of becoming an NBA player after his freshman year.  He protests the rule requiring players to attend college for at least a year before joining the NBA.  Malcolm also dislikes how the NCAA tournament generates so much revenue while the college players receive "nothing" in return.  Malcolm's controversial comments ring true in real life as seen in Northwestern University football attempts to unionize as well as in the new approval of unlimited meals for athletes, spurred on by UConn's Shabazz Napier's comment on going to bed hungry.

       My favorite part about The Final Four is it's narration by four different characters.  Each player has a very distinct point of view, and author Paul Volponi does an excellent job of connecting their backgrounds and upbringings with their current views.  Another thing that I enjoyed about the novel is how it blends basketball with relationships between the players, so it is action-packed as well as thoughtful.

       The Final Four has a particular audience - if you do not follow basketball or understand the rules, you will probably be confused while reading.  Also, I would recommend that high school boys read The Final Four because of its young male narration.  Although it has a specific audience, it is a thrilling read that brings up a number of current social issues.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

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