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Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery

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New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the real “March Madness”—behind the scenes at the Final Four basketball tournament.   When Stevie wins a writing contest for aspiring sports journalists, his prize is a press pass to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, he overhears a plot to throw the championship game. With the help o New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the real “March Madness”—behind the scenes at the Final Four basketball tournament.   When Stevie wins a writing contest for aspiring sports journalists, his prize is a press pass to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, he overhears a plot to throw the championship game. With the help of fellow contest winner Susan Carol, Stevie has just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of the star players . . . and why.   John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe), and he proves it again in this fast-paced novel.   “A page-turning thriller and a basketball junkie’s bonanza.” —USA Today From the Hardcover edition.


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New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the real “March Madness”—behind the scenes at the Final Four basketball tournament.   When Stevie wins a writing contest for aspiring sports journalists, his prize is a press pass to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, he overhears a plot to throw the championship game. With the help o New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein exposes the real “March Madness”—behind the scenes at the Final Four basketball tournament.   When Stevie wins a writing contest for aspiring sports journalists, his prize is a press pass to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, he overhears a plot to throw the championship game. With the help of fellow contest winner Susan Carol, Stevie has just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of the star players . . . and why.   John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe), and he proves it again in this fast-paced novel.   “A page-turning thriller and a basketball junkie’s bonanza.” —USA Today From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    The storytelling talents of John Feinstein, author of 1986's classic sports memoir A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers, translate well for the youth set. He knows how to structure a mystery with plot twists guaranteed to keep readers off balance. He writes intriguing, flavorful characters, not settling for paper dolls to inhabit the clever mystery he's created; Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are realistic kids with genuine motivations, who require time The storytelling talents of John Feinstein, author of 1986's classic sports memoir A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers, translate well for the youth set. He knows how to structure a mystery with plot twists guaranteed to keep readers off balance. He writes intriguing, flavorful characters, not settling for paper dolls to inhabit the clever mystery he's created; Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are realistic kids with genuine motivations, who require time to warm up to each other before they can effectively coalesce to take on corruption among the elite in an organization as powerful as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It would be easy for the sleuthing of these two eighth graders to violate the perimeters of plausibility, but John Feinstein doesn't take those shortcuts and hope his young readers won't know the difference; every lead that Stevie and Susan Carol follow is legitimately earned and has to be conceivable for a pair of thirteen-year-olds to dig up using only their own wits as they investigate a story that could blow big-time college sports apart. Their secret probe into alleged fraud at the NCAA Final Four could put more than the tournament's integrity on the line when they run up against hardened criminals with millions of dollars at stake, but it's up to the two of them to think their way out of potentially lethal predicaments when they arise. For college basketball fanatics like Stevie and Susan Carol, winning a trip to the Final Four is a fantasy brought into reality. Their submissions for the youth writing contest were easily best of the bunch, and now they meet in New Orleans, Louisiana for the grand prize: the privilege of covering the 2005 Final Four as cub reporters, taken under the wing of seasoned journalists Dick Weiss and Bill Brill, who know how things work at the highest level of reportage. Stevie and Susan Carol's fathers make the trip, too, but the kids will mostly be on their own as they follow the Final Four teams (Minnesota State, St. Joe's, Duke, and Connecticut) leading up to the national championship game. Initially wary of each other, the two young contest winners form a reluctant mutual respect when they each observe how talented the other is, and close ranks to make this dream experience the most scintillating of their lives. If they impress the right people with their coverage of this event, it could lead to further reporting opportunities, even a career someday writing about sports. Being up close at press conferences with superstar student-athletes (student-athlete mentions for this review so far: 2), interviewing legendary coaches, meeting renowned media personalities, and sitting courtside for pressure-packed basketball games with huge implications for the players' careers in the amateur arena and beyond is intoxicating, but a darker toxin seeps in when Stevie and Susan Carol overhear a private conversation between Minnesota State scoring star Chip Graber and an unidentified man in a gray suit. The man threatens to frame Chip Graber for retroactive academic failure, rendering him ineligible for the Final Four, if he won't agree to deliberately lose the championship game. Stevie and Susan Carol have been privy to numerous minor hypocrisies regarding university athletics since arriving in New Orleans, but this is miles beyond petty bureaucracy. The best offensive player in college hoops is being blackmailed, and the Final Four will become a sham if the coercion goes unchallenged. Stevie and Susan Carol's first instinct is to relay what they heard to Dick Weiss and Bill Brill, the newsmen assigned to keep tabs on them, but the experienced reporters are skeptical of what the two writing contest winners believe they've stumbled onto. Isn't it more likely they misunderstood a complex conversation and jumped to an erroneous conclusion? But the eighth graders know what they heard, and it looks like it's up to them to crack the case and preserve the viability of the NCAA tournament. Crisscrossing colorful New Orleans in pursuit of leads, Stevie and Susan Carol must think on their feet to evade security roadblocks and gain access to the information they need in order to prove what's going on with Chip Graber and his mystery blackmailer. Who would risk life-altering legal repercussions by overtly leveraging a student-athlete to throw a game as high-profile as the national championship, one with large bets riding on it from every corner of the country? To answer that, Stevie and Susan Carol have to engineer a tête–à–tête with Chip Graber and convince him to spill his story to a pair of juvenile reporters. Security around the Final Four athletes is comprehensive, however, and it'll take ingenuity to surmount it. Luckily for our protagonists, their age is an asset, making them less suspicious to guards whose job it is to prevent reporters from hassling the game's superstars. If Stevie and Susan Carol can win Chip Graber's confidence, devise a way to prove he isn't academically ineligible, and bring the blackmailers down, maybe the spirit of honest competition at the NCAA tournament can be salvaged. It will take an effort as special as any of the student-athletes muster under the bright lights of the court, and won't put an end to all corruption everywhere in NCAA competition, but cleaning up this Final Four would be a major coup for a couple of eighth graders on their first field assignment. It would be more than they could have imagined when they won the privilege to cover the tourney. John Feinstein refrains from ideological whitewashing in his sports fiction, but his work isn't poisoned by the cynicism of a writer who's done this for decades, either. He draws attention to inconsistencies in NCAA policy, including their maddening preoccupation with tiny procedural details that don't really matter, but his prose also evokes the awesomeness of being right there where the sports action takes place, with fleet-footed athletes rushing up and down the court routinely making stupendous plays, the clutch performances that define careers, and the waterfall of crowd noise that pours onto the court when a winner-take-all game's tense climax comes down to one final shot for all the glory. It's heady beyond belief, and we're in the middle of it with Stevie and Susan Carol. I appreciate, too, John Feinstein's inclusion in Last Shot of familiar sports commentators of the era, from local beat writers to famous television personalities. I find it particularly fitting that he mentions fellow middle-grade sports author Mike Lupica, who launched his own career writing for kids with Travel Team in 2004, the year before Last Shot debuted. And while most readers will no longer know Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, or their style of cheerfully disagreeable banter on the ESPN television show Pardon the Interruption a hundred years or more after Last Shot first hit shelves, the book is sort of a time capsule of their work. Long after 2005, readers can enjoy a bit of PTI in the way Kornheiser and Wilbon interact in this novel, and I think they'll enjoy it. That's a nice bonus to the story that might go unnoticed. Perhaps the best ancillary benefit of the book is John Feinstein's unobtrusive tips on reporting, which usually come when Stevie remembers advice given him by his mentor in Philadelphia, Daily News columnist Dick Jerardi. My favorite Jerardi advice in Last Shot: "Sometimes the best question is the one you don't ask. Sometimes you just let the silence ask your question. Let it hang in the air until the other guy says something to fill up the space. They almost always do." If you're an aspiring journalist like Stevie, you can learn a lot from the experts in this novel. After years in the business, they have reportage down to a science. For those who read Last Shot upon its release in early 2005, another bonus awaited in the endpapers: a writing contest from the publisher to win two tickets to the NCAA championship game on April 4, 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri. I wonder who won that contest, and I hope they had as much fun as Stevie and Susan Carol in this book. It was a memorable NCAA tournament, the University of Illinois having made a bid at an undefeated season most of the year before losing in the conference tournament. The Illini had a lot of heart, and future NBA All-Star Deron Williams, but lost to the supremely talented North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game. Though the 2005 Final Four teams in Last Shot aren't the same as they turned out to be in real life, I appreciate the inclusion of several famous players from that season, including Duke shooting guard and future NBA sharpshooter J.J. Reddick. The deeper one looks into Last Shot, the more a time capsule it becomes. John Feinstein crafted an exciting (and extremely complex) mystery to begin his Sports Beat series for kids, and I'd strongly consider giving Last Shot two and a half stars. For readers who crave proximity to the action of one of the great amateur sporting events in America, this is probably the book for you. Final count of student-athlete mentions in this review: 4

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    I think this book was a very good book. It has a very good plot and there is never a moment where you want to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants a sports book with a mystery twist and also a little bit of a romantic part in it. I would also recommend the other books in this series, as I have read a couple of them. I would tell them to read this book first though, because this is the book that tells how the main characters, Stevie and Susan Carol, meet each other. I think this book was a very good book. It has a very good plot and there is never a moment where you want to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants a sports book with a mystery twist and also a little bit of a romantic part in it. I would also recommend the other books in this series, as I have read a couple of them. I would tell them to read this book first though, because this is the book that tells how the main characters, Stevie and Susan Carol, meet each other. However, every book has its flaws. This book does not have a lot of flaws, but there is a few to point out. First of all, Last Shot in the beginning leaves you a little confused. The first pages leave you like, “What is happening”. That is one flaw I will point out. Another flaw that gets you is that the way the book starts is a lot about mystery, then they take the mystery out and don't get to the mystery again until the very end, which is okay, but I just think they should've mixed in the mystery in the middle.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shalyn

    In this book its about a boy name Stevie and a young girl name Susan Carol they are trying to find out who blank-mailed one of the basketball stars to lose the championship game. I like this book because i like it how they are trying to find someone who did a bad thing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ross

    Dreams do Come True: Kids can be Adults Sometimes, Stevie Thomas read the letter once, and then twice, then a third time to be sure it was real. Then he started screaming. “Mom! Mom! Mom!” (3) As if something was wrong... This realistic fiction story, written by John Feinstein, takes place in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during modern times. One of the main characters is Stevie Thomas. I rated this book a three out of five stars because it was a good book but it wasn’t the best one that Dreams do Come True: Kids can be Adults Sometimes, Stevie Thomas read the letter once, and then twice, then a third time to be sure it was real. Then he started screaming. “Mom! Mom! Mom!” (3) As if something was wrong... This realistic fiction story, written by John Feinstein, takes place in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during modern times. One of the main characters is Stevie Thomas. I rated this book a three out of five stars because it was a good book but it wasn’t the best one that I read so far. That I have read. The first couple sentences really made me want to know what Stevie’s letter was all about and what would happen as a result of the letter. The book it was impossible to put it down because it was holding back surprising details, it had readable vocabulary, and it trick the reader along the way. One of the reasons the book is impossible to put down is because it was holding back surprising details for example, the title misleads the reader into thinking the story will be about someone taking the last shot in an important game. However, the story is really about three young students reporting on high school and college basketball games. Another surprising detail in the book is when Stevie read the letter about winning the writing contest. He seemed really surprised and yelled like something was wrong or someone was out to get him. “Mom! Mom! Mom!” (3). Stevie realized he had won something big, but he wasn’t sure how his dream came true would work out. Thus, the surprising details made it hard to stop reading this book. Another reason the book is impossible to put down is because readable vocabulary. The content is easy to read, easy to follow, and I recognize some of the names of the teams. While reading this book, I realized we have some of the same interests in basketball like the Final Four. Stevie’s dad was able to create a lot of excitement about basketball in Philadelphia. “He had started taking Stevie to se Philadelphia’s big five Temple, Villanova, St. Joseph’s, Pennsylvania and La Salle when he was four” (3). I can follow the story pretty well because when I went to a Bulls game for the first time my interest got deeper in basketball like Stevie’s. I watch more games on TV and I would love to go to more games. Since I can relate to this book I just cannot put this book down. Furthermore, this book is impossible to put down because the author of the story tricks the reader into thinking that a major college basketball player is taking the final shot of an important game in the Final Four. It’s easy for the reader to believe this because it happens all the time in sports. For instance, when the Lakers were going against the Celtics last year in the seventh game and Kobe took over the game in the last quarter and won the game. “Steve Jorgensen had them both free in under a minute” (228) when he tried to get the tape to the Garry so like he’ trying to suck up to him. To conclude, the book, Last Shot by John Feinstein, it was impossible to put it down, because it was holding back surprising details, it had readable vocabulary and it tricks the reader along the way. I was able to make personal connections because I sort of can relate to this book. I can remember my first time at a basketball game just like Stevie can. We both had unexpected events, like when he won that contest and like when I won the conference for my football team. It sort of started like how Stevie’s victory started. My dad took me to a football game and I loved it. I just want to get on the field and play with them. I had to be about seven. I was still a little to young, but just like Stevie learning about basketball. I learned about football and we both had a dream like mine was to come in first place for our division and like he wanted to win the contest. We both accomplished our dreams this how I can relate to this book. I think I should get at least a (B) because I worked hard one this and I think its good for my first one. The most difficult thing about this was getting it done on time and it going to be hard getting use to doing a book review. I plan to improve by getting this in on time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Barthelmess

    I thought this book was amazing therefore I gave it 5 stars. Overall the book was very well put together you were always on the edge of your seat while reading this book. Final Shot: A Final Four mystery is about these two contest winners Susan Carol and Stevie Thomas, who get to go to the Final Four for basketball and be sports reporters. While there, they experience things that will leave you in shock up until the last sentence of the book. There is plot twists to never be seen before in this I thought this book was amazing therefore I gave it 5 stars. Overall the book was very well put together you were always on the edge of your seat while reading this book. Final Shot: A Final Four mystery is about these two contest winners Susan Carol and Stevie Thomas, who get to go to the Final Four for basketball and be sports reporters. While there, they experience things that will leave you in shock up until the last sentence of the book. There is plot twists to never be seen before in this book and it always has you wanting to read more. As these two teenage reporters are snooping around the super dome they hear something that will cause the whole weekend to turn into to chaos. As they go around trying to figure out what to do they discover new clues which will lead them into a dangerous situation. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read mystery books or anyone who enjoys sports if you like both then you are in luck because this is the best sports mystery book I have ever read. I would 100% recommend reading it even if you are interested in the slightest way. You won't regret it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Logan

    Last Shot is a fiction book about Stevie and Susan Carol’s trip to the Final Four in New Orleans. They won this trip from a writing contest and they went there to write about the tournament. The book is a good book, in my opinion, and it makes the reader want to keep reading it. Throughout the book, Stevie and Susan Carol are trying to solve a mystery that involves the star player for Minnesota State University, Chip Graber. The mystery is very interesting to see how it unfolds throughout the bo Last Shot is a fiction book about Stevie and Susan Carol’s trip to the Final Four in New Orleans. They won this trip from a writing contest and they went there to write about the tournament. The book is a good book, in my opinion, and it makes the reader want to keep reading it. Throughout the book, Stevie and Susan Carol are trying to solve a mystery that involves the star player for Minnesota State University, Chip Graber. The mystery is very interesting to see how it unfolds throughout the book and the mystery keeps the book interesting. Last Shot is a good book and shows their trip from start to finish and how they go there looking to just have a fun trip to the Final Four while publishing news stories to now having to solve the biggest mystery of the tournament. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a sports book that is entertaining to read. The book is all about college basketball while adding a mystery to it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samuel M

    the main character is Stevie. This takes place in new Orleans. The main conflict is that Stevie wins an essay contest and he is invited to the final 4 games of basketball where he is a student reporter. I like this book because it tells a different perspective view. I don't like it because he is a student reporter he should be a basketball player.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Caruso

    What if you overheard a conversation about blackmail and no one believed you. That’s what happened in my book, Last Shot by John Feinstein. In Last Shot, the main topics are basketball, collusion, cheating, greed and teamwork. The two main characters, Steve and Susan, are two 14 year old reporters who won a contest to send them to the Final Four in New Orleans. While they are trying to find a story, they overhear a conversation where someone is trying to blackmail the best player on the Michigan What if you overheard a conversation about blackmail and no one believed you. That’s what happened in my book, Last Shot by John Feinstein. In Last Shot, the main topics are basketball, collusion, cheating, greed and teamwork. The two main characters, Steve and Susan, are two 14 year old reporters who won a contest to send them to the Final Four in New Orleans. While they are trying to find a story, they overhear a conversation where someone is trying to blackmail the best player on the Michigan State University team, Chip Garber. The kids are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. The whole book is about them trying to track down the blackmailers with some help from some important people. The themes evident in this book are persistence, teamwork, and selflessness. These themes are just some of the reasons to read this book. Some of the other reasons are the characters and the action-packed storyline. I think that the Author, John Feinstein, does a great job making the story of Steve, an undersized 14 year old boy who just wants to be looked at like a normal kid, relatable. For example, when Steve and Susan are trying to get into the Michigan State University locker room, Susan has no problem but the security guard stops Steve right in his tracks. Even though steve has his all access pass, that wasn’t enough for the guard. Susan had to walk back to the guard and tell them the story about both of them being sent to the final four, for winning a writing contest. Only after Susan told her anecdote would the guard let steve pass. Steve feels very inadequate after this exchange. He doesn’t like the fact that Suan had to “come rescue him” even though they were both the same age. I think most everyone can relate to wanting to fit in but there’s that one nagging trait that sets you apart. For Steve, it’s his height but for other people it could be their weight, their hair or even their family. Last Shot, also has one of the best storylines in a book that I’ve ever read. The action, adventure, suspense and humor all come at perfect times and after you read the book, it will make you feel bittersweet because the ending had a great conflict resolution but, there is no more book to read! Even though there is a lot going on in the book with the basketball, conspiracy, plot twists, and more, the plot is pretty easy to follow. In other words, you will never feel overwhelmed while reading this book like you might in others. One of my favorite plot twists is the story of Steve Jurgensen. The reader first comes across his name in the later chapters and he is an essential character for the rest of the book, even though we don’t actually meet him until the very last chapters. He starts out being the center of the blackmail circle but eventually comes to Steve and Susan’s side! In conclusion, this book was a very fun read. While this book may not offer intellectual gain, it does offer a very interesting story line and an important lesson. The story line is packed with plot twists, action and adventure and it gets better every page. The main lesson in Last Shot is to believe in yourself. If you were to tell Steve and Susan that they were going to stop a major blackmail conspiracy when they first landed in New Orleans, they would have told you that you had the wrong kids. They were only 14 and had only ever seen blackmail on crime shows. But at the end of the book, that’s exactly what happened.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Spike Childs

    Scandals have fascinated the public since the founding of time. In America, journalists have seen them as a miracle, a hit story for the ages. This is no exception for Steven Thomas, who stumbles on the story of the century. Stevie Thomas must overcome many obstacles throughout the story to solve the mystery at the final four and write the story that will make or break his future career. In The Last Shot by John Feinstein, a young boy name Stevie Thomas living in Pennsylvania applies for a young Scandals have fascinated the public since the founding of time. In America, journalists have seen them as a miracle, a hit story for the ages. This is no exception for Steven Thomas, who stumbles on the story of the century. Stevie Thomas must overcome many obstacles throughout the story to solve the mystery at the final four and write the story that will make or break his future career. In The Last Shot by John Feinstein, a young boy name Stevie Thomas living in Pennsylvania applies for a young basketball writers competition. After writing his story about the Palestra, UPenn’s Basketball arena, he wins the competition and wins a trip to the final four. Here he meets Susan Carol Anderson, the other contest winner. They hit it off and immediately become friends, and proceed to work on their articles for the Final Four. When they stumble upon Minnesota State’s star player, Chip Graber, and a suspicious man talking. They listen in on the conversation and realize they've come across the scandal of the century. Will Stevie be able to solve this mystery without getting in serious trouble, or worse? I strongly recommend this book for all sports fans and mystery lovers alike. This book has great character's, an exciting plot, and surprising conflict. A great read for all ages. John Feinstein, the author, does a great job of creating exciting plot points with many twists and turns along the way. For example, when Stevie and Susan Carol go to the hotel where the players are staying, they must get past elevator security. After they get a pass, they then run into another security detail, and yet again face more conflict.This shows how the author places good amounts of conflict with many ups and downs throughout the story. He also puts a good pace on the story because it never seems that the plot is being forced or over-developed. This can be credited to how the author spreads plot lines well without too much conflict or too many down parts of the book. This can be seen when Stevie and Susan Carol go to see the retired Dean of Students of MSU with Chip Graber. The author puts a page describing the drive there to put a pause in the story, spacing plot points. What John Feinstein could have done better is that often in the story dialogue can be forced at points in the book. For example, Chip Graber tells his story through college-type slang dialogue and it makes it hard to focus on the main points of the backstory. Overall, the author did very well writing the book and making an exciting story. I strongly recommend this book for all sports fans and mystery lovers alike. This book had many famous icons in the sport of basketball, and the mystery aspect adds a whole new layer to the exciting sports story. There is also great character development between unlikely associates and the use of teenage protagonists makes for a great story. Any lover of sports writing and mystery will love this book all the way through. This sports-fiction mystery novel is a great read with good character development and drama. The conflict is spaced well and the use of famous figures makes the story very relatable. Stevie’s adventure at the final four as a young journalist, uncovering the scandal of the century, brings forth an exciting plot with great characters in a true coming of age story. A great read for all people, regardless of age.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    One of the primary themes running through the novel is right versus wrong. Because in this book Stevie and Susan never know who to trust and to know who right or wrong. Because there are so many people who are not trustworthy and who are trustworthy throughout the book and Stevie and Susie can really find out who to trust Last Shot is a sports Novel by John Feinstein. The story is about the two main characters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson. Both kids are in junior high and winners of th One of the primary themes running through the novel is right versus wrong. Because in this book Stevie and Susan never know who to trust and to know who right or wrong. Because there are so many people who are not trustworthy and who are trustworthy throughout the book and Stevie and Susie can really find out who to trust Last Shot is a sports Novel by John Feinstein. The story is about the two main characters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson. Both kids are in junior high and winners of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association essay contest. As winners of the contest, Stevie and Susan Carol act as student reports covering the Final Four in New Orleans.While looking around in the area where CBS sets up during the Final Four, Stevie and Susan Carol overhear a conversation between the star player for MSU, Chip Graber, and an unknown man in charcoal gray suit. What the two take away from the conversation is that Chip is being blackmailed to throw the championship game between MSU and Duke. After overhearing the situation, Stevie and Susan Carol struggle with what to do with the information they've acquired and who they can tell the story to help them stop the blackmail. As Stevie and Susan Carol start their own investigation, they enlist the help of the blackmailee, Chip Graber. They concoct a story to get into Chip's hotel room and confront Chip with the information they overheard. Chip joins the two student reporters in the investigation to uncover who is responsible for the plot to blackmail him and why. Together, Chip, Stevie, and Susan Carol go through twists and turns of the plot, finding out that the people they thought they could trust cannot be trusted, and that the people they thought were responsible for the blackmail are in fact not involved in the way that they assumed. This book was awesome it was a page turner. I couldn't put this book down. This is probably one of the most interesting books I have ever read. If you like sports and mysteries you will love this book. This is a must read. Please make your life more interesting and fun by reading this book. This allows gave me so much information on NCAA Basketball and what all the writers go through when they publish their paper about the games. It also showed me that I can not always trust everyone I can only trust the ones I know I can.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery is by a well-respected sports author, John Feinstein. Feinstein was born on July 28th 1956 in New York, and then went on to graduate from Duke University where his love for college basketball began. With a degree in journalism, he was hired as an intern for the Washington Post. In 1985 he took a brief break to work on his first book, then moved to New York City and got a new job with Sports Illustrated in 1989. He began his best-selling career with A Season on th Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery is by a well-respected sports author, John Feinstein. Feinstein was born on July 28th 1956 in New York, and then went on to graduate from Duke University where his love for college basketball began. With a degree in journalism, he was hired as an intern for the Washington Post. In 1985 he took a brief break to work on his first book, then moved to New York City and got a new job with Sports Illustrated in 1989. He began his best-selling career with A Season on the Brink; his collection of books about basketball grew. Feinstein has written non-fiction and fiction books for young-adults. Many of his novels were about basketball but he also had great success in golf, tennis, baseball, and football books as well. John Feinstein is a very versatile author but mostly enjoys writing about all kinds of sports. Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein is a mystery book which takes place in New Orleans at the Superdome during the NCAA Final Four for basketball. Steven Thomas and Susan Carol have won a national writing contest, their prize, a free trip to New Orleans and press credentials that can get them almost anywhere around the Superdome. Their only job is to write a story or article about something exciting that’s going on during this major event for college sports. But while they were roaming the halls of the Superdome, they overheard a conversation that they most definitely weren’t supposed to hear. Someone told MSU’s star player, Chip Graber (who’s dad is the coach) that he has to throw the championship game or else. Who would want someone to do such a thing? I believe that the author’s message is that people aren’t always who they say they are. Steven, Susan Carol, and Chip all believed in MSU’s old Dean but he just let them down by lying to them. I also think that Feinstein’s message is that it’s always best to tell the truth. After everything is solved, Chip’s dad Alan told him that he wished he knew sooner so they could fix it before. I strongly recommend this book to young-adults, boys and girls, even if they don’t know much about basketball.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Good stuff, Feinstein! Love the girl/guy sports reporter team, the smarts and savvy of this team of eighth graders who dig into a scandal. I like how Stevie and Susan are opposites in personality and height; nice juxtaposition. I like the nice mix of realism/cynicism that adult sports reporters give on the NCAA, and the scenes with sportscaster celebs and coaches are nice adds. The issues with financial corruption in big-time college sports are huge. We know that more and ever. And Feinstein I th Good stuff, Feinstein! Love the girl/guy sports reporter team, the smarts and savvy of this team of eighth graders who dig into a scandal. I like how Stevie and Susan are opposites in personality and height; nice juxtaposition. I like the nice mix of realism/cynicism that adult sports reporters give on the NCAA, and the scenes with sportscaster celebs and coaches are nice adds. The issues with financial corruption in big-time college sports are huge. We know that more and ever. And Feinstein I think was prescient to put two young reporters into a scary mix of players who use sports and athletes' talent for their own gain. Because this was published in 2005, it feels dated in some respects, obviously--and in particular, in light of #metoo, the focus on the way adult men hit on Susan as a 13 year-old--Feinstein was clearly aware of the issues for a female sports reporter in this business. I wonder if it's gotten much better? A girl in middle or high school who wants to get in the mix, she's got some hurdles different than a boy like Stevie, who's dealing with his own challenges of small stature and being treated like a kid. That said, Susan uses her "feminine wiles" a bit too much for my taste, and while it's realistic--it's how women are often raised, to use whatever's in the arsenal to get their way in a society where sometimes the power structure seems to offer no other option--it's more problematic now. But I resist anyone who would ban it from reading just because it's "old." I'm seeing some people get pretty vitriolic over the air waves on this subject. What's needed is more female sports reporter stories mixed in with a story like this one. Let’s show girls and young women the history of sports journalism using books from multiple eras. Let’s engage our youth in conversations about what was, what is, and what will be. Let’s present a historical that’s rich, transparent, evolving, and transformative. Nice job, Feinstein.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claudia L. V-B

    This book sucks. I didn't even know a book could be so possibly bad. I hated this book so much. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. First thing, the characters. What the heck was going on with the characters? It felt like every few sentences there was a new useless character introduced. In the beginning of the book the character Big Tex is introduced. That was compleatly unneeded. They also seemed to talk on and on about these players that I did not even need to know existed. And they talked about to many This book sucks. I didn't even know a book could be so possibly bad. I hated this book so much. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. First thing, the characters. What the heck was going on with the characters? It felt like every few sentences there was a new useless character introduced. In the beginning of the book the character Big Tex is introduced. That was compleatly unneeded. They also seemed to talk on and on about these players that I did not even need to know existed. And they talked about to many announcers and reporters? Compleatly unnecessary. The main character though. Stevie/Steven/Steve/Or whatever you want to call him's personality is awful. He is lame, and helpless. He also is very stupid and inconsiderate. He does not have any compassion and he is SUPER bias. Susan Carol. Susan Carol is to long of a name. Why not just Susan or Carol, or maybe SC. I just don't get it. She also is very forceful and sends Stevie mixed signals. I hate it. And Chip. He acts like he is 2 years old. Even stupid Steve is smarter than him. Why. Just why was this book written? I think the author of this book was drunk when writing this book. It is also very repetitive and has poor word choice. The only reason I read it was because it was a book club book I HAD to read for school. It was so incredibly boring I fell asleep twice when reading it. They litterly solved the mystery in the first two pages. I was also so confused when the whole story came out. And there was so much basketball mumbo jumbo that I did not need in there. Save yourself and do not read this book. IT IS TORTURE.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yahya Medani

    Last Shot : a final four mystery. Is part of a six book series called The sports beat. They are all books about mysteries in sport. This book is completely fictional but does have a few characters that exist in real life. I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was an absolutely awesome book. Suspenseful and full of surprises. The book was about a boy called Stevie and a girl called Susan Carol who won a writing contest to got to the final four. As soon as they arrive they are looking aroun Last Shot : a final four mystery. Is part of a six book series called The sports beat. They are all books about mysteries in sport. This book is completely fictional but does have a few characters that exist in real life. I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was an absolutely awesome book. Suspenseful and full of surprises. The book was about a boy called Stevie and a girl called Susan Carol who won a writing contest to got to the final four. As soon as they arrive they are looking around the stadium when they find that the best player Chip Graber getting blackmailed by one of the people from his own team. Once they found out they spend the rest of the story solving a very complicated mystery to find out Who,What,Why,How,When. I rated this book 4.5/5 not 5/5 because of how complicated it is and because there were just too many characters involved. Normally in books the good guy ends up being bad but in this book one of the people that you would think was a bad guy turns out to be good and I really liked that. Overall this book was incredible if you love sports and/or mystery this is definitely the book for you. I really liked this book because I love basketball(although there isn't much basketball involved but still).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eli Lindsey

    I think overall this book was ok. It didn't captivate me as much as I was hoping for. I do think it was interesting that instead of a basketball book about the game of basketball, it was more of a mystery that goes on behind scenes. I feel like it dragged on a lot in the middle and some details didn't need to be there. In the end there were quite a few plot twists between who was involved and who wasn't in the scandal. that made it interesting. Overall I just never got into it and never felt lik I think overall this book was ok. It didn't captivate me as much as I was hoping for. I do think it was interesting that instead of a basketball book about the game of basketball, it was more of a mystery that goes on behind scenes. I feel like it dragged on a lot in the middle and some details didn't need to be there. In the end there were quite a few plot twists between who was involved and who wasn't in the scandal. that made it interesting. Overall I just never got into it and never felt like I just "had" to read it. I would recommend this book to people who like sports and sports mysteries.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Bosse

    This book is a great mystery novel. In addition to that its about sports which is right up my alley. When Stevie over hears a story changing conversation I knew this book would twist. Steve is an amazing character and is probably one of my favorites. I recommend you read (Last Shot) and I rate this book a three star.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jared Snapp

    This is a great book for basketball players or people who like basketball. I could not put this book down once I started. John Feinstein is a very good author. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adri

    This was the first sports book i read from John Feinstein, it was such a great book. Highly suggest this book for everyone!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    I liked the book but i would have liked more action

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scottie

    So far the book is good because it has 2 very good genres: Sports and mystery. I’d recommend it to people who like those genres.

  21. 5 out of 5

    7robbie

    I thought Last Shot was a very good book that was very exciting and suspenseful. I thought it was good because i could relate to it because it's about the Final Four and I watch that on TV every year. Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson went to the Final Four in New Orleans because they won a writing contest. I watched Kentucky defeat Kansas in the championship game when the Final Four was in New Orleans last season. The book is about a star player at Minnesota State University that is gettin I thought Last Shot was a very good book that was very exciting and suspenseful. I thought it was good because i could relate to it because it's about the Final Four and I watch that on TV every year. Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson went to the Final Four in New Orleans because they won a writing contest. I watched Kentucky defeat Kansas in the championship game when the Final Four was in New Orleans last season. The book is about a star player at Minnesota State University that is getting blackmailed by one of his professors to throw the championship game. If he refuses to do it, they will forfeit all their wins and his draft stock will go down in the NBA draft and his dad will get fired as the head coach of Minnesota State. Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson try to figure out why this is happening and a way to stop it. I thought this book was intended for teens, but could be read by any basketball fans. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes basketball or anyone that likes suspense because it is mostly about the Final Four and there is a lot of excitement in the book. In conclusion, I thought it was a very good read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Last Shot is a novel by the best-selling author John Feinstein. Feinstein is a Duke graduate and former sports writer. The story follows the two main characters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson. Both kids are in junior high and winners of the U.S. Basket ball Writers Association essay contest. As winners of the contest, Stevie and Susan Carol act as student reports covering the Final Four in New Orleans.While looking around in the area where CBS sets up during the Final Four, Stevie and S Last Shot is a novel by the best-selling author John Feinstein. Feinstein is a Duke graduate and former sports writer. The story follows the two main characters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson. Both kids are in junior high and winners of the U.S. Basket ball Writers Association essay contest. As winners of the contest, Stevie and Susan Carol act as student reports covering the Final Four in New Orleans.While looking around in the area where CBS sets up during the Final Four, Stevie and Susan Carol overhear a conversation between the star player for MSU, Chip Graber, and an unknown man in charcoal gray suit. What the two take away from the conversation is that Chip is being blackmailed to throw the championship game between MSU and Duke. After overhearing the situation, Stevie and Susan Carol struggle with what to do with the information they've acquired and who they can tell the story to help them stop the blackmail.

  23. 4 out of 5

    El • Your Average Bibliovert

    My librarian was correct! I'm not a girl whose involved with sport news and sport related things, or a sport book fan. Meaning, I didn't understand a few terms in here. However, this was a pretty good book! Last Shot is about a girl and a boy who win a writing contest. The prize: to see the Final Four tournament. They also become the weekend's newspaper sports columnists about the game. Not everything goes as planned when they overhear a student-athlete and a teacher talking. What happens next ma My librarian was correct! I'm not a girl whose involved with sport news and sport related things, or a sport book fan. Meaning, I didn't understand a few terms in here. However, this was a pretty good book! Last Shot is about a girl and a boy who win a writing contest. The prize: to see the Final Four tournament. They also become the weekend's newspaper sports columnists about the game. Not everything goes as planned when they overhear a student-athlete and a teacher talking. What happens next may surprise you. Read this book to find out! (view spoiler)[ I thought in was interesting how Jurgensen came back to help free Susan Carol and Stevie. What a twist! (hide spoiler)]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nick Zywicki

    This book made me feel like I was actually in New Orleans for the Final Four. The descriptions of all of Stevie and Susan's surroundings really enhanced my reading experience. I also felt like I was close friends with Chip Graber.His personality and likability were revealed as soon as Stevie and Susan met him. I also enjoyed the story itself. All of the twists and turns in the plot made it enticing and I didn't want to put the book down at all. I would recommend this book to teens and young adul This book made me feel like I was actually in New Orleans for the Final Four. The descriptions of all of Stevie and Susan's surroundings really enhanced my reading experience. I also felt like I was close friends with Chip Graber.His personality and likability were revealed as soon as Stevie and Susan met him. I also enjoyed the story itself. All of the twists and turns in the plot made it enticing and I didn't want to put the book down at all. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults who like basketball and/or mystery. If you don't like basketball at all, you will have a terrible experience with "Last Shot".

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael Friedland

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think that Last Shot by John Feinstein was a very good book. My favorite character was Stevie Thomas who goes to the Final Four after winning an essay contest. He is very funny, kind, and he loves sports. When Chip Graber sinks a game winning shot to win the national championship for Minnesota State, I was very happy because this was very unexpected when they played Duke in the championship game. Overall, I thought that this novel was a great mix of sports, action, and mystery.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark Zedrick

    This book is about a boy named Stevie that got in into the final four to play basketball. Also, they alway go out with his dad to watch and play basketball games. I like when he really got in the final four because he did it. I did not like it if he did not want to go to the final four. I would recommend this book to people liking basketball.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brelahn

    this book is awesome accpecially if you like basketball

  28. 5 out of 5

    Delaney

    my thought of the book last shot by john feinstein was a really good book for basketball fiend Steven Thomas its like a dream come true.he also won a writing contest and now he is in new Orleans

  29. 5 out of 5

    Viola Sung

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Liked the twist at the end.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bishop

    great thriler with a lot of suspense!

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