The Resource The Final Four, Paul Volponi

The Final Four, Paul Volponi

Label
The Final Four
Title
The Final Four
Statement of responsibility
Paul Volponi
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2012
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013.
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2013.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 9-12 There’s a strange alchemy in the sporting world, where a single game can take on mythic proportions, thanks to orbiting clusters of mini dramas in perfect alignment around it. Volponi’s novel creates such a game in an NCAA tournament Final Four match between the heavily favored Michigan State Spartans and the über-underdog Trojans, of Troy University. The Spartans are loaded with NBA-caliber talent, including one-and-done freshman superstar and trash-talker extraordinaire Malcolm McBride, while the Trojans fuel their Cinderella-story winning streak with team play led by an underrated Croatian point guard, Roko Bacic. But there’s also a Spartan benchwarmer who’s flailing under the weight of his name, Michael Jordan, and a Trojan center struggling to keep his mind on the court and off his maybe-cheating fiancée and cheerleader, Hope, nicknamed Hope of Troy by the media, angling for a feel-good human-interest story. Volponi dribbles out the players’ backstories as the game goes into single, double, and then triple overtime, and in so doing finds room to comment on the divide between raw talent and focused dedication, individualism and teamwork, and confidence and arrogance. Most fascinating and timely is the discussion of the uncomfortable truth that although college athletics has become a multi-billion-dollar business, the players who make it all possible aren’t allowed a dime of the earnings. As with all clutch performances, Volponi nails it when it counts in this dynamic story. -- Chipman, Ian (Reviewed 02-15-2012) (Booklist, vol 108, number 12, p45)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 8 Up — The fates of four college basketball players come together as their teams meet in a semifinal game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Malcolm McBride and Michael Jordan (who bears the burden of being named after the game's greatest player) are members of the vaunted Michigan State Spartans while Roko Bacic and Crispin Rice play for the underdog Troy University Trojans. Their stories are told by means of flashbacks, journal entries, newspaper accounts, and TV interviews weaving in and out of the play-by-play. Brash, outspoken Malcolm, who grew up in a crime-ridden Detroit housing project and whose sister was killed in a drive-by shooting, makes no secret of his desire to secure a lucrative pro contract after one year of college basketball. For Roko, basketball is his ticket to a better life after his escape from war-torn Croatia. Michael's self-confidence has suffered from his inability to live up to his famous name, and Crispin is having second thoughts about a hasty (and public) proposal to a possibly faithless girlfriend. Malcolm, Michael, and Roko come across as being especially complex, multifaceted, driven individuals. Malcolm is in many ways the least likable but most compelling of the protagonists. He boldly speaks truth to power in challenging a college athletic system that routinely exploits student athletes while raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from their unpaid labors. With exciting game action and a candid exploration of the hypocrisy inherent so-called amateur sports, this gritty, realistic, and riveting novel deserves the wide audience it will no doubt attract.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT --Richard Luzer (Reviewed March 1, 2012) (School Library Journal, vol 58, issue 03, p177)
  • Volponi's latest combines in-the-moment action, basketball history and the points of view of four college ballplayers with very different lives. The frame story here is a white-knuckle NCAA championship game between Michigan State's Spartans and the underdog Trojans from Troy University. Television interviews, news articles, radio transcripts and segments narrated from individual players' perspectives lay out the minute-by-minute action of the game and the context and personal histories surrounding it. Readers meet talented but arrogant Malcolm McBride, who plans to leave Michigan State for the NBA immediately after his freshman year, second-tier player Michael Jordan (MJ), whom Malcolm berates for not living up to his namesake's prowess, Crispin Rice, who became a viral video sensation when he proposed impulsively to his cheerleader girlfriend after a dramatic play on the court, and Roko Bacic, who lost a journalist uncle to an attack by Zagreb mobsters. No story or character is simple: Malcolm, for instance, is both sympathetic and perilously self-centered, and his argument that the NCAA profits unfairly from student athletics will provoke debate among readers. The pace of the game lulls a bit in the middle but picks up again in the tense and unpredictable finale. Compelling characters and solid sports action. (Fiction. 12 & up) (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10106989
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Volponi, Paul
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Interest level
  • MG+
  • High School
  • MG+
  • High School
LC call number
PZ7.V8877
LC item number
Fi 2012
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 12
NLM call number
Volponi, P.
Reading level
  • 5.8
  • 5.6
  • 5.8
  • 5.6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Reading Counts
  • Accelerated Reader AR
  • Reading Counts RC
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • NCAA Basketball Tournament
  • NCAA Basketball Tournament
  • NCAA Basketball Tournament
  • Basketball stories
  • Conduct of life
  • African Americans
  • Basketball
  • Conduct of life
  • African Americans
  • African Americans
  • Basketball stories
  • Conduct of life
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
The Final Four, Paul Volponi
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn725295022
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
244 pages
Isbn
9780142423851
Lccn
2011011587
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780670012640
System control number
(OCoLC)725295022
Label
The Final Four, Paul Volponi
Publication
Note
Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn725295022
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
244 pages
Isbn
9780142423851
Lccn
2011011587
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780670012640
System control number
(OCoLC)725295022

Library Locations

    • McMinnville Public LibraryBorrow it
      225 NW Adams Street, McMinnville, OR, 97128, US
      45.210071 -123.199661
    • Silver Falls Library DistrictBorrow it
      410 S. Water Street, Silverton, OR, 97381, US
      45.003378 -122.781322
    • Salem Public LibraryBorrow it
      585 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR, 97301, US
      44.934972 -123.041775
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