The Last Shot by John Feinstein

January 6th, 2011 by Brian Leave a reply »

The Last Shot is a book to read with a Google search at your fingertips. One of the techniques that Feinstein uses is bringing in his connections from the world of nonfiction sportswriting to add plenty of realism to the narrative. Dick Vitale is, oddly enough, not a work of fiction and Feinstein characterizes him perfectly. Talk show hosts from ESPN banter with each other like they do in real life.

This is a YA book, so the heroes are teenagers. More than once the protagonists have to smooth-talk their way past guards and NCAA officials. In reaity, the teens would be pushed aside pretty quickly and, although that does happen in the book, the teens always find a way out of the complication. That’s the only part for me that broke the realism, even though Feinstein includes plenty of plot to explain how the kids rationalized their actions.

I appreciated a different perspective on sports. This was not the stereotypical “new kid comes to school and makes friends/saves the day through sports” type of book. The world of sports reporting is not one that is explored much in YA fiction even though many of our students want to pursue that as an occupation. Deadlines, working with an editor, and searching for interesting details are all shown in the story.

For being 250 pages, it’s a very quick read and I read the book off of the recommendation of students and teachers at our school. It’s definitely worth a checkout.


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