LAST SHOT: A Final Four Mystery
John Feinstein, , read by the author. . Listening Library, $30 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-307-20644-2
Author, journalist, National Public Radio commentator and college basketball junkie Feinstein is in the zone—the comfort zone, that is—with this crisp adaptation of his first book for kids, a page-turner set during college b-ball's championship tournament. At age 13, aspiring sportswriter Stevie Johnson has scored a coup: he's won a writing contest that has earned him a trip to the NCAA final four, with official press access. But the amazing weekend gets especially interesting when Stevie and his fellow contest winner Susan Carol overhear a potential blackmailing scheme, as someone threatens a star Minnesota State player to throw the final game against Duke. Can the newbie reporters unravel a scandal? Listeners will want to stick with Feinstein's knowing, relaxed reading to find out. Though the low-key narration does not always paint a big dramatic sound, the author's passion for sports and knack for creating an exciting plot is evident. Feinstein's shout-outs to real sports journalists, coaches and players are a bonus for fans, as is an interview at the end of the program about the author's early career path and his opinion of contemporary college athletics. Ages 10-14.
Reviewed on: 03/14/2005