The Final Four
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The Final Four

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  602 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Four players with one thing in common: the will to win

Malcolm wants to get to the NBA ASAP. Roko wants to be the pride of his native Croatia. Crispin wants the girl of his dreams. M.J. just wants a chance.

March Madness is in full swing, and there are only four teams left in the NCAA basketball championship. The heavily favored Michigan Spartans and the underdog Troy Troj...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Viking Juvenile
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Mock Printz 2013
69th out of 92 books — 468 voters
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210th out of 236 books — 866 voters

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Community Reviews

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I started this during the Men's Final Four, and finished during the Women's Championship game. I appreciate Volponi's background, but felt this was a bit too manipulative and cliched. I could have done without the Crispin-cheerleader drama for sure, and I found Malcolm too stereotypical and overdone. No successful coach would put up with his extreme selfishness. There were times that Malcolm showed a softer side, especially concerning his sister, but the character was way over the top. Students...more
Liza Wiemer
For those who follow me on Twitter and Goodreads, it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Paul Volponi's. I became intrigued by his work when RESPONSE received the Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor in 2010. After that, I devoured his novels and dubbed Paul the King of Urban YA Fiction.

THE FINAL FOUR is one of Paul's finest novels. Volponi writes about March Madness, the time when the best college basketball teams play for the NCAA Championship. It's huge money, huge exposer, huge pressure. V...more
I love all of Paul Volponi's books and this is no exception! He gets the suspense and excitement just right in this book about basketball and 4 overtimes in a game that will totally drive you crazy with anticipation. Who will win this Final Four game between the Michigan State Spartans (Malcolm McBride and Michael Jordan) against the Troy University Trojans (Roko Bacic and Crispin Rice)is anyone's guess as we follow the story through the four main characters, (and there are so many more other me...more
Greg S.
Started this the day before school ended, and of course, it was my favorite book I read all year. I was sad about the ending, but other than that, one of my favorite(if not my favorite) books I've ever read. I suggest it to anyone who likes sports.
Toby Clark
The title of my second outside reading book is, The Final Four, by Paul Volponi

The main characters in my book include: Roko, Crispin, MJ, Malcolm, Coach Kennedy, Coach Barker, Hope, Aaron, Baby Bear, and Grizzly Bear

This novel takes place in a modern day setting at the championship of the Final Four, in the March Madness tournament. In the book Michigan State, the powerhouse of college basketball, meets against Troy, the biggest underdog in Final Four history. In this book, Paul Volponi chooses...more
Cristen Krugh
This was the pick of my 5th period class. The format is probably what kept me most interested. The main focus of the novel is a final four NCAA game between the Trojans and the Spartans. How do you draw out 4 overtimes in a novel (we know how they do it on TV- commercials!)? Volponi told the back stories of 4 key players as the overtimes played out. There were interviews, journal entries and flashbacks. Each player had a different personality, different perception of the game of basketball and d...more
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: THE FINAL FOUR by Paul Volponi, Viking, March 2012, 256p., ISBN: 978-0-670-01264-0
"Imagine all the people living life in peace"
-- John Lennon. (Yep. He was murdered, too.)

Why is the human race so successful at spawning murderous thugs? That's what I was sitting here thinking to myself as I equivocated about which of the two main characters I should be rooting for in this awesome basketball story that is so much more than a basketball story. Do I cheer for the abrasive college fr...more
I was not sure if I would like a sports book, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The quotes from basketball players and coaches which started each chapter really tied in well and were meaningful. The pacing was good, feeding the reader a little bit of sports with as little bit of character development, so those who came to the book for the sports won't get encumbered by a lot of character blah blah blah while those who enjoy the character side of books won't feel bogged down by the sports. It al...more
Sally Kruger
Wow! This is the best Paul Volponi book ever!!

It's the Michigan State Spartans and the Trojans of Troy University in the semi-finals of the NCAA Championships. It's March Madness at its best!

Volponi creates an amazing story that focuses on the final few minutes of the semi-final game and the multiple overtime periods that follow regular play. The play by play action is fast paced and intense, but what will really grab readers is how Volponi weaves in the back stories of four of the key players f...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
3.5/5 stars

This year The Final Four is my March Madness book. It's a tradition that I started last year (shush that's long enough to be a tradition) because I couldn't get enough basketball during March and decided to read Ball Don't Lie by Matt de la Pena. I loved the book and it pushed me to read more sports-centric YA.

The Final Four is an enjoyable fast-pace quick read. It's not as brilliant as Ball Don't Lie (which for the record is on my favorite list) but it was a fun read. It's a book abo...more
Danny Williams
The Final Four by Paul Volponi
1. I chose to read The Final Four because I read the synopsis on the summer reading list and it appealed to my interest in sports. Out of all of the fiction books on the list, this book interested me the most and jumped out at me when I was deciding what to read.
2. I liked how the author was able to keep the reader updated about the first semifinal game of the NCAA March Madness tournament, which was the main focus of the book while also getting into the personalit...more
Collin Byrne
I picked the Final Four because I am a very big sports fan and i'm very interested in basketball. I can read any basketball book and easily fall in love with it. I liked many things from the book. What I liked most was how the author gave every point of view from each character and each perspective from every player. What I liked least about the novel was that he gave too many perspectives throughout each chapter and made the book some what confusing. He told too many stories that you could forg...more
Cameron Paynter
This story is about two teams and there very close historic game in the final four going into four over times. Michigan state and the troy Trojans are going head to head to head. there are four main character Malcolm,Michael,Chris-pin,and Roko. they don't only have to compete and try to win on the court. but keep there lives in check, if you want a book with great basketball action and a tremendous story behind it then I strongly recamend the final four.
I enjoyed this book very much. The Final Four was a great choice for me because I like basketball and I always have wondered what it felt to try to make it to the NBA. Final Four gave you a perfect idea of the physical, mental, and financial toll families pay to see their children play the game of basketball. Paul Volponi did a great job on spreading out the games with backgrounds on the players for both the underdogs and favored team. I learned alot about each player and by the end of the book...more
Apr 01, 2012 Yapha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I read this book with the Final Four basketball games on in the background. Hearing the sounds of the game added so much to the reading of the book! I love March Madness and all of the accompanying hoopla. This was a great book to read, as it went in-depth and behind the scenes of a couple of the players on each of the teams. It jumps around in time, weaving the stories through the final minutes of the semi final game, but never loses the thread that ties it all together. A must read for college...more
Zach Ross
Paul Volponi's purpose in writing this book is to inspire his readers. With every page that he wrote, something new would come up that would change the readers mind about a certain character or their view on the story as a whole. The story describes the lives of four basketball players, two from each opposing team. These two teams are playing each other for the national championship. As he describes the four players and their lives up to this point, it is tough for the reader to pick sides. You...more
Michael Montegut
Michael Montegut
Mr. Welsh
Final Four
College basketball is one of the most thrilling sports because of all the rivalry, and competition. The NCAA tournament is a highlight the sport, and without it the sport wouldn’t be where it is today. In this book it takes place in the heart of this glorious event; The Final Four. Michigan State is matched up against a team that no one would have thought would be in the Final Four; The Troy Trojans. Throughout the journey to the Final it focuses...more
Marc Fuller

​Final Four is an exciting book about intense basketball games; it’s not worth the reader’s time because it has many details, long, and specific about basketball. It’s about determination and the will to win the big tournament. The two main teams competing are the Michigan State Spartans and Troy University Trojans. The Trojans are major underdogs and hope to pull an upset on the powerhouse Spartans. The Spartans are carried by a superstar freshman named Malcolm McBride, he is a one-and-done pla...more
Asher T
The Final Four was written by Paul Volponi. He wrote this book to entertain the reader about an underdog story. The setting took place in the Superdome. The game was played between the Michigan State Spartans and the Troy Trojans. Michigan State was the heavy favorite to win the game led by Malcolm. Malcolm was a really talented freshmen point guard. He was very arrogant, and he wanted to declare for the NBA in high school. You cannot enter the NBA without at least one year of college. The Troja...more
Cole Hamilton
Mar 02, 2014 Cole Hamilton is currently reading it
The author obviously loves college basketball, he wouldn't want to write about something that he wasn't interested in and didn't care for. March Madness is a huge deal and a lot of people watch it each year. Most people watch it on TV or they listen to it on the radio. The author wanted to write this story so that you could feel like you were there in person and really experience how intense the tournament actually is.
The theme of this book is how much money this tournament makes. The players do...more
the final is a basket ball book about the march madness witch is the playoffs and finals for college basket ball. it tell how an what the players go threw leading up to these games and what they feel during these games. this book tells you how the star players on teams feel and think during these games.

what I like about this book is that it gives you like front row seats to the games of march madness. it lets you know what the players really feel and what they are looking lets you know w...more
Volponi does an excellent job of putting the reader into the action of the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament.

If you like basketball this is the book for you. The entire book takes place over one semifinal game in the NCAA basketball tournament. The author takes the reader into the minds of the players by looking at the game from several unique perspectives.

Each chapter is told from a different player's point of view, the game commentators' point of view, from news outlet interviews o...more
Julia Reynolds
This is a sports book. I therefore didn’t like it. Objectively, however, it was very good – it follows four fictional NCAA players during the game before the championship at the end of March Madness. The story is told in alternating first-person chapters, sprinkled with newspaper articles, flashbacks to the players’ childhoods and previous academic year, and transcripts of the radio broadcast of the game. Chapters are short and description outside of basketball play-by-play is minimal. It’s defi...more
Gabriela Ferrantello
The Final Four by Paul Volponi is a very exciting and enjoyable book. It is about two teams, the Michigan State Spartans and the Troy Trojans, who are competing in the NCAA Final Four championship game. The plot focuses on the players who are either dealing with family hardships or trying to get drafted by an NBA team. I really liked the way the author presented the main events and how he used suspense in certain chapters.

While I was reading The Final Four, both positive and negative things stoo...more
Sophie Hollister
The Final Four to me was a amazing book. It was intense, the characters had great backstories, and I loved the way it was written. It was written differently, because each chapter they would follow a different character, between four people (two on each team), and it would tell what they are thinking right now and a taste of their backstories. The only thing I didn't like was the ending because it wasn't what I expected which was a good thing in a way.

This book is about two teams who have mad...more
Jake P.
The Final Four by Paul Volponi shows the lives of four basketball players that face up against each other in an NCAA final four game. To start the story, it is the MSU Spartans versus the Alabama Trojans. The outstanding players in this exciting game are Roko Bacic, Crispin Rice, MJ, and Malcolm McBride. Lets meet the players. First for the Spartans, the stars are Michael Jordan and Malcolm McBride. These players are very good, but stand out in different ways. MJ has to battle his name all his l...more
Whoever it was that said this book is the basketball version of Friday Night Lights a.) Doesn't watch basketball b.) Hasn't actually watched FNL or c.) both.
Kyle Miller
I liked this book, but then again i didnt. It was boring yet interesting at the same time.I think it was mainly because i like basketball, that i liked this book.I gave it a 3 because to me that is the middle between bad and good. This book was confusing because it kept changing the people they were talking about throughout the story, and it was hard to keep track of.

I only liked this book because it talked about basketball, and that's pretty much all i understood.I liked the way Volponi brough...more
Adam Rettberg
The book the final four I thought was the true definition of an underdog story between Troy Trojans and the heavily favored Michigan state Spartans. It's the final four and troy is facing Michigan state players have interviews and flashbacks about their childhood and where they came from and the different situations the players came from and how they got to their respective colleges. Malcolm mcbride is the best player in the country and wants to get out of college and into the NBA as fast as he...more
Katie Jane
Heading to the Final Four in New Orleans, so this was the perfect read. P.S. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
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