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The Final Four

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  990 Ratings  ·  252 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 Tr
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Ian I find that to be a dishonest statement. I strongly disagree. Im only half way thru but so far tyhis book is amazing. your crazy. just enjoy life a…moreI find that to be a dishonest statement. I strongly disagree. Im only half way thru but so far tyhis book is amazing. your crazy. just enjoy life a little more(less)
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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.
Ben Chiang
Sep 08, 2015 Ben Chiang rated it liked it
This book is talking about the university basketball league in US which is the NCAA.This book begin with a kid called Malcolm McBride, he is the point guard of the Michigan State Spartans. In a game they were left down within 2 points and they only have got 6.9 seconds left but Malcolm crossed-over but suddenly step back for a wide space jumper and he knocks down a 3 point buzzer-beater with a tight defence. This book had shows that a sport can transcend different experiences, backgrounds and be ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Susie rated it liked it
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
Matt Fritz
Dec 01, 2014 Matt Fritz rated it really liked it
Paul Volpni's "Final Four" portrays the life of 4 student athletes trying to win the NCAA championship. Michael Jordan and Malcolm McBride play for the same team, MSU, but have very different personalities. Malcolm is MSU's star and is only playing so he can get drafted higher into the NBA. Michael Jordan is not as good as his other teammates, even with a name like that. The other team, Troy, is the underdog team, but still holding its own. Roko Bacic, originally from Zagreb, Croatia, is here i ...more
Danny Williams
Sep 03, 2013 Danny Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liza Wiemer
Mar 20, 2012 Liza Wiemer rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 30, 2014 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: school
Malcolm, Roko, Crispin, and MJ are four boys who all want to win. But their dreams differ. Malcolm dreams to play in the NBA. Roko wants to be the pride of his parents and friends back in Croatia. Crispin wants his college love, Hope. MJ wants to be know for other than his name. March Madness has started and the Trojans and Spartans are at war. Both teams fates collide at the Superdome in New Orleans. Secrets are relived and heartbreaking moments are put on center stage as you read this book. Ho ...more
Toby Clark
Jan 08, 2014 Toby Clark rated it it was amazing
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
Jacob Crane
Mar 03, 2016 Jacob Crane is currently reading it
The Final Four by Paul Volponi is a realistic fiction novel about a superstar on a heavily favored team in the Final Four in New Orleans. Malcolm, the protagonist is a freshman at Michigan State and his team is playing the Troy Trojans. The Trojans are a cinderella story and barely squeaked their way into the Final Four. On the other hand. Michigan State was the dominant team all year and is expected to take home the title. Malcolm has indescribable talent and led his team in scoring and assists ...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
Dec 30, 2011 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 23, 2012 Sarai rated it it was amazing
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
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Mar 24, 2012 Cassi aka Snow White Haggard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Collin Byrne
Sep 04, 2013 Collin Byrne rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 13, 2014 Cameron Paynter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: term-3
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.
Oct 15, 2012 Carter rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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
Michael Scott
The Final Four, by Paul Volponi, is an exciting, fast paced, realistic fiction novel. It is the story of four basketball players on two different teams who are competing in the first semi-final of the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament. It is the Michigan state Spartans taking on the underdog Trojans of Troy University. Malcom McBride and Michael Jordan, a player named after the NBA star, are playing for the favored Spartans. McBride is the overconfident star of the team on his way t ...more
Derrell Jones
Feb 19, 2016 Derrell Jones rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
The authors point in writing this story was to capture the point of view between the Michigan State Spartans and the Trojans from Troy University. This is not the Spartans first time being at the NCAA tournament, but for the Trojans this is a whole new experience. I think the author wanted to capture how the "underdogs" were handling the pressure on such a big and monumental day. The author, Paul Valponi, switched back and forth between the point of views between both teams. He even talked abou ...more
Jack Crawley
Sep 18, 2015 Jack Crawley rated it really liked it
This book was interesting. The writing style used by Paul Volponi was awesome and really kept me interested. I loved how he used past to present context going from commentary on the game to the characters personal life struggles. He was really able to show how the game of basketball and life are so similar. Using players love life, family life, school life, and friendships, to show perseverance through basketball was just a great connection that I could strongly relate to. That's one reason I th ...more
Rachel Hughes
Aug 25, 2015 Rachel Hughes rated it liked it
“Just because the game clock has stopped, don’t believe for a single second that the hearts of the ten basketball players on the court have quit pounding.”- Paul Volponi, the Final Four.
The second book I read this summer was the Final Four, by Paul Volponi. This book takes place in a gym for a basketball game, so the genre is sports fiction. The game is between the Michigan State Spartans and the Trojans of Troy University. The main characters are Malcom McBride and Michael Jordan from Michigan
Aquil Thompson--king
May 20, 2015 Aquil Thompson--king rated it really liked it
The book The Final Four is a fiction book about an AAU basketball team playing other AAU teams in their state. The setting of the book was America because the traveling team called the Spartans went all over the country in high competition and played the best teams. There is one main character who is unnamed, but he is one of the best players on his AAU basketball team the Spartans. The conflict of the story was the Spartans going against bigger teams in these AAU tournaments, because they were ...more
Aden Sachs
May 05, 2015 Aden Sachs rated it it was amazing
Aden Sachs
5 out of 5 stars
May 6, 2015
Paul Volponi's purpose in writing this book is to inspire his readers to always work hard for what you want. 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
Javier Karlson
Mar 02, 2015 Javier Karlson rated it it was amazing
“The Final Four” is one of the best books that I have read in a while. It is a very interesting book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I personally loved it because it is a good story about 4 guys who are fulfilling their sports dream by playing in the final four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Although they are facing each other these boys come together and end up being very similar to each other. It’s the story of two boys struggling to befriend each other but end up bec
Griffin Tebrugge
Mar 01, 2015 Griffin Tebrugge rated it liked it
I believe the the Author's purpose was to show how to go out and succeed. The book shows how a basketball player wanted to win and how much it meant to them to play the game of basketball. All the characters just love basketball and it means a lot to them that they are playing in the final four of the NCAA. Malcolm is probably the most determined because he knows that he is the best at basketball right now and doesn't want anyone else to be better than him.
The theme of this book was to show th
Grant Rohrmann
The Final Four by Paul Volponi
There are four main characters. Malcolm McBride is a basketball player on the Michigan State team. He is arrogant and can’t wait until he is playing for the NBA. Michael Jordan is also a player for the Michigan State Spartans. He is named after his father’s favorite basketball player, Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Roko Bacic is a player for Troy University. He is originally from Croatia, where he had leave after his uncle was killed by the mafia. Crispin Rice is Roko’s te
Steffen Honkala
Dec 07, 2014 Steffen Honkala rated it it was amazing
I feel the author, Paul Volponi's purpose for writing this was very straight forward. This particular book really grabbed me when I was reading it. I feel Volponi was trying to show the mindset of a young man chasing his dreams and the different ways certain people approach it. Malcom, one of the highlighted characters, for example, was very outspoken and very clear on his plan. I think Volponi's theme was the will to win in this book, as throughout we read what the characters are feeling throug ...more
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