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The Final Four

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  717 ratings  ·  205 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 — 482 voters
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212th out of 238 books — 877 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,612)
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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.
Matt Fritz
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
Susie
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
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bjneary
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
Hannah
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
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
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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
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Sarai
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
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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
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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
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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.
Carter
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
Yapha
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
Steffen Honkala
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
Khari
This book is about being a basketball player in college. In this book they focused on two college basketball teams. They were the Trojans and the Spartans. So, different players from the two teams had there own perspective on what was happening on and off the court. Next, the two teams were going at it with each other. The Trojans and Spartans had a hard fought battle against each other.But, only one team can come out with the win and there was one winner.

What I like about this is that no one ga
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Jackb56

Final Four by Paul Volponi is a very intriguing book that will definitely make you want to keep reading. It shows the true intensity of playing college basketball and how the players can get swept up in popularity and other relationships. It will actually make you feel like you are at a game with the imagery used in the novel. The book shows how March Madness is very popular, but also shows situations as if you were a player in the tournament.

I think that the novel Final Four was splendid and
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Adam
Oct 05, 2014 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sports people
From my point of view, the book was to tell a story about an underdog team in the Final Four and that team puts their mind together and they go on a run and now in the NCAA tournament they are a big threat. The author shows even a team that is an underdog or is not very recognized doesn't mean they can't win. Thats what i think the author explains in this book.
I believe the theme of the story is don't give up and don't stop believing. Many times the underdog team is faced with elimination but
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Kyle White
"Last Saturday night, McBride, a freshman at Michigan State, led the Spartans to a 93-92 quadruple-overtime win over the Trojans of Troy at the Final Four in the Louisiana Superdome" (pg. 242). The Final Four was a very interesting book that I enjoyed to read. It was written by Paul Volponi. This book was written about a NCAA Final Four basketball game that had gone into quadruple-overtime. The match consisted of the Michigan State Spartans facing off against the Trojans of Troy. The main chara ...more
Haydon Glenn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
English
4/4/14
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
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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
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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
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Troyhester
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 like.it lets you know w
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Brian
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
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