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The Prodigy

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  24 reviews
From award-winning sportswriter John Feinstein, a YA novel about a teen golfer poised to blaze his way into Masters Tournament history--and he'll face secrecy, sacrifice, and the decision of a lifetime to get there.

Seventeen-year-old Frank Baker is a golfing sensation. He's set to earn a full-ride scholarship to play at the university of his choice, but his single dad want
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) (first published 2018)
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Ms. Yingling
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Purchased copy

N.B. I have never played or even seen golf. I know nothing about the terminology, the competitions, the players or... anything. I tried!

Frank is a very good 16-year-old golfer. after being a runner up in a big amateur tournament the previous year, he returns to the circuit and wins another big event (under noteworthy circumstances) that puts him in the Masters. He's up against older, competent players, and also gets to meet real life golf stars. (I'm assuming, only because Phil Mi
Kathy Martin
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Golf loving teens will enjoy that story of Frank Baker's rise to fame. Frank is a golfing phenomenon and his father is eager to cash in on his son's future. He wants Frank to turn pro out of high school. Frank wants to go to at least two years of college before turning pro. On his side are his swing coach Slugger Johnston and Slugger's college friend Keith Forman who now writes about golf.

Both Slugger and Keith were college golfers who gave the pro circuit a try but weren't able to make it to t
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, arcs, contemporary, ya
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I find the lives of young, elite athletes fascinating, and was eager to meet Frank, the star of The Prodigy.

What I Liked

This book really pulled me into the world of golf. Feinstein took us on tours of world famous courses and stacked the deck with appearances by a ton of major PGA players. I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the courses, and appreciated the way Feinstein wove the "stars" into Frank's story. They were his competition, but also his mentors, and these interacti
For a more in-depth review watch:

Frank Baker is a golfing prodigy. At seventeen he has his picks of scholarships to any college in the country and is on the cusp of being able to play in national professional tournaments. However, Frank's golf dreams may be destroyed by his father who only seems to worry about Frank's earning potential.

I had a hard time with this book. I read it because of Feinstein's popularity but I honestly didn't understand 90 percent
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Prodigy is an outstanding read. It may be labeled as a young adult novel, but I found topics and themes that would be compelling for any reader. I would say that someone should have some knowledge of golf, yet the author does provide good background info throughout. Very fun read, with great commentary on the game and the roles parents and others should have in the development of young athletes. Highly recommended.

For the full review:

For all my review
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before this year, Frank was just a nobody. But ever since his impressive performance at last year’s PGA tournament at the age of 16, Frank has been called the Perrington prodigy, the next Tiger Woods. Agents are lining up at his door and have caught his father’s ear, pressuring Frank to go pro and sign deals with big name companies. Frank has other plans --- including attending college.

With his father working behind his back with agents, it seems that there is no one Frank can confide in, until
Lisa Brennan
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The Prodigy” drives straight down the fairway and delivers a hole in one. While this book’s target audience is likely YA, it will also earn applause from the Middle Grade crowd and is equally appropriate as a read-aloud for early elementary grade golf fans. Feinstein masterfully infuses fiction with elements of narrative nonfiction by spotlighting high-interest golf lore, exemplary golf etiquette and a supporting cast of well-known professional golfers. Seventeen-year-old prodigy Frank Becker s ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: boy-books, sports
I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Frank is touted as the next Tiger Woods. He is a young golf prodigy and his father hopes to make money to set them up for life. However, Frank wants to go to college before turning professional. He enlists the help of his coach Slugger and Slugger's college friend, who is also a professional golf reporter, Keith. Some very shady things are going on around Frank and Keith is there to keep everyone honest and help Frank stay the g
Cameron Meeks
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Prodigy was a really good book. The story starts with Frank, a teenage boy and his father who is trying to push him into pro league golfing. Frank goes up the list and into the higher championship leagues. He just wants to enjoy the game and go to college, but his dad gets angry at him. He's up against people who are older, and maybe better than him, but he still stays determined. Frank's mom lives a happy life in Japan with her new family after his father and mother went their separate ways ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who would ever guess that a book about golf tournaments would be so exciting? I'm a very poor golfer and only occasionally watch matches on TV but this story had me completely mesmerized. The sports itself was exciting but I especially enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to be a player in a tournament.

The characters were engaging and while Frank might be a tad mature it was refreshing to have such a level-headed teen character to root for.

I listened to this on audio and the pr
Bickering Book Reviews
For a more in-depth review watch:

Golf fans will probably enjoy this book but if you don't already have an understanding of the sport you may be lost through large chunks of the story. Plus, the focus seemed to be more on the adult than on Frank which made it difficult to connect with the main character. Feinstein's hardcore fans will probably enjoy this one but we had difficulty getting through it.

We received advanced reader copies of this book from the p
Bob Alger
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audible version. Feinstein does a great job reading his book.

Great story about a kid getting into competitive golf. I did find it a little self-serving that the "hero" of the story is a writer from Golf Digest. Also some of the shot by shot analysis about 3/4 in gets a little monotonous. Kind of like when your buddy describes his round in great detail. It could have been a great round, but nobody wants that much detail.

All in all a great story. I'm happy that I stumbled across
Carla A
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is pretty safe to say that I find golf to be extremely boring - yet somehow this title ends up being pretty exciting. I only know what a bridie and bogey are because I just looked them up on the duck duck go but it didn't matter at all for this non golf enthusiast - reading this was like watching the highlights of any sport - you get all the great bits without the boring (for me) filler. I read and listened to it and my first thought when I realized the author was doing the reading was this w ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Before reading this book, I didn’t really know what golf was. I just thought it was a boring sport, but this book actually made the sport interesting and I was on the edge of my seat for what would happen next. This author was able to make something I knew nothing about into something really interesting to me. I highly recommend this book! It’s different from my usual YA/teen romance novel and I loved it.
BJ Kellogg
Dec 30, 2018 added it
Shelves: finished
Something was missing. Either not enough character build up or description. Never read such a story a new narrative but is bland the right word? So I slept on it and I think the second book of the college years and him turning pro. What happens in college life? How are the deal put together, does he go or international. Who is the new caddy?
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Master's came down to the last hole. Frank missed the last putt and then it was Rory's turn. He had moved his ball marker because it was in the way of Frank's ball. If he took the shot then Frank would have won, but then Frank told him to move his ball back, so that he would lose fair and square.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a bad look into the what drives some of the business (and greed) in a young star coming up in the world. While it was a little far fetched at times, I thought the storyline and plot was a lot of fun and kept me interested in the outcome.
Marley R.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Great for anyone who golfs!
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to the sport of Golf, but will also attract avid golfers.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Can’t say too much because there are too many spoilers for golf fans!
Nancy Kennedy
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantasy book for pro golf lovers. Cinderella tale with lots of insider scoop. Read it in one sitting!
David Yu
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are many fathers in the sports world who would do anything in the sports world for money They would even not listen to their children to get that money. This is the case of Frank Baker. His dad talks with a very bad agent, Ron Lawrence, every single day. It is only when Frank's swing coach, "Slugger" Johnston, and his friend, Keith Forman step in does Frank have any hope of having a happy golf career. Its a battle between Frank and his agent. Who is to be trusted as a friend? Who is to be ...more
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John Feinstein is one of the nation’s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date. His most recent work Are You Kidding Me? , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere. In addition, he is an award-winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television.

John Feinstein is a 1977 gr

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