<B>John Feinstein's winning shot</B> What would you do if you had the chance to be a reporter at the NCAA Final Four? For Stevie Thomas, it's more than a daydream. In John Feinstein's new novel, <B>Last Shot</B>, Stevie is one of the winners of a teen writing contest, and he's in New Orleans with a press pass, on assignment for the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association. Stevie's co-winner is a pretty and ambitious girl from North Carolina named Susan Carol Anderson, whose looks aren't the only thing unnerving him; the fact that she's a rabid Duke fan also rankles the loyal young Big East follower. Still, they have the run of the place, and Susan Carol has a knack for getting the most imposing of celebrities to talk, a plus when you're striving to get interesting copy on a short deadline.

Their enthusiasm and curiosity bring them more than they bargain for when, while snooping around the Minnesota State locker room, they overhear an attempt to blackmail MSU's star player into throwing the Final Four. Stevie and Susan Carol are faced with an important decision: they can either tell the adult reporters who are overseeing them or they can investigate the story on their own. What would <I>you</I> do? For the two young journalists, the choice is obvious, but in order to get at the truth, they'll have to use a combination of teenage guile and subterfuge to escape their chaperone fathers and their reporter guides. They'll need to accomplish this while dodging loud sportswriters, crazed fans and most dangerous of all, the people behind the blackmail scheme.

A critically acclaimed sportswriter, Feinstein peppers his story with basketball jargon, realistic descriptions and sportscaster cameos. You'll feel as if you have a courtside seat at the SuperDome.

<B>Last Shot</B> is Feinstein's first entry into fiction for young people, and it's an impressive one. The story is intriguing, the dialogue snappy and the finale exciting. If you've got a kid who'd rather watch ESPN than eat, tell him or her to go read a book <I>this</I> book. <I>James Neal Webb is living proof that white men can't jump.</I>

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