Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

*Accelerated Reader
*Scholastic Reading Counts


School Library Journal:

This addition to the series revolves around the attempt of four friends to make the junior high school basketball team. Any youngster who has been involved in this kind of situation will identify with the characters obsessive interest in evaluating the competition and enhancing their own chances of making the team . . . the novel is briskly paced and would be a good bet for use with sports-minded reluctant readers. Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School. VT.

International Reading Assn:

"The author cleverly sets the stage with convincing dialogue about a realistically presented dilemma. The Final Cut is revealing slice-of-life sports fiction. . . . .The theme that not everyone succeeds the first time out provides an opportunity for readers to think about and discuss character attributes of dedication, patience, and effort." International Reading Association's Reading Online Journal.

Final Cut

The Story

Ryan, Zeke, Eli, and Miles are four close friends who will soon be trying out for their 8th grade basketball team. They're not great, but they're not slouches either. Basketball is their life. They spend hours playing hoop together and hold their own against good teams in a 3-on-3 street tournament in the city. When they are not playing basketball, they are hanging out in Ryan's basement trying to figure out their chances of making the school team. The tryouts become not only a test of their athletic ability but their friendship too.

The History

Michael Jordan didn't make the varsity team the first time he tried out, but he didn't get discouraged. He kept playing. Another basketball great Bill Russell had trouble making his high school team.