The Final Cut

Ready to hit the basketball court?  
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561455102
  • Publication date: 10/01/2009
  • Page Count: 103
  • Size: 5-1/4" x 7-1/2"
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561456468
  • Publication date: 10/01/2011
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
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Ready to hit the basketball court?

Check out this action-packed Sports Story Series book from Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author Fred Bowen – perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green.

“Briskly paced… a good bet for use with sports-minded reluctant readers.” ―School Library Journal

Ryan, Zeke, Eli, and Miles have always shared a love of sports, especially basketball. When it’s time for basketball team tryouts, these best friends practice together, compete in a local 3-on-3 tournament, and carefully compute their chances of making the team. However, when tryouts arrive, will all their athletic skills pass the test? Can their friendship survive if one of them doesn’t make the cut?

Fred Bowen keeps readers on the edge of their seats with play-by-play basketball action and real court strategy along with a story about winning and losing as well as the value of practice and competition. In the sports history epilogue, Bowen reminds readers that even famous players like Michael Jordan didn’t make their high school basketball teams the first time around.

Discussion Guide available.



Fred Bowen


Fred Bowen is a lifelong sports fanatic who has coached youth league baseball, basketball, and soccer. His kids’ sports column “The Score” appears each week in the KidsPost section of the Washington Post.


“[Bowen’s] pacing is excellent and he has a knack for efficient evocation.” ―The Washington Post

“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. For better or worse, the self-image of adolescent boys is often closely tied to their success in sports and one of the strengths of the book is the openness with which Bowen examines this issue. There is a particularly moving passage in which the protagonist’s stepfather recounts his experience in being cut from a school team in a manner that makes it clear that the incident still bothers him…. the novel is briskly paced and would be a good bet for use with sports-minded reluctant readers.” ―School Library Journal


Resources: Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

More Details

AR Level: 4.3
F&P: GRL Q, Gr 4, Genre RF
Lexile: 600L
Themes: Basketball, Friendship, Perseverence
BISAC 1: JUV032020 JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / Basketball
BISAC 2: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship