Today I’m honored to be part of the blog tour for John David Anderson’s latest book, ONE LAST SHOT. Scroll all the way to the bottom for a giveaway of a signed hardcover copy and the other stops on the tour!
About the book:
The beloved author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted returns with a humorous, heartwarming story of family, friendship, and miniature golf.
For as long as he can remember, Malcolm has never felt like he was good enough. Not for his parents, who have always seemed at odds with each other, with Malcolm caught in between. And especially not for his dad, whose competitive drive and love for sports Malcolm has never shared.
That is, until Malcolm discovers miniature golf, the one sport he actually enjoys. Maybe it’s the way in which every hole is a puzzle to be solved. Or the whimsy of the windmills and waterfalls that decorate the course. Or maybe it’s the slushies at the snack bar. But whatever the reason, something about mini golf just clicks for Malcolm. And best of all, it’s a sport his dad can’t possibly obsess over.
Or so Malcolm thinks.
Soon he is signed up for lessons and entered in tournaments. And yet, even as he becomes a better golfer and finds unexpected friends at the local course, be wonders if he might not always be a disappointment. But as the final match of the year draws closer, the tension between Malcolm’s parents reaches a breaking point, and it’s up to him to put the puzzle of his family back together again.
About the Author
John David Anderson is the author of some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed books for kids in recent memory, including the New York Times Notable Book Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Posted, Granted, Sidekicked, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wonderful wife and two frawsome kids in Indianapolis, Indiana. He’s never eaten seven scoops of ice cream in a single sitting, but he thinks it sounds like a terrific idea. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.
ONE LAST SHOT by John David Anderson, published by Walden Pond Press, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 978-0062643926
I’m terrible at miniature golf (and all other sports), but geeky, mostly sports-averse Malcolm had me on his team from the start. The story is told through the frame of the big final tournament game, one chapter for each hole, each one starting with a description of the hole itself that’s a mix of bland technical writing and humor:
Two irregularly spaced stone hazards plit the green providing three possible approaches – left, right, or center – none of which offers a straight shot to the hole in the back corner. Shooting the narrow gaps between the rocks or the walls is so difficult that some golfers choose to just close their eyes and whack it, hoping for the best.
This approach almost never works.”
We learn right from the start that Malcolm’s head is populated by an array of voices talking to him, including sports announcers Bill and Jim, his real but deceased gravelly-voiced Granny Allison, [smart] Aleck, as well as a nameless voice that tells him that he’s not good enough. Though they all add to Malcolm’s uncertainty – is it really normal to hear voices like this? – they also add to the humor of the book.
Yes, this is a book about a tough issue – challenging Malcolm’s belief that he is responsible for his parents’ relationship – but in trademark Anderson style, there’s lots of humor in both the events and the characters, including Malcolm’s somewhat skeezy coach, Frank, and his button-wearing, Pac-Man champion friend Lex. I laughed out loud lots, and got teary-eyed a few times as well. I’d expect this one to be popular with a broad array of people, and would make for an excellent class read-aloud. (The publisher has even provided a guide, available here: ONE LAST SHOT READER’S GUIDE)
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted seem to be John David Anderson’s most popular books, but I’m betting this will going them, and I’ll always have a soft spot for the first books of his that I read – Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers.
ONE LAST SHOT isn’t currently available on Libby or Hoopla – please consider buying it from your local bookstore if you have one (mine are offering curbside pickup and $1 shipping) or bookshop.org or from Libro.fm if you prefer audiobooks. Both Libby and Hoopla have a wide array of his older books in both ebook and audiobook formats, though, if you haven’t yet read them.
May 4 Nerdy Book Club
May 7 Teachers Who Read
May 8 A Library Mama
May 10 Bluestocking Thinking
May 12 Unleashing Readers
May 14 The Book Monsters