I'm so excited to join the blog tour for John David Anderson's latest middle grade novel! Be sure to check out the giveaway toward the bottom of the post. Enter your information before May 21st to win a copy (sent from the publisher).
by John David Anderson, published by Walden Pond Press, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 978-0062643926
About the book: (summary from publisher)
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.
Quarantine was supposed to be a time for me to get so much reading done, right? Apparently my brain hasn't gotten that message. There have been a lot of books I've started but struggled to really fully immerse into. I'm happy to report that One Last Shot had a story that blasted right through that fuzziness in my brain. I loved it from start to finish.
The characters: I absolutely loved Malcolm. Anderson has a knack for creating main characters who are delightfully quirky. Malcolm is the kind of kid I would have enjoyed hanging out with as a kid (yeah, I was also kinda quirky). He's also the kind of kid I would adore having in my classroom now. He's kind, but doesn't always fit in well. He doesn't enjoy the things his father loves, but he struggles with admitting that because he doesn't want to hurt his dad's feelings. Of course, Malcolm isn't the only character I adored. He becomes friends with Lex, and it's the sweetest meeting and friendship ever. She's another odd duck that I'd love to have in class. I mean, I had a ton of cool pins when I was her age, too. I wonder if she'd trade pins with me? (Fun side fact - my favorite pin *I* owned as a tween was one that said "I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person)
The structure: I'm a sucker for books that dive back and forth a bit in time. We experience the story with Malcolm as he's in a mini-golf competition, and we see all the things that led to this day along the way. I find that a structure like that keeps my interest high. I'll see a clue, and then later see how it all fits together. I think will also enjoy the structure.
Overall, this is a wonderful read. I highly recommend picking this book up for the middle grade readers in your life! (John David Anderson consistently puts out great novels. Scroll down to see links for reviews I've written for many of his other titles)
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.
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!
May 4 Nerdy Book Club
May 7 Teachers Who Read
May 8 A Library Mama
May 10 Bluestocking Thinking
May 12 Unleashing Readers
May 13 Maria’s Mélange
May 14 The Book Monsters
**I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher. This did not impact my review of the book**
My posts for his other titles...
Dungeoneers (Q&A) . Dungeoneers (fun author post)
Sidekicked (review) . Sidekicked (fun author post)