Bullet Point

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Overview

Wyatt never really thought much about his dad—a hardened criminal, a lifer in a prison somewhere on the other side of the state. But then the economy had to go and tank, and the community had to go and cut the baseball program from Wyatt's high school. And then the coach had to go and show Wyatt a photograph of his dad at sixteen, looking very much like Wyatt himself. Through a series of unfortunate—or perhaps they were fortunate—events, Wyatt meets a crazy-hot girl named Greer with a criminal dad of her own. A ...

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Bullet Point

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Overview

Wyatt never really thought much about his dad—a hardened criminal, a lifer in a prison somewhere on the other side of the state. But then the economy had to go and tank, and the community had to go and cut the baseball program from Wyatt's high school. And then the coach had to go and show Wyatt a photograph of his dad at sixteen, looking very much like Wyatt himself. Through a series of unfortunate—or perhaps they were fortunate—events, Wyatt meets a crazy-hot girl named Greer with a criminal dad of her own. A criminal dad who is, in fact, in jail with Wyatt's own criminal dad. Greer arranges a meeting, and Wyatt's dad is nothing like the guy he's imagined—he's suave, and smart, and funny, and cool, and—Wyatt's pretty sure—innocent. So Wyatt decides to help him out. A decision that may possibly be the worst he's ever made in his life.

This is another hold-your-breath thriller by the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award nominated Peter Abrahams.

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Editorial Reviews

Gordon Korman
“With characters that are vivid and 100% believable-this is an absolutely potboiler. I wish there were more books like this aimed at teens.”-
Booklist (starred review)
“Edgier and sexier than most YA novels dare.”
Booklist
"Edgier and sexier than most YA novels dare."
ALA Booklist
“As tough and gritty a YA thriller as I’ve ever read, with enough startling twists to leave me breathless and begging for more Abrahams.”
VOYA - Hillary Crew
Baseball is cut because of the budget, so sixteen-year-old Wyatt, advised by his coach, transfers to a more affluent high school in Silver City. Wyatt, who has had a fight with his out-of-work step-father, is eager to go but his friend, who also moves, takes the vacant spot on the team. Baseball, however, is forgotten when Wyatt discovers that his biological father, Sonny Racine, is serving a life-sentence in nearby Sweetwater Penitentiary for armed robbery. Wyatt's life changes fast when he is drawn into a sexual relationship with sophisticated nineteen-year-old Greer, who has a "reputation," and as he begins to receive calls from a father he had not known until he visited him in prison. Is his father innocent? Some believe so, including Greer. "Same person could arrive at different answers" is an insight that Wyatt learns the hard way as he and Greer begin to investigate the robbery at Millerville with dire results. Wyatt's odyssey takes place in a well-delineated landscape of recession that is affects Wyatt's and Greer's lives. The emphasis on Wyatt's character and his relationships, especially the back-and-forth relationship between Wyatt and Greer, together with questions about innocence, guilt, and justice contribute to a complex story that is a thriller with a dramatic denouement. Wyatt is an engaging, thoughtful teenager who experiences how things can spin out-of-control when one does not know all the answers. This is a very well-written, riveting read for older teens. Reviewer: Hillary Crew
Children's Literature - Deanna D'Antonio
Sixteen-year-old Wyatt Lathem lives in Lowertown, East Canton and, like the town around him, his life is sinking deep into despair. The closing of the local foundry has forced individual families and the town as a whole to face a number of hardships—and family is no exception. Tenuous during the best of times, Wyatt's relationship with his stepfather—a former foundry employee, now jobless and bitter—has recently become violent and explosive. Even Wyatt's one release, playing baseball, is affected as recent budget cuts have forced the eradication of nearly all extracurricular programs. Thoughts of starting anew in the nearby town of Silver City are quickly dashed as well. Wyatt is essentially red-shirted from the baseball team of his new high school; he becomes intimately involved with an older girl who has a troubled and suspicious past; and his absent biological father, a prisoner serving a lifetime sentence for a murder he may not have committed, suddenly reaches out to Wyatt. Confused and alone, Wyatt finds himself embroiled within a mystery, unsure of who to trust and what to believe. Author Peter Abrahams' writing is fairly sparse, but the novel is carried along briskly by his deft use of dialogue. The pages turn quickly, with readers as eager as Wyatt to uncover the truth; however, the novel's end leaves much to be desired. It feels much like a harried afterthought, with explanations gratuitous and largely unsupported, when provided at all (how does Sonny learn the name of Greer's landlord and the type of car he drives?). Characters make abrupt changes that seem inconsistent with prior portrayals. In addition, Wyatt himself is given a virtual slap on the wrist, despite his active involvement in aiding and abetting an escaped murderer. Recommendations for the novel from chapter one through twenty-eight are high; the same cannot be said for chapters twenty-nine on. Reviewer: Deanna D'Antonio
Leslie Ostrowski
Wyatt has never met his father—Sweetwater State Penitentiary and his mother had made sure of that. But when the economy takes a turn for the worse and Wyatt's school baseball team gets cut, the teen's world begins to change. Not only does he move to a new city and school, but Wyatt also meets Greer, an adventurous and independent 19-year-old girl. Now living just a short distance from Sweetwater, Wyatt begins to receive phone calls from his incarcerated father. As his relationship with his dad and his romance with Greer blossom, Wyatt begins to challenge what he has always believed. Could his father actually be innocent of the crime that has put him away for life? For mature readers, this action thriller will keep readers engaged at every twist and turn. Reviewer: Leslie Ostrowski
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Wyatt Lathem, a high school sophomore, lives with his mom, stepfather, and younger sister, and is on the varsity baseball team. When budget cuts shut down his school's baseball program, Wyatt's coach suggests that he transfer to another school so that he can play baseball and possibly get a full scholarship to college. When the boy learns that his best friend is also moving to Silver City to play baseball, he suggests that they both live with his aunt. Unfortunately, only one transfer student can play sports, and Wyatt's friend gets the spot. When Wyatt's father, who has lost his job, gets abusive and threatens the boy, Wyatt decides to move anyway. Wyatt learns that his biological father, Sonny, who he has never met, is in the Silver City penitentiary accused of murder. Wyatt meets Greer, a 19-year-old whose father is in prison with his dad, and she helps arrange a meeting. Wyatt begins to think that his father is innocent and makes a series of very bad decisions. Peter Abraham's gritty novel (HarperTeen, 2010), with strong language and sexual situations, never really seems to have a point. Rich Orlow does an adequate job with the narration, but doesn't provide enough voice changes to easily distinguish the characters.—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061227691
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Pages: 294
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Abrahams is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five books, including the Edgar Award-winning Reality Check, Bullet Point, and the Echo Falls series for middle graders. Writing as Spencer Quinn, he is also the author of the Chet and Bernie series—Dog on It, Thereby Hangs a Tail, and To Fetch a Thief. He and his wife live in Massachusetts with their dog, Audrey.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Addiction Reviews

    A murder mystery set years after the suspect begins serving a life sentence, Bullet Point thrusts forth many questions and theories, engaging the reader early on. Wyatt has never known his biological father. In fact, until things start being churned up, Wyatt has rarely asked questions and doesn't even know which prison houses his lifer dad. Watching Wyatt face a series of unexpected and difficult situations, this book is a study in character development as much as it is a thrill ride. This is definitely a page turner, amping up the suspense.

    Wyatt starts out as a strong main character, a mostly average teenage boy living in a town that's going nowhere. His main shining hope is baseball, particularly since his grades are nothing stunning. As the plot progresses, however, Wyatt's innate cleverness and reasoning skills become both evident and honed. He learns plenty of new things about himself and grows exponentially in both his maturity, his interactions with people and in the way he views the world around him. There is a very obvious shift in his overall frame of mine, pushing him from a high school kid to someone who has seen things others go through their entire lives without ever facing. The effect it has on him is striking and brought forth, leading to a very memorable ending.

    Greer is snarky and independent, adding spark to both Wyatt's world and the plot itself. She is difficult to explain without giving too much away of the plot but she plays a central role in both Wyatt's personal development and that of the plot. She is a very memorable character even if moody, rapidly shifting in her reactions and emotions. With each new turn, Greer will spark conflicting and uncertain emotions in the reader, raising many questions and tugging them on the same inexplicable and tumultuous ride she takes Wyatt on. Three years older than Wyatt and out of high school, living on her own, Greer pulls Wyatt into a relationship that will leave the reader questioning its health and effect on him. At two separate points in their lives- and with two different pasts- they tear at each other and combat as much as they come together and care.

    Though this book is written in third person, it stays central to Wyatt and the reader learns things as Wyatt does. The writing itself is unique; Abrahams has created a voice that I associated strongly with Wyatt despite the lack of immediate insight. If Wyatt were to write, this style is how I imagine it and that facet alone speaks a tremendous amount about Abraham's writing ability. I highly doubt another novel at the hand of this writer will follow this same dialect and trend.

    Throughout, clues are given and leads are opened regarding the truth behind Sonny's possible innocence, engaging the reader further. I would develop a theory only to have more holes and questions be put in which also brings up another, more subtle aspect of this book- the idea behind "reasonable doubt." Abrahams has masterfully weaved a story which leaves the reader questioning in multiple ways if Sonny really should have been in prison or if he truly is one of the innocent men condemned to a life in prison. It isn't until the end of the book the reader can come to any decision on this yet Abrahams pitches it in a brilliant way that will still leave confusion and mixed emotions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Life for Wyatt and his friend, Dub, revolves around baseball. Well, it used to anyway. When the coach announces that baseball is being cut from the extracurricular schedule due to lack of funding, both boys are furious. Just when they are about to earn their spots in the varsity lineup, the program is yanked.

    When Wyatt finds out there might be a way to play ball somewhere else, he jumps at the chance. Dub is going to live with his aunt in another more financially sound school district, and Wyatt is welcome to come along. Not only will he get a chance to play baseball, but he'll also be getting out of the house and away from his unpleasant step-dad, Rusty. Although he'll miss his mother and his little step-sister, he's all in favor of the move.

    Just when it looks like his luck has changed, Wyatt learns that his new school only allows one transfer student on each athletic team per year. Dub's transfer was arranged first so he gets the spot. Wyatt's friend urges him to make the move anyway so he might have a chance to play next year.

    The new school isn't bad and an added bonus is meeting a slightly older, quite attractive girl named Greer. She and Wyatt hit it off right away. It doesn't take long for Wyatt to discover an amazing coincidence. Greer's father is an inmate at the state correctional facility in the area, and he knows Wyatt's biological father, who is an inmate in the same prison. All Wyatt's ever been told is that just before he was born, his father and several acquaintances got the bright idea to rob a couple of drug dealers. There was gunfire exchanged when they broke into the house, killing a young woman and critically injuring her baby girl. Now, Wyatt is faced with a chance to meet the man he has only known by name and reputation.

    The story quickly becomes an investigation in which Wyatt struggles to learn more about the man he has spent most of his life trying to forget. As his contact with his father increases, so does his desire to find out the whole story and maybe even find out if he is really an innocent man.

    Author Peter Abrahams' talent as a writer of mystery and suspense makes BULLET POINT a sure winner. Readers will be intrigued by the plot's twists and turns right up until the very end. Wyatt's character is likable and inspiring as he experiences separation from his mother and step-sister, frustration with his step-father, his first love, and the need to know his biological father's true story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Great

    Great book 2nd best by author reality check best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    :(

    I only got to the first page and it said the f word. Why do authors have to go and say those kind of things. If i could i would give this book 0 stars. Glad i only got the sample.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 28, 2011

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    Posted January 27, 2013

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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    Posted March 17, 2011

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