Game Seven

Game Seven

by Paul Volponi


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A fastball of a book by Paul Volponi—an author who knows sports and suspense!

Julio Ramirez Jr. lives in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins and famous for his scorching fastball, but because he defected from Cuba, leaving Julio and his sister and mother branded as the family of a traitor. Now sixteen, Julio has dreams of playing shortstop for Cuba's national team—until he's given the opportunity to sail to the U.S. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Is freedom worth the perilous journey and risking prison if he's caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shore—or, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten all about his son?

"An entertaining tale of baseball, family and loyalty."—Kirkus Reviews

“Volponi once again delivers top-notch sports fare coupled with a deeper story of family and fidelity. . . Readers will identify with Julio as he juggles dreams, bitterness, and family loyalties in this lyrical, spare novel.”—Booklist
“A poignant story. . . this is a must-read for any teen who not only loves stories about sports but also enjoys reading about families.”—VOYA

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142424292
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 214,980
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile: HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Paul Volponi ( is a writer, journalist, and teacher. He has taught incarcerated teens to write on Rikers Island and he taught adolescents in a drug-treatment program in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

From his chair, Uncle Ramon kicked his shoes off and dug his feet deep into the sand.
“Your papi was able to get a sum of money into Cuba through a Canadian turista,” he said, as the smell of sword­fish filtered through the salty air. “That money was given to Gabriel.”
A minute later, they were gone with their steak.

Excerpted from "Game Seven"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Paul Volponi.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Game Seven:

"An entertaining tale of baseball, family and loyalty." —Kirkus

Praise for The Final Four by Paul Volponi:
“A triple-overtime game keeps readers on the edge of their seats.” —BCCB, starred review
“This gritty, realistic, and riveting novel deserves the wide audience it will no doubt attract.” —School Library Journal, starred review 
“Volponi nails it when it counts in this dynamic story.” —Booklist, starred review
"Volponi, a multiple award-winning author, keeps the tension high from the first to last page ... The Final Four is definitely a winner." —VOYA, starred review

"Volponi's latest combines in-the-moment action, basketball history and the points of view of four college ballplayers with very different lives ... No story or character is simple." —Kirkus Reviews
"The Final Four does a terrific job of capturing the emotion of March Madness.” —Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, Duke University
“This is a great story about how one sport can transcend different experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs, and unite in a desire to succeed.” —Jim Calhoun, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, University of Connecticut (2010 National Champions)
“It was inspirational to a coach and full of lessons to children of many ages.” —Jamie Dixon, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, University of Pittsburgh  
“A rocket ride of a plot that rips you into the story from the first line.” —Paul Griffin, author of Stay With Me
“Paul Volponi delivers a high-octane basketball story fans will cheer for.” —Tim Green, author of Deep Zone, a Football Genius novel

Customer Reviews

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Game Seven 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MilwaukeeWriter More than 1 year ago
WOW! Paul Volponi once again writes an exceptional, edge-of-your-seat, page-turner! I've only attended a 1/2 dozen baseball games in my life, but this book made me fall in love with the game. That's brilliance. The intense action and fast pace is perfect for reluctant readers, and the subject matter will appeal to boys, but is certainly accessible to and will hold the interest of girls. Paul Volponi is an exceptional writer who creates scenes so realistic that you'll feel the boat rocking and tumbling, the heat pounding, and a baseball smacking right into your glove. Get ready to escape Cuba in a '59 Buick car converted into a boat, catch a baseball at 101 mph, steal a base, kiss the Miami beach as you reach freedom. FREEDOM, I realize, that many of us Americans so easily take for granted. This is a novel is SO MUCH MORE THAN BASEBALL! It's about a family in Cuba left behind by their father and husband, who defected to the United States while playing for Cuba's national team. For six years the family suffers without Julio Sr., living in poverty, barely making ends meet. Julio Sr,, aka El Fuego, is living the high life as a relief pitcher for the Miami Marlins, a source of pain and pride for young Julio aka Junior. The younger Julio plays baseball too. Coached by his uncle and cheered on by his cousin, a fellow teammate, Julio is a remarkably gifted ballplayer clearly following in his father's footsteps. But being El Fuego's son has its huge disadvantages, making life painfully difficult. When an incredible opportunity comes to Julio and his family to leave Cuba as defectors/traitors, each person has to decide what they want to do. There are many surprises and tear-jerk moments in this novel. The descriptions, especially about life in Cuba are so vivid that readers will have no problem envisioning the scenes and understand the antiquated life most Cubans live. (The exception: government officials.) The action is intense and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what was going to happen next, often what was unexpected. I can't recommend this novel enough. It's a must read, even if you can't stand baseball. It's a must for every library. This is the novel that will keep the attention of those who LOVE SPORTS and HATE TO READ. GAME SEVEN is a game changer in that department. Without a doubt, this novel is just one more in a line of outstanding novels by Paul Volponi that solidifies his title as the King of Urban YA Fiction.