The Sixth Man by John Feinstein
Review by Aarya Kumar
The Sixth Man is a realistic fiction novel about freshman Alex Myers and his quest through high school and the Lion’s basketball season. The setting is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alex faces many troubles throughout the season as his dad and mom get divorced and Alex has a new coach, Coach Archer, who is very strict. In addition, a new kid from Detroit moves into town. The kid, Max Bellotti, turns out to be a basketball phenom and he soon plays a pivotal role in the rest of the book. Meanwhile, Max is receiving a lot of unwanted publicity and he is being covered by news stations around the country. One day at lunch, Max reveals a surprising secret that is gay. Max soon opens up publicly about his secret and many people are taken aback. Soon, the semifinals of the basketball championship roll around. The game goes down to the wire and eventually Max hits a game-winning shot, however, Max is hit in the head with a baseball thrown by an anti-gay supporter. Max recovers, however, the principal decides it is unsafe for Max to play in the finals. The ruling is overturned and Max gets to play and the Lions end up winning the championship.