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The Prodigy

Review

The Prodigy

Before this year, Frank was just a nobody. But ever since his impressive performance at last year’s PGA tournament at the age of 16, Frank has been called the Perrington prodigy, the next Tiger Woods. Agents are lining up at his door and have caught his father’s ear, pressuring Frank to go pro and sign deals with big name companies. Frank has other plans --- including attending college.

"What I loved most about this book was that I felt like Feinstein actually taught me something useful while delivering a realistic and inspiring story."

With his father working behind his back with agents, it seems that there is no one Frank can confide in, until he meets one of his coach’s old teammates, Keith Forman, a renowned golf reporter. As Frank prepares himself for this year’s PGA tournament, he can’t help but feel that all eyes are on him, expecting greatness. Will Frank be able to face the pressure of being a teenage prodigy? And more importantly, on his road to fame, who can he trust and who will betray him?

Like most of John Feinstein’s books, it’s better if you know about the sport he’s writing about before you read the story. Although, as someone who knows next to nothing about golf, I thoroughly enjoyed THE PRODIGY. What I loved most about this book was that I felt like Feinstein actually taught me something useful while delivering a realistic and inspiring story. He masterfully incorporates explanations of golf terms and golf history so that it still seems like an engaging part of the narrative instead of an awkward, boring lesson.

Feinstein also perfectly captures Frank’s character. As a teenage athlete, I could often relate to the anxiety Frank felt about his future as well as the stress of competing. Thanks to Feinstein’s realistic portrayal, I could even feel the adrenaline rush as Frank beat some of his idols, even though I’ve never experienced this myself. Feinstein also skillfully captured Keith Forman’s concern for Frank to the point where I too was sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping for the best for Frank.

Especially at a time when it seems that the characters in many young adult books have a negative outlook on life, I appreciated THE PRODIGY’s likable characters and message of hope: dare to dream and take risks to achieve them.

Overall, I would highly recommend THE PRODIGY to golfers and non-golfers alike, especially those in need of a change of perspective and a hopeful message.

Reviewed by Alice D., Teen Board Member on September 4, 2018

The Prodigy
by John Feinstein