The Sixth Man, by John Feinstein
May 25, 2017
Review by J.J. Stoen
Have you ever been kept away from something you’ve been doing your whole life, just because of who you are? Football, basketball, baseball… Alex is the triple threat, without a doubt, but this may be the most serious situation he may have in his lifetime.. Being a star at sports definitely has some advantages-and some disadvantages- you get the girls, may be popular, and you are strong. All of these are true, but what if you’re gay? Alex’s basketball team finally has the chance to win the conference title, when their star player, Max Bellotti, -who happens to be gay- gets injured. Alex, being a true friend, fights back from the inappropriate actions against Max decided by the board and the principal. Without Max on the court, Chester Heights has no chance of winning the title. It runs within two minutes of time between the game, when the final decision is made. Will Max play? Is this all because of his sexual orientation?
This book was much like the first one, and was equal in excitement. Feinstein wrote a masterpiece, without a doubt. I not only think that this touched the hearts of all athletes, but the LGBTQ community as well. Just the idea of a gay athlete in this book is surprising, but it kind of opened myself a little more and not just to rely on stereotypes to judge people. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before, but all people can be whatever they want, just if they put their minds to it. However, I was kind of surprised how Alex and his friends dealt with finding out Max’s secret. I respect that Feinstein wrote it in a way that respected LGBTQ people.
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