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Call the Shots


Call the Shots

Don Calame brings us the third and final book in his popular series about three friends, each told from a different perspective. The first one, SWIM THE FLY, was from Coop’s point of view; the second, BEAT THE BAND, was narrated by Matt; and this one is from Sean’s perspective.

Cooper, otherwise known as Coop, is full of great ideas, or at least what he thinks are great ideas. He’s always coming up with some goal for the guys to meet and always manages to talk them into it. This time Coop’s big idea is for the three of them to make a horror film and enter it into the TerrorFest contest. The big prize is $50,000. Never mind the three of them have no movie-making experience. Never mind none of them owns any movie-making equipment. And never mind none of them has any money to finance the making of a movie. Coop is convinced this is the big idea that is going to launch the three of them into fame and fortune.

"Calame did a great job of keeping the action going by throwing in lots of twists and turns, outright hilarious situations and clever one-liners...If you want a good read with a lot of laughs, this is the book for you."

At first, Sean thinks Coop’s idea is crazy, but when he finds out his parents are having a baby and he is going to have to share a room with his twin sister, he is less than thrilled about the situation. Even though he has many doubts about whether or not he and his friends can make the movie idea work, Sean is ready to try anything to raise enough money for an addition on his house --- the prize money would be more than enough to finance the project.

Whenever these three boys come up with a plan, things always go wrong. Throw in the fact that Sean is seriously searching for a girlfriend while his sister is trying to make everyone believe he’s gay, and you have the perfect ingredients for conflict and disaster.

I have read all three books in the series. I laughed my way through the first one as it was simply hilarious. I thought the second book was good, but it seemed to lack the energy and wit of the first one. CALL THE SHOTS, though, is a great ending to the series --- if this is actually the last book. The author hints he may be continuing the series but is saying good-bye “for now.” Calame did a great job of keeping the action going by throwing in lots of twists and turns, outright hilarious situations and clever one-liners. I think my favorite book in the series was the first one, but this one runs a close second, even if it is the third one!

My only complaint with this book, as I have stated throughout the series, is the author’s liberal use of four-letter (and longer) not-so-politically correct words. I applaud his ability to get kids, especially boys, interested in reading by making boys the main characters and making the stories so funny and believable. However, I just wish he could do it without so much foul language strewn throughout the text. It’s bad enough when the teenage boys (and girls) in the story swear, but it seems very inappropriate for a teacher to do the same, especially when the conversation takes place in the classroom in front of other students. Teachers, at least, should set an example for their students. Also, the parents of the teens don’t even blink an eye when these types of words and phrases spew out of their kids’ mouths. I don’t think it would hurt the storyline any to have the parents at least attempt to correct the language.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox now. If you want a good read with a lot of laughs, this is the book for you. If you’re offended by foul language and off-color jokes, you might want to steer clear of this one. But if you decide to read it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it regardless.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on September 21, 2012

Call the Shots
by Don Calame

  • Publication Date: August 6, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763664545
  • ISBN-13: 9780763664541