The Last Man’s Reward

When a chance yard-sale purchase nets five boys a Willie Mays rookie card worth $4,000, their lives seem to narrow and intensify. The boys devise a “last man” contest—the winner gets the Mays card, and the losers get zip. Twelve-year-old Albert has a life-and-death reason for winning the card—and his own very special terrors aobut the abandoned mine where the boys have hidden it for safekeeping. Just how far is Albert willing to go to be the last man?

  • 192 Pages
  • 6" x 8"
  • 9780807543702
  • January 1996

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807543726
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Suspense, adventure, and a daring last-minute rescue will keep readers engaged throughout.

    - The Horn Book Guide

  • The strong characterizations and an airtight plot make what originally appears to be an improbable situation a truly exciting adventure—one that most early adolescents will be able to identify with totally.

    - Booklist

  • He shows that suspense is possible without such outright villainy, and that reading about good people who do right is just as satisfying as reading about bad people getting their just desserts.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Patneaude has captured youth at its best and offers us a hopeful look at the world. His imagery and dialogue also makes this a true work of art.

    - Children's Literature

Awards & Accolades

  • 1997 Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • 1999-2000 Volunteer State Book Award Master List (Tennessee)
  • 1999-2000 Iowa Children's Choice Awards Master List
  • 1999 Sasquatch Reading Award Master List (Washington)
  • 1999 Utah Children's Book Award Master List
  • 2001 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Master List (Illinois)

Common Core

RL.5.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10 RL.6.1,2,3,4,6,7,9,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 5.00
  • ATOS Level: 4.20