Whats New Category: Sports

Play Ball

Baseball season is here! Check out these books about the old ball game….

A Season of Daring Greatly book coverA Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White

Eighteen-year-old Jill Cafferty just made history. Her high school’s star pitcher, she is now the first woman drafted by a major league baseball team. Only days after her high school graduation, she’ll join the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Class A Short Season team . . . but not everyone is happy to have her there. On top of the pressure heaped on every pitcher, Jill must deal with defying conventions and living up to impossible expectations, all while living away from home for the first time.

Tagged Out by Joyce Grant

The inner-city Toronto Blues baseball team is having a lousy year. Shortstop Nash and the Blues can’t seem to win. They especially hate losing to their archrivals, the rich kids of the Parkhill Pirates. When all-star player Jock joins the team, it looks like the Blues might be able to turn the season around. The only problem? When the Pirates find out that Jock is gay, they ambush Nash and Jock, and Nash has to decide if he wants to stand by his teammate.

The Bat Boy by Mike Lupica

Brian is living every baseball kid’s dream: he is a batboy for his hometown Major League team. Brian believes that it’s the perfect thing to bring him and his big-leaguer dad closer together. And if that weren’t enough, this is the season that Hank Bishop, Brian’s baseball hero, returns to the Tigers for the comeback of a lifetime. The summer couldn’t get much better! Until Hank Bishop starts to show his true colors, and Brian learns that sometimes life throws you a curveball.

the Prospect book coverThe Prospect by Jason Glaser

Nick Cosimo eats, breathes, and lives baseball. He’s a place-hitting catcher with a cannon for an arm and a calculator for a brain. Thanks to his keen eye, Nick is able to pick apart his opponents, taking advantage of their weaknesses. His teammates and coaches rely on his good instincts between the white lines. But when Nick spots a scout in the stands, everything changes. Will Nick alter his game plan to impress the scout enough to get drafted? Or will Nick put the team before himself?

Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan

Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ’s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try.

Game Seven by Paul Volponi

Since he was ten, Julio has lived in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins, but because he fled Cuba to play professional baseball, leaving his Julio and his mother and sister branded as the family of a traitor.

Now sixteen, Julio dreams of playing for Cuba’s national team—until he finds out his father’s defection may destroy his chances. When he’s given the opportunity to flee Cuba, he has to make the toughest choice of his life. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Will freedom be worth the perilous journey and risking prison if he’s caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shore—or, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten about his son?

Summer Games Fever?! Checkout these teen books!

Gearing up for the 2016 Summer Games?! Check out these teen books:

Fiction

RushForGold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein
YA FEINSTEIN, J.
Two teenaged aspiring journalists who are dating solve a mystery at the 2012 Olympic Games, while one simultaneously competes for a gold medal in swimming.

Tumbling

Tumbling by Caela Carter
YA CARTER, C.
They sacrificed their childhoods to compete in the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials. Grace lives and breathes gymnastics– but can never be perfect enough. Leigh has a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life… and a secret that could ruin everything. Camille wants to please her mom and her boyfriend… but most of all she wants to walk away. Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she wont let anything stop her this time… anything. Monica is terrified: nobody believes in her– and why should they? Some will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever….

Goldfish

Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema
YA Luurtsema, N.
Lou Brown is a fast individual medley swimmer, training for the Olympics. But when she tanks the time trials, she starts over and goes back to school. It’s hard to fit in with the existing social groups. But then, she begins to coach boys in a different type of swimming activity, for a different type of competition.

SignedSkye

Signed, Skye Harper by Carol Lynch Williams
YA WILLIAMS, C.
In 1972, while her idol, Mark Spitz, is in Germany competing in the Olympics, fifteen-year-old Winston, her Nanny, and her crush, Steve, head to Las Vegas in Steve’s parents’ motorhome to reconnect with Winston’s mother, who left ten years before to become a star.

Graphic Novel

OlympicDream

An Olympic Dream: the story of Samia Yusuf Omar by Reinhard Kleist; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger
YA GRAPH 796.4209 OMAR, S.
The image of Samia Yusuf Omar running for last place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics will forever be imprinted in the minds of all who saw it: The lean Somalian, wearing knee-length leggings and a baggy T-shirt, came in seconds behind her competitors. What the cheering crowd couldn’t know then was what it took to get there. An Olympic Dream follows Omar’s second attempt to represent her country at the Olympics, this time in London. Reinhard Kleist pictures the athlete training in one of the most dangerous cities in the world; her passage through Sudan and into Libya; and her fateful attempt to reach Europe. By telling the story of one remarkable woman, Kleist gives voice to the thousands of migrants who risk their lives daily for a better future.

Nonfiction

Matchless Six

The Matchless Six: the story of Canada’s first women’s Olympic team by Ron Hotchkiss
YA 796.4808 HOT
It is July 1928, and Canada’s first women’s Olympic team — “The Matchless Six” — is heading to Amsterdam, the site of the ninth Olympiad of the modern era. Canada’s finest female track-and-field athletes, having survived rigorous training and the grueling selection process at the Olympic Trials, were determined to take their big talent and big dreams to the top. Meet Jane Bell, Myrtle Cook, Bobbie Rosenfeld, and Ethel Smith, the “Flying Four” who comprised Canada’s first relay team; Ethel Catherwood, the “Saskatoon Lily,” who became the champion high-jumper and the most photographed female athlete at the Olympic Games; and Jean Thompson, the youngest member of the team at seventeen, who became one of the world’s most outstanding middle-distance runners.

Boys of Winter

The Boys of Winter: the untold story of a coach, a dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team by Wayne Coffey
YA 796.962 COF
Explores the victory of the U.S. hockey team at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980 and the paths of the players and coaches since 1980.

Football Reads for Teens

HitCount

Hit Count by Chris Lynch
YA LYNCH, C.
Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, and while his dad cheers him on, his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch, but Arlo’s winning plays, the cheering crowds, and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince him that everything is OK–in spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion.

RevengePlaybook

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
YA ALLEN, R.
Four girls, who each have their own personal reasons for wanting revenge, come together to complete the fourteen dares on a list before the rookie members of the football team can accomplish the same goal.

CallMeByName

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley
YA BRADLEY, J.
Growing up in Louisiana in the late 1960s, where segregation and prejudice still thrive, two high school football players, one white, one black, become friends, but some changes are too difficult to accept.

WalkOn

The Walk On by John Feinstein
YA FEINSTEIN, J.
After moving to a new town his freshman year in high school, Alex Myers is happy to win a spot on the varsity team as a quarterback but must deal with idea of not playing for two years since the first-string quarterback is not only a local hero, he is also the son of the corrupt head coach.

IfYoureReadingThis

If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy
YA REEDY, T.
For a responsible sixteen-year-old, Michael Wilson has a lot of problems–his father was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, his overworked and overprotective mother will not talk about their situation, and does not want him playing football, and he has suddenly started to receive letters that his father wrote before his death.

AlwaysACatch

Always a Catch by Peter Richmond
YA RICHMOND, P.
After he joins the new football team, Jack, a new junior and a skilled piano player at a preparatory boarding school, must decide how far he is willing to go to fit in with his new teammates, and how much he is willing to compromise himself to play the kind of music the school expects him to.

League

The League by Thatcher Heldring
YA HELDRING, T.
Fourteen-year-old Wyatt, hoping to impress a girl and ward off a bully, decides to join his older brother’s summer football league, “The League of Pain,” against the advice of his parents, who think golf is the right sport for him.

Muckers

Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace
YA WALLACE, S.
Felix O’Sullivan, standing in the shadow of his dead brother, an angry, distant father, and racial tension, must lead the last-ever Muckers high school football team to the state championship before a mine closing shuts down his entire town.

Stupid Fast

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
YA HERBACH, G.
Just before his sixteenth birthday, Felton Reinstein has a sudden growth spurt that turns him from a small, jumpy, picked-on boy with the nickname of “Squirrel Nut” to a powerful athlete, leading to new friends, his first love, and the courage to confront his family’s past and current problems.

Catching Jordan book cover

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
YA KENNEALLY, M.
Jordan Woods, captain and quarterback of her high school football team, seeks an athletic college scholarship, but when Ty Green joins the team and takes her position, her scholarship chances and her camaraderie with the team are threatened.

Teen Novels For Anyone Who Loves Swimming

Swim the Fly

Swim the Fly by Don Calame
YA CALAME, D.
Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year’s goal is to see a real-live naked girl for the first time. Given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date this is quite a challenge. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt’s other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team.

FatBoySwim

Fat Boy Swim by Catherine Forde
YA FORDE, C.
Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Kelly is “Fat Boy Fat,” the largest kid in his Scottish community, who is made to feel useless at everything. Only his family knows he’s a whiz in the kitchen, and Jimmy’s determined to keep it that way. After all, what would people say if they discovered that “Big Blob Kelly” had one special talent and it involved food? So when GI Joe, the toughest coach at school, finds out his secret, Jimmy’s sure he’s doomed. But, Coach proposes a deal: If Jimmy helps him, Coach will help Jimmy . . . swim. With each stroke Coach teaches him, Jimmy feels like he’s getting closer to recognizing the Shadow Shape that’s been haunting his dreams. And closer to Ellie, whose chocolate brown curls look good enough to eat. Coach and Ellie know there’s more to Jimmy than meets the eye. Now it’s time for Jimmy to stop hiding and realize it himself.

Matter of Heart

A Matter of Heart by Amy Dominy
YA DOMINY, A.
Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition and forces her to discover who she is without the one thing that has defined her entire life.

WhaleTalk

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
YA CRUTCHER, C.
Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school’s less popular students. The Cutter All Night Mermen, a group of seven misfits who are members of a makeshift swim team, come together to challenge their high school’s sports culture and fight for dignity in a world where a moment’s inattention can bring lifelong heartache.

RushForGold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein
YA MY FEINSTEIN, J.
Two teenaged aspiring journalists who are dating solve a mystery at the 2012 Olympic Games, while one simultaneously competes for a gold medal in swimming.

Breathless

Breathless by Jessica Warman
YA WARMAN, J.
At boarding school, Katie tries to focus on swimming and becoming popular instead of the painful memories of her institutionalized schizophrenic older brother.