Whats New Category: Sports

Consumed by Basketball?

Are you enjoying March Madness? Want to find a novel that centers on basketball? Check out our list below!

TrueLegendTrue Legend by Mike Lupica


Fifteen-year-old Drew “True” Robinson loves being the best point-guard prospect in high school basketball, but learns the consequences of fame through a former player, as well as through the man who expects to be his manager when True reaches the NBA.


SwaggerSwagger by Carl Deuker


High school senior point guard Jonas Dolan is on the fast track to a basketball career until an unthinkable choice puts his future on the line.


The Pick-Up Game: a full day of full courtPick-Up Game book cover edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr.


A series of short stories by such authors as Walter Dean Myers, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Joseph Bruchac, interspersed with poems and photographs, provides different perspectives on a game of streetball played one steamy July day at the West 4th Street court in New York City known as The Cage.


ThrowingStonesThrowing Stones by Kristi Collier


In 1923, in Pierre, Indiana, fourteen-year-old Andy realizes a dream when he makes the high school basketball team, but when an accident keeps him from playing, he ventures into journalism and begins to understand the meaning of sportsmanship.


BoxOutBox Out by John Coy


High school sophomore Liam jeopardizes his new position on the varsity basketball team when he decides to take a stand against his coach who is leading prayers before games and enforcing teamwide participation.

DoubleExposureDouble Exposure by Bridget Birdsall


Fifteen-year-old Alyx Atlas starts school in a new state with a new identity–as a girl in Milwaukee–but a bully on the basketball court threatens to reveal that Alyx is an intersex person, which could disqualify Alyx and the team from playing in the state championship game.


BoostBoost by Kathryn Mackel


Thirteen-year-old Savvy Christopher is 6’2″ and a talented basketball player; her big sis, Callie, is a cheerleader. When an injury ruins their dad’s golf career, the family moves from their swanky New Mexico home to an aunt’s sheep farm in Rhode Island. Savvy is thrilled when she makes the exclusive 18-and-under basketball team The Fire; getting to play on a great travel team makes up for having to share a room with Callie, being teased about her height, and having to work on the sheep farm. But when steroids are found in Savvy’s gym bag, she’ll have to fight for her spot on the team.


SlamSlam! by Walter Dean Myers


Seventeen-year-old “Slam” Harris is counting on his basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.



EdenvilleOwlsEdenville Owls by Robert B. Parker


Fourteen-year-old Bobby, living in a small Massachusetts town just after World War II, finds himself facing many new challenges as he tries to pull together his coachless basketball team, cope with new feelings for his old friend Joanie, and discover the identity of the mysterious stranger who seems to be threatening his teacher.



BallDontLieBall Don’t Lie by Matt de la Peña


Seventeen-year-old Sticky lives for basketball and plays at school and at the Lincoln Rec Center in Los Angeles but he is unaware of the many dangers–including his own past–that threaten his dream of playing professionally.



Boy21Boy21 by Matthew Quick


Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school’s varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.



FinalFourThe Final Four by Paul Volponi


Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large.


LearningtheGameLearning the Game by Kevin Waltman


When he and his high-school basketball teammates steal from a fraternity house in their small Indiana town, Nate contends with his guilt, his loyalty to his friends, and his desire to help his older brother who comes under suspicion for the crime.

March Madness is upon us

March is the ultimate month to be a basketball fan!  If you can break yourself away from NCAA tournament, then check out some of these basketball themed books (click on the cover to find it in the Library!):

The Final Four by Paul Volponi


Alternating chapters center on four different players on the two teams that meet in a semi-final game of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.



Last Shot by John Feinstein


Two eighth grade students win the opportunity to cover the NCAA Final Four first hand as journalists, but while reporting live at the tournament they uncover a scandal that involves blackmail.



Game by Walter Dean Myers


Drew is a senior living in Harlem and has dreams of making it in the NBA, but he has to learn to control his anger issues first.



Boy21 by Matthew Quick


Two basketball teammates, one black and one white, form a connection through tutoring and find that they have a lot more in common than they had first thought.



Pick-Up Game book coverThe Pick-Up Game: a Full Day of Full Court


This collection of short stories focuses on different perspectives of one pick up game played on a hot day in July in New York City.



Girl Got Game by Shizuru Seino


This manga series centers on Kyo, whose father is determined to live out his NBA dreams through his daughter.  Her father signs her up for the boy’s basketball team and Kyo masquerades as a boy on the team to make her father happy.


Basketball Slave by Mark Johnson

YA 796.323 JOHNSON, A.

Andy Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson, tells his father’s story of how Andy became one of the original Harlem Globetrotters.



In the Paint: Tattoos of the NBA and the Stories Behind Them by Andrew Gottlieb

YA 796.323 GOTTLIEB, A.

This is a collection of high res photos of some of the more unique NBA tattoos and the first hand stories by the players about why they got them.



When March Went Mad by Seth Davis

796.3236 DAVIS, S.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are famous for one of the most well known basketball games in history: the 1979 NCAA Championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores.  Davis retells the events that led up to the famous game.


Longshot by Lance Allred

796.323 ALLRED, L.

Lance Allred is the NBA’s first deaf player.  In this memoir he tells his story of growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon household, realizing his dream of being in the NBA, and how hard it was to get there.


The Ultimate Book of March Madness by Tom Hager

796.3236 HAGER, T.

This book includes a history of every NCAA tournament from 1930 to present and provides an analysis of the top 100 games played in the tournament.

Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

The summer before Peter’s Freshmen year, he suffers a serious arm injury while pitching in his little league championship game.  The game was a critical one, because it would have shown his soon to be high school baseball coaches that he was a gifted pitcher that could easily make the JV team.  Now, however, Peter’s pitching days are over.  The injury to his arm required surgery and Peter seems to has lost any idea of what to do with himself now that he can’t play baseball.

Peter’s only other passion in life has been photography.  His interest has been cultivated through years of spending time with his grandfather, who is a professional photographer.  Peter has learned all the ins and outs of a camera, both old school and digital.  When he walks into his first day of Introducton to Photography, he is clearly ahead of the class.  Both Peter and another student, Angelika, are sent to the Advanced Photogtraphy class.  Being the only two Freshmen in a class of upperclassmen instantly creates a friendship between Peter and Angelika.

Peter and Angelika’s friendship becomes something more, however, when they begin working together taking photos for the yearbook.  Things seem to be changing for Peter as he begins to find out who he is when he can no longer be the star pitcher.  However, as Peter begins to find himself, his grandfather seems to be losing himself.  Can Peter get his family to recognize that their grandfather needs help before it is too late?

Curveball has a lot going on in its pages.  At first this novel seems pretty simple: a guy has to figure out who he is when he can no longer be a sports star.  However, with the addition of a possible new girlfriend, a best friend who truly believes Peter will pitch again, and a grandfather whose mind is slipping, Peter’s life is complicated.  When you’re reading Curveball, though, you never feel like you are overwhelmed with Peter’s problems.  It is a really good read that never feels like there is too much drama.  I also really liked Peter.  He was relatable and is a character who had flaws that he was able to overcome.

You should definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a good, realistic read that has a cast of characters that feel like your own friends and family.

Get into the Game–Baseball Fiction

Baseball season is officially here! Some (including me) say that it is the most wonderful season there is.

Check out some of these Teen novels centered on baseball, on display now at the Library:

High Heat by Carl Deuker
Shane’s life comes crashing down when his father is arrested for money laundering and commits suicide.  Shane lived a privileged life that revolved around baseball so when he, his mom, and his sister are forced to move to a small apartment and live in virtual poverty, Shane rebels.  He’s arrested for stealing and as part of his probation Shane has to work on repairing a local baseball field and he slowly rediscovers his love for baseball.

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Ryan is a Cubs fan thanks to her father, who passed away when she was 10.  So, when she skips school to attend the opening day game and meets Nick, a fellow Cubs fan, an intense relationship blossoms.  Ryan’s world comes crashing down, though, when she learns that Nick is terminally ill.

Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz
It is 1890 and Toyo is attending an elite boarding school in Japan.  Toyo comes from a family of samurai and is trained as such; however the emperor has outlawed the samurai practices.  Struggling to fit in at school and maintain his samurai heritage, Toyo finds solace in a new sport, baseball.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña
Danny is half white and half Mexican and attends a predominantly white private school in San Diego County where he definitely does not fit in.  However, one summer he decides to stay with his father’s family in National City just across the border.  It is there that Danny finds friendship and that he has a great talent for pitching.

Center Field by Robert Lipsyte
Mike wants nothing more than to play baseball in the center field position.  However, a new kid at school threatens his position on the team.  Combined with other problems at home and with his girlfriend, Mike’s life spirals out of control and he gets in trouble at school.  Forced to do community service with the Cyber Club and sit the bench, Mike begins to learn that there’s more about his center field replacement than the school is letting on.

Change-Up by John Feinstein
While covering the World Series game, two teenaged reporters discover that the star rookie pitcher has changed his life story when the details of a tragic incident change from his earlier interviews.  The two reporters are faced with the dilemma to uncover the truth and expose the pitcher’s secrets.

Click here for a more complete list of titles.

Also, check out some of these classic baseball movies at the Library:

The Natural
I can hear the theme music now, as Roy Hobbs hits the game winning home run into the lights.  This is definitely my favorite baseball movie!

The Rookie
This movie is based on the real life Jim Morris who had a brief 2 seasons in the big leagues, but whose story made him famous.

For Love of the Game
A romantic spin on the game of baseball.

The Bad News Bears
A girl who may be the best pitcher around and a guy who is a motorcycle riding trouble maker who just happens to be the best athlete in town—this is a classic if for nothing else than Walter Matthau as Coach Buttermaker.

A League of Their Own
“There’s no crying in baseball!”  This film is another one of my favorites, with classic performances by Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.

The Pride of the Yankees
This is the 1942 biographical film about Lou Gehrig, played by Gary Cooper.

Field of Dreams
“If you build it, he will come…”  most commonly misquoted as “If you build it, they will come…”

Superbowl Sunday

No, the Bears will not be in the Super Bowl this Sunday.  So, either you are a Packers fan, a Steelers fan, or none of the above and just watching the game for the commercials and half time show.  To celebrate the big game, check out some of the teen novels below at the Library.  Each title has something to do with football, and would be a good read this weekend while you’re watching the game… or not watching the game.

Love, Football, and Other Contact Sports by Alden R. Carter
YA SS Carter, A.
Roughnecks by Thomas Cochran
YA Cochran, T.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
YA Cormier, R.
Crackback by John Coy
YA Coy, J.
Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
YA Deuker, C.
Payback Time by Carl Deuker
YA Deuker, C.
Cover-Up by John Feinstein
YA MY Feinstein, J.
Out of His League by Pat Flynn
YA Flynn, P.
Damage by A. M. Jenkins
YA Jenkins, A.
Pop by Gordon Korman
YA Korman, G.
Raiders Nightby Robert Lipsyte
YA Lipsyte, R.
Shooting Star by Robert McKissack, Jr.
YA McKissack, F.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
YA Murdock, C.
Troy High by Shana Norris
YA Norris, S.
Derailed by John Ripslinger
YA Ripslinger, J.
Juice by Eric Walters
YA Walters, E.
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff
YA Zadoff, A.