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Recommended Reading for Sports Fiction

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
Though a star student and excellent basketball player, Jerome tries to fit in at his new school and with his new team when he becomes the first African American to be bused in.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
T.J. forms a varsity swim team from the least likely candidates he can find in order to prove to the other jocks that they can succeed.
*Also check out Chris Crutcher’s other great sports books!

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
Groomed by his father to be a star football player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold his edge by using steroids despite the consequences to his health and social life.

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
After winning a basketball reporting contest, Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.
*Also check out John Feinstein’s other sports mysteries – Vanishing Act and Cover-up.

Safe at Second by Scott Johnson
Todd, a great pitcher, has scouts and recruiters begging for his attention, but all of this comes to an abrupt end when he is hit in the face by a line drive and loses an eye.  Can he make a comeback?

Heat by Mike Lupica
Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only 12 years old and he has no parents to offer them proof.

Travel Team by Mike Lupica
When Danny doesn’t make the basketball team because of his lack of height, his dad decides to coach a new basketball team made up of all the kids who didn’t originally get picked.

Pinned by Alfred Martino
Dealing with family problems, girls, and their own competitive natures, high school seniors Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane both have the same goal – to make it to the finals of the New Jersey State Wrestling Championship.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
After spending her summer running the family farm, and training the quarterback for her school’s rival football team, 16-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the team herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.   *Also read the follow-up book, The Off Season.

Slam! by Walter Dean Myers
Sixteen-year-old “Slam” Harris is counting on his noteworthy 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.

Three Clams and an Oyster by Randy Powell
Flint McCallister, captain of the four-man flag football team called Three Clams and an Oyster, faces a dilemma.  Should he replace his longtime but irresponsible friend who fails to show up for the first game?  And, if so, who should he replace him with?

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
To save his town’s baseball field, Tommy and his friends must beat their longtime rivals whom they have never beaten before at a game of baseball.

Players by Joyce Sweeney
Corey sees a threat to his dream of winning the basketball championship when he discovers that the new player on his team will do whatever it takes to get to play Corey’s position.

Wrestling Sturbridge by Rich Wallace
Stuck in a small town where no one ever leaves and relegated by his wrestling coach to sit on the bench while his best friend becomes state champion, Ben decides he can’t let his last high school wrestling season slip by without challenging his friend and the future.

Raging River by Pam Withers
Arch rivals and former friends Peter and Jake are delighted to be part of a whitewater-rafting trip, but after a series of disasters leaves the group stranded in the wilderness, it*s up to them to confront the dangerous rapids to search for help.  This is book #1 in *Take It to the Xtreme,* a young adult extreme sports series.

Holding at Third by Linda Zinnen
When thirteen-year-old Matt’s older brother Tom moves to a different hospital to receive a “treatment of last resort” for his cancer, Matt tries to adjust to a new home, new school, and new baseball team.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak
The Wolfe brothers join a boxing circuit in hopes of bringing some prize money home to their family.  Unfortunately, only the winners get paid.