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These titles for all ages display a range of tones and highlight athletic trailblazers and those who have overcome discrimination.
Beautiful on the Outside. By Adam Rippon. Read by the author. 2019. 8.5hr. Hachette, CD, $35 (9781549121968).
The Olympic figure skater reads his own chatty memoir in a confident and comedic voice befitting someone with a cheeky personality who has been through it all but can always come out shining.
Mighty Moe. By Rachel Swaby and Kit Fox. Read by Rachel Swaby. 2020. 6hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781974974030). Gr. 5–8.
Before women were allowed to run in marathons, 13-year-old Maureen Wilton entered one—and set a world record. Swaby brings passion and energy to Moe’s fascinating and inspirational story.
My Life On The Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life. By Ryan O’Callahan and Cyd Zeigler. Read by Graham Halstead. 2019. 8hr. Tantor, CD, $37.99 (9781977368614).
O’Callahan reveals the emotional cost of being closeted, internalized homophobia, and the physical toll of football. Halstead handles O’Callahan’s deeply personal memoir with aplomb.
One Life. By Megan Rapinoe and Emma Brockles. Read by Megan Rapinoe. 2020. 6.5hr. Books on Tape, DD, $76 (9780593288917).
The U.S. soccer star and social-justice advocate describes her growth as an athlete, coming out, and fighting for equality in a variety of arenas. Her narration is authentic and feels personal.
Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race. By Lara Prior-Palmer. Read by Henrietta Meire. 2019. 7.5hr. HighBridge, CD, $34.99 (9781684571543).
Meire’s narration gets to the heart of the experience of the youngest and first female winner of the Mongol Derby, a race piloting 25 different semi-wild Mongolian ponies over 600-miles.
Runner’s High: My Life in Motion. By Dean Karnazes. Read by Andrew Eiden. 2021. 7hr. HarperAudio, DD, $20.99 (9780062955524).
“Ultramarathon Man” Karnazes is a living legend. Using effective tone and texture, Eiden accurately presents the essence of the ultrarunning community.
Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America. By Julie DiCaro. Read by the author. 2021. 7hr. Books on Tape, DD, $57 (9780593343524).
DiCaro’s passionate reading is proudly ecstatic over women’s hard-won visibility in sports media and righteously furious at a misogynist, racist industry.
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke. By Andrew Maraniss. Read by Kevin R. Free. 2021. 7hr. Listening Library, DD, $50 (9780593346211). Gr. 9–12.
Free narrates this heartbreaking story of discrimination and missed potential with empathy and gravitas that help listeners understand baseball player Burke’s charisma and promise.
Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon through North America’s Stolen Land. By Noé Álvarez. Read by Ramón de Ocampo. 2020. 5.5hr. HighBridge, CD, $29.99 (9781696600460).
Álvarez’s running journey tracks with a spiritual one. Narrator de Ocampo’s youthful voice expresses both optimism and fear.
A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games. By Lori Alexander. Read by Neil Hellegers. 2020. 1.5hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781690587217). Gr. 3–7.
Jewish German-born Guttmann was a groundbreaking doctor who established the Paralympic Games. Hellegers brings a humane warmth to the doctor’s struggles to help others survive and thrive.
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