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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
This year’s 10 best sports books, reviewed in Booklist from September 1, 2014, to August, 2015, will wheel, paddle, swim, jog, hip-check, and tackle headlong their way into first place on your shelves.
Biggie. By Derek E. Sullivan. 2015. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (9780807507278). Gr. 9–12.
Overweight is an understatement for Henry, and he’s managed to dodge most bullying with academic perfection and invisibility. But after pitching a perfect Wiffle ball game in gym, Biggie thinks baseball might score him his dream girl.
The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics. By Daniel James Brown. 2015. Viking, $17.99 (9780451475923). Gr. 6–9.
Adapted from the adult best-seller, this quietly compelling story follows the University of Washington rowing team, from their hardscrabble beginnings and powerful teamwork to competing in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Conviction. By Kelly Loy Gilbert. 2015. Disney/Hyperion, $17.99 (9781423197386). Gr. 8–11.
High-school pitching star Braden Raynor is shocked when his father, Mart, who hosts an Evangelical radio show, is arrested for murder. Gilbert’s sensitive story of faith and family is interspersed with expert scenes of Braden on the mound.
Hit Count. By Chris Lynch. 2015. Algonquin, $17.95 (9781616202507). Gr. 9–12.
For Arlo Brodie, every love is second to football. He plays violently and ferociously, ignoring the head-injury statistics and brushing off warnings. An in-depth look at athletic drive and the real, lasting danger of repeated head injuries.
Lost in the Sun. By Lisa Graff. 2015. Philomel, $16.99 (9780399164064). Gr. 5–8.
After accidentally killing a peer with a hockey puck, athletic sixth-grader Trent acts out at school and panics at the thought of playing sports again. Narrated by sarcastic, baseball-obsessed Trent, this heartening story never buckles beneath its important issues.
A Matter of Heart. By Amy Fellner Dominy. 2015. Delacorte, $17.99 (9780385744430). Gr. 8–11.
Swimming is Abby’s life, but all of that changes when she faints after a race and is diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Can she give up her only passion, even if it might mean her life?
None of the Above. By I. W. Gregario. 2015. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062335319). Gr. 9–12.
Kristin Lattimer has it all: a track scholarship for a Division I college, a cute boyfriend, and popularity. But when a doctor tells her she’s intersex, all that is thrown for a loop.
Press Play. By Eric Devine. 2014. Running Press, paper, $9.95 (9780762455126). Gr. 9–12.
Greg Dunsmore’s weight has earned him the nickname Dun the Ton, and his friend is helping him shed some pounds. It’s during a workout that they discover the hazing rituals of the lacrosse team, and Greg starts secretly filming them.
Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story. By Emily Arnold McCully. Illus. by the author. 2015. Farrar, $17.99 (9780374300074). K–Gr. 3.
In the early 1900s, six-year-old Lizzie Murphy aspired to play first base. Against all odds, she went on to play professionally for 17 years as the Queen of Baseball. McCully’s lively drawings bring Murphy’s era sharply into focus.
Roller Girl. By Victoria Jamieson. Illus. by the author. 2015. Dial, paper, $12.99 (9780803740167). Gr. 4–8.
Astrid’s new obsession is Roller Derby, but it’s driving a wedge between her and her best friend. Worse, she can barely master the sport. This graphic novel delivers both meaningful lessons about friendship and hip-checking action.
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