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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Many of this year’s 10 best sports books, reviewed in Booklist between September 1, 2015, through August 2016, tackle serious challenges off the field as well as on. These should score a place in every collection.
All American Boys. By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. 2015. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy, $17.99 (9781481463331). Gr. 9–12.
Two teenage boys, one black and one white, are inextricably linked through an act of police brutality. The incident divides their community, and their basketball team becomes a microcosm of split loyalties.
The Bandit of Barbel Bay. By Sam Bosma. Illus. by the author. 2016. Nobrow, $19.95 (9781910620106). Gr. 6–10.
Mages Mug and Wiz seek to reclaim their stolen treasure in a high-stakes game of beach volleyball. With dynamic, manga-style artwork, this action-packed graphic novel is a standout.
Booked. By Kwame Alexander. 2016. HMH, $16.99 (9780544570986). Gr. 5–8.
When a ruptured appendix keeps Nick from playing in a soccer tournament, a passionate school librarian takes the boy under his wing. Newbery winner Alexander blends poetry, humor, and insight into a relatable sports story.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear. By E. K. Johnston. 2016. Dutton, $17.99 (9781101994580). Gr. 9–12.
At an end-of-summer cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged, raped, and impregnated. Taking cues from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, this fierce and gorgeously drawn story focuses on living life despite trauma.
Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends. By David Stabler. Illus. by Doogie Horner. 2015. Quirk, $13.95 (9781594748028). Gr. 3–6.
In this outstanding, cartoon-illustrated collection of sports stories, Stabler examines the childhoods of 16 athletes who grew up to leave indelible marks on their fields.
Lily and Dunkin. By Donna Gephart. 2016. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780553536744); lib. ed., $19.99 (9780553536751). Gr. 5–8.
In this sensitively written friendship tale, transgender Lily and bipolar Dunkin face more serious challenges than most middle-schoolers, particularly when Dunkin goes off his medication after making the school basketball team.
Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber. By Sue Macy. Illus. by C. F. Payne. 2016. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $17.99 (9781481401203). Gr. 2–4.
This beautifully illustrated and well-researched picture-book biography introduces sports-journalist Garber as a woman of integrity who followed her passion in the face of adversity.
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville. By Pat Zietlow Miller. Illus. by Frank Morrison. 2016. Chronicle, $16.99 (9781452129365). K–Gr. 2.
Alta, the fastest runner in Clarksville, finds her title challenged moments before Olympian Wilma Rudolph is scheduled to visit her town. Themes of competition and teamwork emerge against a lively 1960s-era backdrop.
Tumbling. By Caela Carter. 2016. Viking, $17.99 (9780451473004). Gr. 8–11.
Over two extreme days, 12 elite gymnasts compete to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. Carter alternates between 5 diverse girls as they are pushed to their limits.
What a Kick: How a Clutch World Cup Win Propelled Women’s Soccer. By Emma Carlson Berne. 2016. Capstone/Compass Point, $33.99 (9780756552930). Gr. 6–9.
Part of the Captured Sports History series, this riveting title examines the iconic photo of Brandi Chastain celebrating her winning goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 1999 Women’s World Cup championship game.
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