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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Auma’s Long Run. By Eucabeth Odhiambo. Sept. 2017. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (9781512427844). Gr. 6–8.
Set in 1990s-era Kenya, this is the story of 13-year-old Auma, who dreams of winning a high-school track scholarship. However, she’s forced to choose between school and family when AIDS sweeps through her village.
Braced. By Alyson Gerber. 2017. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780545902144). Gr. 4–7.
Twelve-year-old Rachel’s awesome year on and off the soccer field goes afoul when she is diagnosed with scoliosis. Forced to wear a monstrous back brace, she struggles to find acceptance in this highly empathetic debut.
Mama Lion Wins the Race. By Jon J. Muth. Illus. by the author. 2017. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545852821). PreS–Gr. 1.
Muth’s artistic talents are at full speed in this picture-book story of Mama Lion and her young pal Tigey as they take on toylike competitors in a spectacular race.
Martina and Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports. By Phil Bildner. Illus. by Brett Helquist. 2017. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763673086). Gr. 2–5.
Bildner’s spirited account of tennis rivals Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova relays the women’s very different childhoods and highlights the healthy side of competition, while Helquist depicts their pivotal matches through energetic illustrations.
Patina. By Jason Reynolds. 2017. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy, $16.99 (9781481450188). Gr. 5–8.
This second entry in the Track series follows Patina “Patty” Jones, the fastest girl on the Defenders track team, through upsets at school and home. Confronting grief and bolstered by sisterly bonds, this complex, stand-alone novel sparkles.
Ramona Blue. By Julie Murphy. 2017. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062418357). Gr. 9–12.
Proudly gay, Ramona reconnects with her childhood friend Freddie through a shared passion for swimming. When she realizes she’s falling in love with him, Ramona starts questioning everything about herself.
Spinning. By Tillie Walden. Illus. by the author. Sept. 2017. First Second, $17.99 (9781626729407). Gr. 8–11.
Walden’s evocative graphic memoir traces her childhood spent in the competitive figure-skating world, an element that becomes the backdrop for a deeper story about her coming out and coming-of-age.
Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line. By Andrew Maraniss. 2017. illus. Philomel, $17.99 (9780399548345). Gr. 7–10.
This riveting biography tells the story of Perry Wallace, the courageous and tenacious basketball player who became the first African American to play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1960s civil rights era.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. By Steve Sheinkin.
2017. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (9781596439542). Gr. 6–9.
Sheinkin’s absorbing, impeccably researched biography of Native American Jim Thorpe examines this all-star athlete’s beginnings on the school football team, highlighting his relationship with Coach Pop Warner and discriminatory practices targeting Native American peoples.
Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature. By Sashi Kaufman. 2016. Carolrhoda/Lab, $17.99 (9781467785631). Gr. 9–12.
Despite being a stud athlete, soccer goalie Ben Wireman’s hearing aids make him feel like an outsider. In a character-driven story of sportsmanship and friendship, this nuanced look at misfits scores big.
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