Are you watching the Superbowl this weekend? Do you have young football fans at home? What about baseball? soccer? basketball? track?
Sports books are a distinct sub-genre, a definite “hook” for many reluctant readers. A good sports book offers more than just a sports story, though: it often offers insight on character issues, relationship conflicts, teamwork, perseverance, and more.
Sports Books That Pack a Punch
Though the books below are all sports books, even non-sports lovers will find them engaging and thought-provoking. Unless otherwise noted, books are for middle grades (~ages 10-12). Titles linked to reviews for more information.
- Soar by Joan Bauer (Baseball)
- Plunked by Michael Northrop (Baseball)
- The Only Game by Mike Lupica (Baseball)
- Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu by Jason Reynolds (Track) (4 different books)
- Tangerine by Ed Bloor (Soccer)
- Booked by Kwame Alexander (Soccer)
- Crossover and Rebound by Kwame Alexander (Basketball)
- The Great Wall of Lucy Lu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Basketball)
- Play Makers by Mike Lupica (Basketball)
- Athlete v. Mathlete by W. C. Mach (Basketball)
- Kid Owner by Tim Green (Football)
- Unstoppable by Tim Green (Football)
- Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica (Football)
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Roller derby)
- Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin (Football; nonfiction) (MG/YA)
- Foul Trouble by John Feinstein (Basketball) (YA)
- Change-Up by John Feinstein (Baseball) (YA)
- The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers (Chess; nonfiction) (YA)
- Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong (Track; nonfiction) (YA)