Get in the Game: Sports Fiction

Welcome to the third installment of our suggested summer reading for teens! Here is a selection of quality fiction. Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book. The grade just refers to where it will fit nicely with the Common Core curriculum.

Aronson, Marc, ed. Pick-up Game: a full day of full court. 2011. 7th Grade.
Ten different short stories, ten different authors, ten different point of views make up Pick-Up Game. While most of the action takes place in the Cage, the basketball court on West 4th Street in New York City, the different characters add more layers and insight than a one-person point of view about this particular sport. Note: Miss Kate doesn’t even like basketball and she LOVED this book.
Ties in with: 7th Grade English

Hornby, Nick. Slam. 2007. 10th Grade.
At the age of fifteen, Sam Jones’s girlfriend gets pregnant and Sam’s life of skateboarding and daydreaming about Tony Hawk changes drastically.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English, Biology, Health

Myers, Walter Dean and Ross Workman. Kick. 2011. 7th Grade.
Told in their separate voices, thirteen-year-old soccer star Kevin and police sergeant Brown, who knew his father, try to keep Kevin out of juvenile hall after he is arrested on very serious charges.
Ties in with: 7th Grade English
Great for fans of Walter Dean Myers


Other Sports Fiction of Interest

While these may not necessarily tie-in with the Common Core, they’re still fantastic reads for those in 7-12.

Cross, Shauna. Derby Girl. 2007.
When sixteen-year-old rebel Bliss Cavendar, who is miserable living in a small Texas town with her beauty pageant-obsessed mother, secretly joins a roller derby team under the name “Babe Ruthless,” her life gets better, although infinitely more confusing. This book was the reason Whip It was made into a movie.

Herbach, Geoff. Stupid Fast. 2011.
Growing suddenly very tall in his sophomore year of high school, former small kid Felton Reinstein discovers that he has become a very fast runner but finds his athletic ambitions compromised by his mother’s depression, his annoying younger brother, a first romance and a shocking secret from his past.

Korman, Gordon. Pop. 2009.
Lonely after a midsummer move to a new town, high-school quarterback Marcus Jordan becomes friends with a retired professional linebacker whose erratic behavior confuses him, until Marcus discovers that the player is actually suffering from a neurological disease.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen. 2007, 2006.
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school’s rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out of the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her. First in a trilogy.