Baseball season started last week … and I know some of you love sports fiction. Here’s a selection of sports fiction just for teens.
Beanball by Gene Fehler- It’s the last inning of a high school baseball game between arch-rivals Oak Grove and Compton. Center fielder Luke “Wizard” Wallace steps up to the plate – and is hit by a beanball, a wild pitch that shatters his skull, destroys the vision in his left eye, and changes his life forever.
Change-up: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein – While covering baseball’s World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Boston Red Sox, teenage sports reporters Stevie and Susan Carol investigate a rookie pitcher whose evasive answers during an interview reveal more than a few contradictions in his life story.
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – Just before his sixteenth birthday, Felton Reinstein has a sudden growth spurt that turns him from a small, jumpy, picked-on boy with the nickname of “Squirrel Nut” to a powerful athlete, leading to new friends, his first love, and the courage to confront his family’s past and current problems.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock – Caveat: I do not understand football. I could take it or leave it. I LOVED THIS BOOK. D.J. is a smart, funny heroine who proves you don’t have to be a boy if you want to play football. If you’re hungry for more stories starring D.J., check out The Off Season and Front and Center.
Kick by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman – 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.
Leverage by Joshua Cohen – High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny.
No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman – Wallace Wallace cannot tell a lie … and his very honest review of “Old Shep, My Pal” has gotten him off the football team and helping with the school musical. Help.
Shutout by Brendan Halpin – Ever felt like you no longer knew who your best friend was anymore? Shutout is about two best friends – who suddenly become enemies after Lena makes Varsity Soccer and Amanda does not. This was given five stars from Sara (grade 9) and Jane (grade 8).
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher – Intellectually and athletically gifted, T.J., a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school’s less popular students.