Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More than baseball: Teen sports novels about soccer, stock cars, and rodeo

There are more sports for kids than baseball and football. Here are books featuring stories about soccer, stock-car racing, and even rodeo that readers will find fast and fun. Look for these on BookBag using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes, and discover that competition comes in all kinds!

Bull Rider, by Suzanne Williams (Margaret K. McElderry Books) Fiction. Cam O'Mara comes from a ranching family, but unlike most of the O'Mara men, he's much happier riding a skateboard than a bucking bull. Then Cam's older brother, Ben, comes home from Iraq paralyzed and depressed, and Cam decides to carry on the family tradition of bull-riding. He finds out that he likes it--and he sets his sights on prize money that could help Ben get the rehabilitation he needs. This tough and tender small-town story of family, competition, and the wild world of the rodeo circuit is a powerful and affecting read.

Box Out, by John Coy (Scholastic Press) Fiction. High school sophomore Liam Bergstrom is thrilled to have moved up to the varsity basketball team from JV. But when he decides to take a stand against his coach, who leads mandatory prayer meetings before every game and whose racist attitude pushed the team's African-American star player to quit, Liam's position on the team isn't the only thing in jeopardy. With plenty of exciting on-court action and just as much drama off of it, Box Out is a thought-provoking sports novel about an ordinary guy who's just trying to find his own path.

Out of Reach, by V. M. Jones (Marshall Cavendish) Fiction. Thirteen-year-old Philip "Pip" McLeod hates playing soccer--mostly because of his father's obnoxious behavior on the sidelines at games. He's also just not as good at soccer as his older brother, and never good enough for his grumpy, critical dad. So when Pip tries out the rock-climbing wall at a new sports complex in town and realizes that he's a natural, he starts practicing there in secret to prepare for the regional climbing championships. Set in the author's native New Zealand, this uplifting story will have you cheering for Pip as he finds his own way to shine.

Boost, by Kathryn Mackel (Dial Books) Fiction. Thirteen-year-old Savvy Christopher is 6'2" and a talented basketball player; her big sis, Callie, is a cheerleader. When an injury ruins their dad's golf career, the family moves from their swanky New Mexico home to an aunt's sheep farm in Rhode Island, a major adjustment. Savvy is thrilled when she makes the exclusive 18-and-under basketball team The Fire; getting to play on a great travel team makes up for having to share a room with Callie, being teased about her height, and having to work on the sheep farm. But when steroids are found in Savvy's gym bag, she'll have to fight for her spot on the team. A bit of mystery, complex family relationships, and plenty of exciting on-court action make Boost a riveting read.

Throwing Like a Girl, by Weezie Kerr Mackey (Marshall Cavendish) Fiction. When her family moves from Chicago to Dallas during her sophomore year of high school, Ella Kessler falls in love with softball. Ella has never played a team sport before, but she discovers a hidden talent for the game that makes her transition to a new school easier, despite her mean-girl teammate Sally's attempts to ruin things for her. Then Ella gets matched with cute senior Nate, Sally's brother, for a super-secret project, and things heat up both on and off the field. With ample details of game play and the trials and tribulations of high-school social life, Throwing Like a Girl hits a home run.

Super Stock Rookie, by Will Weaver (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Fiction. In this second volume of the Motor series (after Saturday Night Dirt), teen stock-car racer Trace Bonham tries out for corporate-sponsored Team Blu and makes the cut. Torn over whether or not to desert his amateur beginnings, Trace decides to sign on with Team Blu and soon learns that there's a lot more to professional racing than he'd realized--and not all of it is good. Packed with action, authentic racing details, and sharp dialogue, Super Stock Rookie is an exciting story that will thrill racing fans. The next volume in the Motor series, Checkered Flag Cheater, was published in late April.

1 comment:

  1. These are some great reads! Thanks for the list. I found you on kidlit bloggers. I'm following your blog now too!