David Trifunov. Free Runner. (Lorimer, 2018)
It’s called free running, or the sport of parkour, and we have all been amazed by it either in online videos or TV commercials, with runners flipping off of walls, sprinting down railings, bouncing over dumpsters, and clearing walls at full speed. Free Runner takes you into the blood-pumping, sweat=flying reality of street level parkour in a short, intense story, where the action comes first… and second and third. Let fly, and to get in the mood, check out this video:


Suzy Beamer Bohnert. Learning Basketball’s Lingo. (B&B Publishing) From the “Game Day Goddess” comes a book on the language of basketball for the complete novice. What makes this book special? It covers not just the official terms, but slang as well. Where else are you going to find a definition of a “ticky-tack foul”? A bit simplistic for the sports buff, but for anybody who wants to sit down next to dad and watch a game, this is the dictionary for you.

Fred Bowen. “All Star Sports Story” (Series) For fans of Dan Gutman, Fred Bowen too combines sports action with sports history. Quick reads for the sports fans out there.
The Final Cut. (Peachtree, 2009) [Basketball]
Full Court Fever. (Peachtree, 2009) [Basketball]
The Golden Glove. (Peachtree, 2009) [Baseball]
The Kid Coach. (Peachtree, 2009) [Baseball]
Off the Rim. (Peachtree, 2009) [Basketball]
On the Line. (Peachtree, 2009) [Basketball]
Playoff Dreams. (Peachtree, 2009) [Baseball]
T.J.’s Secret Pitch. (Peachtree, 2009) [Baseball]
Winners Take All. (Peachtree, 2009) [Baseball]

Fred Bowen. No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season. (Dutton, 2010) [Baseball] Bowen tells, in spare text and with illustrations reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, the simple story of Ted Williams, who wouldn’t go into the record books with a tainted record and anything less than a full season of hitting .400, a feat that has not been matched in seven decades. This is a baseball biography for even the very young; read this to a future Hall of Famer in your life.

Fred Bowen. “Fred Bowen Sports Stories” (Series)
Quarterback Season. (Peachtree, 2011) [Football] Sports books often deal with the moment; this one looks at all those moments that make a season. Told convincingly in the voice of an eighth grade quarterback, with all the excitement, disappointments,
jealousy, and satisfaction of school sports, this is the freshest sports book of the year.
Throwing Heat. ( Peachtree, 2010) [Baseball] Jack Lerner is a flame thrower. Still in middle school, he is starting to compare his pitching speed with major leaguers, but in a new league the hitters don’t seem impressed. Are his baseball dreams only that? How hard does he have to throw? This is the story of a thrower faced with the daunting task of becoming a pitcher.
Touchdown Trouble. (Peachtree, 2009) [Football] Every sports story has that “Uh-Oh” moment, when everything that was sure becomes unsure, when everything is on the line. Sports are that way, so sports stories, at least the good ones, are as well. This Fred Bowen beauty has the best kind of uh-oh moment. You will never see it coming, and when it happens, you won’t believe you didn’t see it coming.
Double Reverse. (Peachtree, 2014) Everyone who plays team sports has to face the priority question at some time. Are you a quarterback, or a football player? Are you a member of the offense, or a member of the team? But in Fred Bowen’s latest, priorities get challenged, stretched, and tied in knots when a soccer defenseman becomes a goalie to become a football player to become a kicker and end up as a running back?? And SHE’s not even the main character! Keep your eye on the ball in this high-fun,
high-action sports tale.
Hardcourt Comeback. (Peachtree, 2010) [Basketball]
Dugout Rivals. (Peachtree, 2010) [Baseball]
Soccer Team Upset. (Peachtree, 2009) [Soccer]
Real Hoops. (Peachtree, 2011) [Basketball]

John Feinstein. Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series. (Knopf, 2009) [Baseball]
John Feinstein. Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl. (Knopf, 2007) [Football]
John Feinstein. Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery. (Knopf, 2005) [Basketball]
John Feinstein. Vanishing Act: Mystery at the U.S. Open. (Knopf, 2006) [Tennis]

Tim Green. Pinch Hit. (Harper, 2012) [Baseball] It’s The Prince and the Pauper, with diving stabs of line drives and towering home runs. And the modern American royalty, movie stars!

Tim Green. Unstoppable. (Harper, 2012) Defensive linemen? Heck, they are nothing compared to what Harrison has had to deal with, and he has the bruises to show for it. Maybe that is what makes him so thrilled to throw his body into tacklers, and carry tacklers down field on his back. After being beaten and kicked around as a foster kid, he can handle anything… until the worst of anything hits him from out of the blue.
…also by Tim Green:
Baseball Great. (HarperCollins, 2009) [Baseball]
Football Champ. (HarperCollins, 2009) [Football]
Football Genius. (HarperCollins, 2007) [Football]
Football Hero. (HarperCollins, 2008) [Football]
Pinch Hit. (Harper, 2012) [Baseball]

Dan Gutman. The Secret Life of Doctor Demented. (Simon Pulse, 2001) [Wrestling]

Dan Gutman. “Baseball Card Mysteries” (Series) [Baseball]
Honus & Me. (HarperCollins, 1997)
Jackie & Me. (HarperCollins, 1999)
Babe & Me. (HarperCollins, 2000)
Shoeless Joe & Me. (HarperCollins, 2002)
Mickey & Me. (HarperCollins, 2003)
Abner & Me. (HarperCollins, 2005)
Satch & Me. (HarperCollins, 2006)
Jim & Me. (HarperCollins, 2008)
Ray & Me. (HarperCollins, 2009)

Gordon Korman. The Chicken Doesn’t Skate. (Scholastic, 1996) [Hockey]

Mike Lupica. “Game Changers” (Series)
Game Changers. [Book 1] (Scholastic, 2012) [Football] Everyone thinks the quarterback has to be a leader on a football team. But does a leader have to be a
quarterback? And does being a quarterback make you a leader? Mike Lupica is back with his best book since Heat, doing what he does best, reminding all of us why we love the game.
Play Makers. [ Book 2] (Scholastic, 2013) [Basketball] Your coach can tell you it isn’t between you and him; it is his team verses your team. Your best girl can tell you it isn’t between you and him; it is about you and her. You can even tell yourself it isn’t between you and him; you need to play your game. But when the game is on the line and you are the best two players on the court, guess what? It is you against him.

Mike Lupica. The Underdogs. (Philomel, 2011) [Football]
A feel good story with tons of football action from the dean of juvenile sports fiction. Something for the guys to read until Sports Center comes on. With a kick-butt girl player too.

…also by Mike Lupica:
Heat. (Philomel, 2006) [Baseball]
Travel Team. (Philomel, 2004) [Basketball]
The Big Field. (Penguin, 2008) [Baseball]

“Mike Lupica’s Comeback Kids” (Series)
Hot Hand. (Philomel, 2007) [Basketball]
Long Shot. (Philomel, 2008) [Basketball]
Safe at Home. (Philomel, 2008) [Baseball]
Two Minute Drill. (Philomel, 2007) [Football]

Chris Lynch. Gold Dust. (HarperCollins, 2000) [Baseball]

Marissa Moss, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. Barbed Wire Baseball. (Abrams, 2013) [Baseball – Nonfiction] There is something freeing about launching a long home run and running easily around the bases and back to home while the ball sails over the fence. But what if the fence is made of barbed wire, and even if the ball can fly away, you can never go home? People scoff at the idea that sports are life, but what if baseball is all you have of your life? This is the true story of a man who played with babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and then was imprisoned with his whole family, his whole community. His crime? He was Japanese, and America went to war with Japan.

Kadir Nelson. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. (Jump at the Sun, 2008) [Baseball - Nonfiction]

Gary Paulsen. How Angel Peterson Got His Name, and Other Outrageous Tales of Extreme Sports. (Yearling, 2004) [Extreme Sports]

Cal Ripkin Jr. Hothead. (Hyperion, 2011) [Baseball] Connor Sullivan has it all for the Orioles Babe Ruth League Baseball team: he can field, throw, run, hit, and hit for power. All of which does him no good if he can’t keep his temper and keep himself from being kicked off the field, maybe for good.

Cal Ripkin Jr. Super-Sized Slugger. (Hyperion, 2012) [Baseball] Cody Parker is thrilled to have landed on his new baseball team, and most of the Orioles are thrilled to
have their new third baseman and fifth-hitting slugger. Who isn’t thrilled? How about the Oriole’s old third baseman and fifth-hitting slugger?

Cal Ripken. Wild Pitch. [Cal Ripken, Jr.'s All-Stars] (Disney-Hyperion, 2013) [Baseball] What kind of sports book starts half-way through a season with no wins? Oooh, wonder if they’ll make the playoffs? Not likely bub. Robbie, the Orioles’ pitcher, would like to just get through the season without killing anybody. Cal Ripkin, Jr., the one baseball player who played through more thick and more thin than anybody else, tells a real story of real kids trying really hard not to really suck.

John H. Ritter. The Boy Who Saved Baseball. (Philomel, 2003) [Baseball]

Michael J. Rosen, with Ben Kassoy. No Dribbling the Squid: Octopush, Shin Kicking, Elephant Polo, and Other Oddball Sports. (Andrew McMeel, 2009) [Nonfiction]

Steven Sandor. Playing for Keeps. (Lorimer, 2012) [Soccer] “A win is good. You know how people call soccer ‘The Beautiful Game’? Well, the person who came
up with that saying is dumb… sometimes you win ugly… You know what they call a team that wins games like that twenty times a year? Champions, that’s what!”

Shelley Sommer. Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer. (Calkins Creek, 2011) [Baseball] In the 1930′s and 1940′s, sports went a long way towards breaking down barriers. We all know about Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Jesse Owens, but few people know the story of Hank Greenberg, the first great Jewish baseball player, who fought through descrimination to win two MVP awards and the respect of a nation for his character, his patriotism, and his homerun swing.

Wes Tooke. Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever. (Simon & Schuster, 2010) [Baseball] Baseball players are real people. Even big-leaguers. Even New York Yankees. Even baseball legends chasing one of the greatest records in all of sports are real guys. Louis “Lucky” May could not have been luckier when he gets a chance to know the real Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris as they went after the great Babe Ruth’s single season home run record.

Lisa Wheeler, illustrations by Barry Gott. Dino-Basketball. (Carolrhoda, 2011) [Basketball] High-powered basketball lingo, tongue-twisting dinosaur names, and dizzyness-inducing pictures. All a little guy could want from a picture book!


Primarily for Teen Guys:

Chris Ballard. One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season.  (Hyperion, 2012) [Baseball] “…he announced that practice was optional. If any of the boys didn’t want to play ball, he wasn’t going  to force them. Also, there would be no wind sprints, punishments, or lengthy pregame speeches… if a  player felt he could steal a base, he should signal Sweet that he was going, not the other way around.  And as for who played where, Sweet told them to work that out among themselves. After all, they  certainly knew better than he did.” Thus, the new coach of the Macon Ironmen introduced himself before the most amazing run any high school baseball team ever made. A veteran Sports Illustrated  writer tells a true story that will remind you of all that sports are really about.

A.C.E. Bauer. Gil Marsh. (Random House, 2012) [Cross Country] All heroes die. What makes them heroes is that their stories don’t. This retelling of Gilgamesh may be  the first truly heroic tale you run into all year.

Carl Deuker. Payback Time. (Houghton Mifflin, 2010) [Football] Something is definately wrong with the Lincoln Mustang’s new football player. He is great, when he  wants to be. He wins games, when the coach will play him. He ducks the spotlight and won’t let his picture be taken. With all the hype, and cheating, that surrounds big-time high school sports, a school newspaper reporter gets caught up in the mystery man’s game, and so much more. Carl Deuker is the master of capturing the drama of sports, both on and off the field.
…also by Carl Deuker:
Gym Candy. (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) [Football]
On the Devil’s Court. (Little, Brown, 1988) [Basketball]

John Grisham. Calico Joe. (Doubleday, 2012) [Baseball] A young phenom , on the greatest tear that any rookie has ever gone on in Major League Baseball history, digs in against an embittered pitcher spiraling towards an ugly end to his careerr. What happens next would reverberate for 30 years. Oh, and the sound of breaking bones would be heard by 50,000 fans.
… also by John Grisham:
Playing for Pizza. (Doubleday, 2007) [Football]

Gordon Korman. Pop. (Balzer + Bray, 2009) [Football]
It is the part of the game that makes your head spin, your eyes blur, your mom gasp, and your adrenaline seep out every pore on your body. You don’t play football the way Marcus did in his old school, you’ve got to love the pop. When you don’t love the jarring, rib-rattling hit, it is time to hang up the spikes. Marcus learns that in the most bizarre way in a high school football book that has all the characters and story lines you want, but the book is about football, and football is all about the pop.
… also by Gordon Korman:
Jake Reinvented. (Hyperion, 2003) [Football]

Mike Lupica. True Legend. (Philomel, 2012) It’s good to be The Man. People write your papers, buy you things, drive you everywhere you want to go, and take care of those little “problems” that sometimes come up. Drew “True” Robinson is enjoying the perks of being the next great basketball prospect when he meets a ghost on a dark outdoor court one night; mad skills, grubby clothes, a haunted look. But is it the ghost of a failed prospect past? Or the ghost of Drew’s future?

Alfred Martino. Over the End Line. (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2009) [Soccer]
Alfred C. Martino. Pinned. (Harcourt, 2005) [Wrestling]

Michael Lewis. The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. (Norton, 2007) [Football - Nonfiction]

Walter Dean Myers. Game. (HarperTeen, 2008) [Basketball]
Walter Dean Myers. Hoops. (Delacorte, 1991) [Basketball]
Walter Dean Myers. The Outside Shot. (Delacorte, 1984) [Basketball]
Walter Dean Myers. Slam! (Scholastic, 1996) [Basketball]

Pick Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court, edited by Marc Aronson & Charles Smith Jr. (Candlewick, 2011) [Basketball] One day, one court, ten testaments to the drama inside the game and out. This is the home of pick-up basketball, downtown Manhatten, where the immortals played when black players weren’t allowed in big-time college basketball and the NBA. And still they come, troubled, homeless, too young, too old, nothing matters but your game when you step into The Cage.

Robert Sharenow. The Berlin Boxing Club. (HarperTeen, 2011) [Boxing]
Any real sports fan will tell you, sports are life. So for a Jewish boy growing up in Nazi Germany, nothing is more natural than strapping on the gloves and getting into the ring. Punishing, sure, but in and out of the ring, Karl Stern is fighting for his life.

Scott Sigler. “Galactic Football League” (Series)
The Rookie. [Book One] (Diversion Books, 2007)
The Starter. [Book Two] (Diversion Books, 2010)
The All-Pro. [Book Three] (Diversion Books, 2011)
The MVP. [Book Four] (Diversion Books, 2012)
600 pound armored alien monsters as linemen, gorilla beasts at linebacker, scuttling bug creatures at receiver and defensive back, and a quarterback from some backwater human world just trying not to get his head ripped off on every play, that’s the world of the Galactic Football League in this sci- fi/sports mash-up.

David Skuy. Off the Crossbar. (The Writer’s Collective, 2006) [Hockey]