In which I am Sporty

July 7th, 2010 • Kate

InvescoI felt very sporty today, as I went with my sister and her kids (as well as Trixie Implausible) to tour Invesco Field this afternoon, then to a Rockies game at Coors Field this evening with Rexroth joining us. And I had a great time, despite how often I might otherwise say I’m not really into sports. But then I recalled my post from February of this year, when I enthused about Olympic sports I didn’t know I cared about, or remember just how nervous I got watching some of the World Cup games. And you know? I have to remind myself that yeah, I DO care, but on a more immediate level than just supporting a team. I care about the game I’m watching NOW, not that team in the off season.

I’m still looking for that pro athlete book to represent, but I want to talk about more than just wish lists. Tell me about some of YOUR favorite novels — either YA or MG — that feature sports. For instance, I love Love LOVE Catherine Murdock‘s Dairy Queen series. And I can’t forget to mention Maureen Johnson‘s The Key to the Golden Firebird.

What about you? What sports books get you cheering?

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13 Responses to “In which I am Sporty”

  1. Mike Jung Says:

    Edward Bloor's TANGERINE is one of the very best, and Kurtis Scaletta's MUDVILLE is also excellent – they're both MG. And I haven't read it yet, but I hear Matt De La Pena's BALL DON'T LIE is fantastic…

  2. Andrea Brokaw Says:

    I just finished the first Dairy Queen book tonight! And have already ordered the next two. *g* It was totally amazing.

    I've been looking for some more good YA sports books, particularly more romantic ones. I'll have to keep an eye on your comments. I did read The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading recently and loved it.

    And I wrote a retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a curling team. But it's still in its second draft, so it's not really great yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Trish Says:

    I liked Liz Tigelaar's PRETTY TOUGH.

  4. Amy Says:

    And here I was coming to recommend the Dairy Queen trilogy, which I love dearly. I ADORE those books.

  5. Tessa Quin Says:

    Um…Harry Potter! I honestly dislike reading books with sports in it – or I just skim over the sporty bits. I even got impatient reading Harry Potter sometimes, but since I love those books so dearly, Quidditch would be my favorite.

  6. Ann Finkelstein Says:

    While a sporting event or tournament can’t carry a plot, it can add excitement and a ticking clock. I agree with the previous suggestions of Tangerine and the early HP books, and I'll add Rebound by Bob Krech. I’ve heard Wrestling Sturbridge by Rich Wallace is an excellent example, although I haven’t read it yet. I’m looking forward to checking out the Dairy Queen series too.

  7. kris Says:

    I've been trying to compile a list of "girl sports" book on my blog. There are actually more than I had thought–trying to profile them periodically. Carol Clippinger's OPEN COURT is about a tennis phenom. Also, Kate Messner's BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z's protag is a track star, but it's not really about her sport. I love books where girls are athletes, but it's not their whole lives.

    My YA novel is about a girl who plays golf–but finding agents who are golf fans is harder than I thought it would be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. allreb Says:

    I really enjoyed The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mike Cochrane. It's got a lovely, almost dreamy voice, and I'm a sucker for stories about baseball and family.

  9. Georgiana Says:

    The protagonist in Justine Larbalastier's novel How to Ditch Your Fairy is an athlete. Isn't one of her Magic or Madness characters a basketball player?

    Hunger Games is about sports, albeit sports none of us would want to take part in or watch…

    Books I read when I was a girl – the Trick books by Scott Corbett had a fair amount of baseball in them. Of course the Black Stallion books had lots of racing, even a race that intrigued some aliens in one of the Island Stallion books.

    Ishield 21 is a good football manga as per my son Cullen. He also suggests Prince of Tennis but says it's not that realistic.

    That's all that comes to mind right now but I know I've read a bunch more, including many books about horses.

  10. Nina Nakayama Says:

    Oh lordy, I'm going to have to try and not jump on my soapbox because sports books are an entire unit in my adolescent lit course. Here are some of my faves:


    Okay, most folks would probably pick Gym Candy but me, I'm a football purist (since my former life as an athletic trainer), I need me some good on-the-field football scenes, separate from the steroids. So, I give extra points to the Football Genius novels (T. Green) for taking me back to the stadium & field. Knights of the Hill Country is good also–gritty. Buuut, if you yanked my arm and made me choose, I'd pick Pop (G. Gorman) as my favorite, hands-down. Love, Football, and Other Contact Sports (A. Carter) isn't a novel but the connected short stories are so funny & totally on about football that I would highly recommend it (the "A Girl's Guide to Football Players" is particularly chuckle-worthy).

    Baseball — two favorites in the huge pile:

    The Brooklyn Nine (A. Gratz)

    Under the Baseball Moon (J. Ritter)

    Middle Grade — my students love these:

    Mudville (K. Scaletta)

    Girl Who Through Butterflies (M. Cochrane)

    Boost (K. Mackel)

    My students think think there should be good MMA/martial arts protag novels…I totally agree…if you come across any in your slush pile, that is. *grin*

  11. Nina Nakayama Says:

    Ooh, I just read your first reply — yes, Ball Don't Lie (M. de la Pena) IS great. We're actually bringing Matt down to Hawai'i for our teen reading festival…if any of you will be in the area in April and want to meet him. (=

  12. Kaia Says:

    I lovelovelove the Australian series about Gracie Faltrain by Cath Crowley. Titles soooo long, but her name is in every single one. It doesn't quite measure up to Dairy Queen, but it's not far off.

  13. Mary Ann Says:

    I liked SLAM! by Walter Dean Myers because it taught me about a completely different viewpoint than my own. I book- talked it at an inner city jr. high once, and the surprise on the boys' faces was great–when this middle-aged white lady dribbled a basketball and read that narrator's voice ๐Ÿ™‚