~posted by Ruth
Mostly, when we post YA reviews, they are from the genres we love most: historical fiction, sci-fi, contemporary issues. . .but lately, I have noticed a surge of terrific books that feature sports. I’ve been on the lookout for books for the young men in my life, too. Problem solved with the following books! And when I dug in–well, I found they were as wonderful as my go-to genres. So have a look, and see what you think!
Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace
I start with Muckers because it is sport-based, but also great historical fiction, with a big helping of “Friday Night Lights.” Set in a small mining town in Post-World War II Arizona, the story follows the gritty desegregated team as they take on bigger, better funded towns. The anti-Communist sentiments, the racial tensions, and the pre-Korean War jitters add to the atmosphere in this gripping tale, based on a true story.
Foul Trouble by John Feinstein
Terrell Jamerson has some tough choices to make–some exciting possibilities to further his basketball talents and attend college at the same time, and other tempting offers by sleazy “friends” and talent scouts for NCAA. Feinstein pens a fast-paced story rich with intrigue and corruption that is too often part of the world of college and professional sports. More than simply a sports story, Foul Trouble also brings in the role of investigative reporting, not to mention real-world sports figures. A great read for basketball lovers–and also readers like me who enjoy an action-packed, well-written tale.
Swagger by Carl Deuker
Another basketball-based story, but this time more of a psychological novel. Deuker manages to incorporate lots of game action into the book, at the same time he builds complex characters. The story unfolds to reveal the complexity of friendships, and the range of adults in teens lives–some trustworthy, and others abusive. Lots of rich discussion can accompany teens’ reading of this well-crafted novel.