YA Books for Sports-Loving Young Men

~posted by Ruth

Books-and-sportsMostly, 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!

MuckersMuckers 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-TroubleFoul 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.


SwaggerSwagger 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.



2 Responses to YA Books for Sports-Loving Young Men

  1. Kay Young says:

    I loved the book Calico Joe by John Grisham. It is not just about baseball but about the consequences of an over-inflated ego. The lack of sportsmanship in the father causes more than just the loss of a father-son relationship. I know high school guys love it as it has disappeared and reappeared off my chalk tray several times.

  2. ruthlit says:

    Thanks for the tip! It’s on my list of next books to read!

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