10 Great Books for Kids Who Love Sports

The passion many kids feel for sports translates well onto the page. There are countless books aimed at children and teens that center around athletes competing in basketball, football, soccer and numerous other sports. This list includes ten books sure to engage sports-loving kids everywhere.

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#1 Tangerine by Edward Bloor

In this young adult novel, Paul Fisher and his family move to Tangerine, Florida, where Paul struggles to fit in while he uncovers secrets about his family. Despite being legally blind, Paul hopes to play goalie for his school's soccer team. While his disability holds him back, his brother Erik quickly becomes the star of the football team, yet Paul realizes that Erik is not the hero he seems to be.

#2 Cinderella in Cleats by Carly Syms

Whitney and her friend Jason were tossing a football around with their fathers when Whitney's dad died of a sudden heart attack. Two years after this tragedy, Whitney is ready to pick up a football again. As a girl interested in football, however, she must overcome gender discrimination by a coach.

#3 Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

T.J. Jones is naturally athletic, but avoided organized sports until his senior year of high school. After a teacher encourages him to form a swim team, T.J. responds by building and training a team of misfits and outcasts. His eclectic group is shunned by the school's other athletes, but they persevere and grow to become a powerful and highly competitive team.

#4 Peak by Roland Smith

Peak Marcello is a 14-year-old who delights in climbing. Peak's passion for scaling tall buildings leads his mother and stepfather to send him to his father in Thailand in order to avoid copycat climbers. Once there, he begins training to become the youngest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. However, he begins to suspect that his father's intentions are more about greed than the historic achievement.

#5 The Lucky Baseball Bat by Matt Christopher

Matt Christopher is the author of more than 100 sports-themed books for kids. In The Lucky Baseball Bat, Martin is a new boy in town and looking to impress his baseball teammates. When he gets a bat from a star player, Martin becomes an unstoppable hitting machine. The bat, however, breaks during a game one day, leaving Martin to wonder whether the power was in the bat or him.

#6 Gemma the Gymnastics Fairy by Daisy Meadows

The Fairy Olympics are fast approaching in Fairyland, yet Jack Frost's goblins are causing havoc and stealing the magic objects needed for the competition. Gemma the Gymnastics Fairy needs her magic hoop back and, with a little help, she just might be able to overcome the goblins. This is one of several Sports Fairies books by Daisy Meadows, alongside Alice the Tennis Fairy, Stacey the Soccer Fairy and Helena the Horse-Riding Fairy.

#7 The Littlest Leaguer by Syd Hoff

Aimed at early readers, The Littlest Leaguer centers on Harold, the littlest player in little league. Harold is full of heart, but he's so small that ground balls bounce over him. His coach is forced to put him on the bench, but at the end of the season, Harold gets the chance to prove that being small has its advantages.

#8 The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

Alfred Brooks is a high school dropout working at a local grocery store. When one of his friends is arrested for robbing the store, Alfred decides to turn his life around. He begins training as a boxer at a local gym. Throughout the story, he struggles to make a new life while avoiding the drugs and crime that consumed his friends.

#9 Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

Lonnie Jackson is a 17-year-old basketball player with enough skills to play professionally one day. He prepares for the city-wide Tournament of Champions under the guidance of his coach, Cal. When the big game arrives, Lonnie finds out that big gamblers want Cal to keep him on the bench to blow the game. Lonnie and Cal must decide whether or not to do the right thing.

#10 Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Becoming a professional snowboarder has long been the goal of 15-year-old Syrah Cheng. A near miss with an avalanche, however, leads her parents to ban her from the slopes. This forces Syrah to face many issues she'd been avoiding while competing. She uses the time away to forge relationships and learn about herself.

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