I tend to be kind of indifferent about professional sports as a whole (and I include big-time college sports in that category), especially those that involve a ball and hand-eye coordination. I try to go to the gym and swim or run regularly but am usually not that interested in paying attention to what other people are doing (also, I myself have absolutely no hand-eye coordination :-)).
I do, of course, follow the Longhorns (somewhat avidly) and the Cubs (guardedly), and every four years, the Olympics, but that's pretty much it as a spectator. So this month, I was kind of surprised to discover that, this (last) month, I actually paid some attention to Wimbledon (the longest tennis match), the World Cup (the US game and officiating), and the Tour de France (that Austinite on Team RadioShack and really great coverage on Versus).
All this got me thinking about my reading choices and books having sports or athletics in them...
So, anyway, linked or set in below are some "sports" books that I've covered on the blog or over at Cyn's web site. By "sports books," I mean books in which sports and/or athletics are or were important to the protagonist or the plot, and can include those in which the climax is other than the "big game." This does not include books involving swordplay - those are for another post :-). Oddly enough, all are YA.
BUG BOY, by Eric Luper
IN THE BREAK, by Jack Lopez
JUMP, by Elisa Carbone
OPEN ICE, by Pat Hughes
PINNED, by Alfred C. Martino
SHIFT, by Jennifer Bradbury
THAW, by Monica Roe
Some older ones from the web site:
ROUGHNECKS by Thomas Cochran (Harcourt, 1997). Oil Patch, Louisiana, is a town where football is king and where Travis Cody is responsible for the team's only loss. Travis's championship game-day preparations are a vehicle for Travis to reflect on his past as an Oil Patch Roughneck and his future as . . . he doesn't know what. Ages 12-up.
SLAM! by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic, 1996). SLAM! is the story of Greg, 17, who's hot on the basketball courts but not in class. A strong voice and well-drawn character who's part of the crowd that looks to athletics for escape and a future. Ages 12-up.
WRESTLING STURBRIDGE by Rich Wallace (Knopf, 1996). Sturbridge, PA, is a wrestling town. Ben is the second-best wrestler in his weight class. The first-best is his friend, who's counted on to win the state championship. Ben has other plans. Compelling guy voice and well-drawn characters. Wallace is also the author of SHOTS ON GOAL, also set in Sturbridge, Pennsylvania, focusing this time on soccer, friendship, teamwork, girls, and feuding about all four. Ages 12-up