Sports Fiction: Books for Teens


Benjamin, E.M.J.M. Takedown. 1999.
When Jake Chapman, a varsity wrestling champion is diagnosed with epilepsy, he must use the discipline he learned as an athlete in order not to lose everything.
Brooks, Bruce. Moves Make the Man. 1988.
A black boy and an emotionally troubled with boy in North Carolina form a precarious friendship on the basketball court.
Crutcher, Chris. Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories. 1991.
A collection of short stories featuring characters from earlier books by Chris Crutcher.
Crutcher, Chris. Ironman. 1995.
While training for a triathlon, seventeen-year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school, which leads him to examine his relationship with his father.
Crutcher, Chris. Running Loose. 1983.
Louie, a high school senior in a small Idaho town, learns about sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures into a man.
Deuker, Carl. On the Devil’s Court. 1988.
Struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and his failure to make the basketball team in his new school, seventeen-year-old Joe Faust finds himself willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball.
Draper, Sharon. Forged by Fire. 1997.
Teenage Gerald, who has spent years protecting his fragile half-sister from their abusive father, faces the prospect of one final confrontation before the problem can be solved.
Draper, Sharon. Tears of a Tiger. 1994.
The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend Andy, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.
Garwood, Julie. A Girl Named Summer. 1986.
Summer never meant to lie. She just wanted to keep the most perfect guy she ever met interested in her.
Hewett, Lorie. Dancer. 1999.
Sixteen-year-old Stephanie struggles to perfect her ballet dancing as her classes are complicated by a new male dancer.
Hobbs, Valerie. How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadn’t Called You Back? 1995.
After moving with her family from New Jersey to California in the late 1950’s, sixteen-year-old Bron discovers the world of drag racing.
Klass, David. California Blue. 1994.
John Rodgers, a 17-year-old track athlete lives in a northern California logging town, where nature provides solace from his family until his father is diagnosed with cancer.
Klass, David. Wrestling with Honor. 1988.
Champion high school wrestler Ron Woods faces a soul-searching season when he refuses to retake a mandatory drug test he has failed.
Lipsyte, Robert. The Brave. 1991.
Sonny Bear, 17, a talented Native American boxer moves to New York City and enters a citywide amateur competition where his triumphs are matched with tragic events.
Lipsyte, Robert. The Contender. 1967.
The struggle of a seventeen-year-old African American dropout from Harlem who wants to become a champion boxer.
Lynch, Chris. Iceman. 1994.
Fourteen-year-old Eric, a ruthless hockey player prone to violence on the ice, tries to reconcile his own needs with those of his parents.
Murrow, Liza Ketchum. Twelve Days in August. 1993.
Twelve days in August change a sixteen-year-old soccer player’s perceptions of himself, his family, girls, and guys.
Myers, Walter Dean. Hoops. 1981.
A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.
Myers, Walter Dean. Outside Shot. 1984.
Recruited by a small Midwestern college to play basketball, a Harlem boy has many new experiences including working with a child who needs physical therapy and dealing with corruption in college sports.
Orr, Wendy. Peeling the Onion. 1997.
Following an automobile accident in which her neck is broken, a teenage karate champion begins a long and painful recovery with the help of her family.
Ripslinger, Jon. Triangle. 1994.
Eighteen-year-old Jeremy begins a secret affair with Joy, the girlfriend of his paralyzed best friend, which threatens to endanger her chances of leading her softball team to victory in the state tournament.
Sillitoe, Alan. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner. 1992.
A teenager held in an English reformatory turns out to be a champion runner with a chance to win a trophy for his team and defy those in power.
Spinelli, Jerry. There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock. 1991.
Thirteen-year-old Maisie joins her school's formerly all-male wrestling team and tries to last through the season, despite opposition from other students, her best friend, and her own teammates.
Voight, Cynthia. The Runner. 1985.
As a dedicated runner, a teenage boy has always managed to distance himself from other people until the experience of coaching one of his teammates on the track team gradually helps him see the value of giving and receiving.
Wallace, Rich. Playing Without the Ball. 2000.
Feeling abandoned by his parents, who have gone their separate ways and left him behind in a small Pennsylvania town, seventeen-year-old Jay finds hope for the future in a church sponsored basketball team and a female friend.
 his last high school wrestling season slip by without challenging his friend and the future.
Weaver, Will. Farm Team. 1995.
With his father in jail and his mother working full-time, fourteen-year=old Billy Baggs finds himself in charge of running the family farm in northern Minnesota and having to give up the things he loves most—baseball.
Zusak, Markus. Fighting Ruben Wolfe. 2001.
Partly because of their family’s poor finances and partly to prove themselves, brothers Ruben and Cameron take jobs as fighters and find themselves reacting very differently in the boxing ring.