Check It Out: Sports Books

Dive into engaging sports-themed novels.
By Sarah Neiderman
Latest sport book covers and image of Jason Reynolds
COURTESY VICTORIA JAMIESON; COURTESY LAURA SHOVAN; JASON MENDEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR TRIBECA FESTIVAL; ADAM PANTOZZI/NBAE—GETTY IMAGES

Ready for some great sports books? Check out these five favorite fiction titles.

  • We Are Family, by LeBron James and Andrea Williams Big-name LeBron James has cowritten an inspiring book about a ragtag group of kids who get together to save their basketball team after their coach’s illness. It explores the lives of the kids on the team, and suggests that playing sports can energize you, liberate you, and maybe even save your life. Read this when you’re in need of some inspiration. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.

  • The Last Shot (The Sports Beat series, Book 1), by John Feinstein If you like a little mystery with your sports, this is a great pick! Stevie, an aspiring sports journalist, wins a contest to attend the Final Four. There, he overhears a conversation: It sounds as if someone is being blackmailed to throw a game! This series will be a winner for anyone interested in sports controversies, student athletes, and sports journalism. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  • Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson There are all kinds of unconventional sports out there, and this book is about one of the coolest. If you’ve never heard of roller derby, Roller Girl will inspire you to check it out. Astrid is a 12-year-old who just wants to go to junior roller derby camp with her best friend, Nicole. But Nicole is going to ballet camp, so Astrid is on her own. Read this book to find out how Astrid survives all the bumps and bruises to become a derby girl. Recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

  • Ghost, by Jason Reynolds Another undersung sport gets its due in the Track series by Jason Reynolds. Castle “Ghost” Crenshaw has been running from danger his whole life. A coach takes a chance on him and drafts him to an elite track team. Ghost has to figure out how to work with a team and outrun his demons. If you like this one, read the whole series! Recommended for ages 10 and up. 

  • Takedown, by Laura Shovan Mickey’s dad and older brothers are champion wrestlers, so it’s only natural that she should follow in their footsteps. But some people on the team aren’t happy that a girl wants to participate—including her new training partner, Lev. Can the two of them help each other achieve their dreams, or will they tangle each other up? Read this great sports story to find out. Recommended for ages 9 to 12.