Best Selling Books in School & Sports - Fiction

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release date: Jan 10, 2012
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The Running Dream (Schneider Family Book Award - Teen Book Winner)
When Jessica is told she’ll never run again, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before. The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story.
 
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
 
As she struggles to cope, Jessica feels that she’s both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say act like she’s not there. Jessica’s embarrassed to realize that she’s done the same to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
 
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
 
“Inspirational. The pace of Van Draanen’s prose matches Jessica’s at her swiftest. Readers will zoom through the book just as Jessica blazes around the track. A lively and lovely story.” —Kirkus Reviews
release date: Apr 01, 2009
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a foreword by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.
release date: Jan 10, 2013
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The Final Four
"Volponi, a multiple award-winning author, keeps the tension high from the first to last page ...The Final Four is definitely a winner." —VOYA, starred review

March Madness is in full swing, and there are only four teams let in the NCAA basketball championship. The heavily favored Michigan Spartans and the underdog Troy Trojans meet in the first game in the seminfinals, and it's there that the fates of Malcolm, Roko, Crispin, and M.J. intertwine. As the last moments tick down on the game clock, you'll learn how each player went from being a kid who loves to shoot hoops to a powerful force in one of the most important games of the year. Which team will leave the Superdome victorious? In the end it will come down to who has the most skill, the most drive, and the most heart.

"Volponi nails it when it counts in this dynamic story." —Booklist, starred review

"Volponi adroitly renders authentic and inspired basketball action." —The New York Times Book Review
release date: Mar 13, 2012
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Brian's Hunt (A Hatchet Adventure)
Brian sets out on the hunt of a lifetime in this follow-up to the award-winning classic Hatchet from three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen!
 
Brian Robeson has stood up to the challenge of surviving the wilderness in Hatchet, The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian's Return. Now, while camping alone on a lake in the woods, he finds a wounded and whimpering dog. As Brian treats her wounds, he worries about who or what did this to her. His instincts tell him to head north, quickly, to check on his Cree friends. With his new companion at his side, he sets out on the hunt.
 
Gary Paulsen expertly delivers a riveting story that brilliantly combines two of his great themes: the human animal's place in nature, and the mysterious and wonderful bond between humans and dogs.

“The Brian books reveal nature and humankind’s place in it with spare prose that seems ideally suited to the setting and plot.” —VOYA
 
“Based on real incidents, this well-written sequel to Hatchet and its successors will be gobbled up by the author’s legions of fans.” —Kirkus Reviews

Read all the Hatchet Adventures!
Brian's Winter
The River
Brian's Return
Brian's Hunt
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release date: Feb 28, 2012
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Payback Time
Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone.
release date: Sep 07, 2009
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Night Hoops

Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson have nothing in common but basketball. Or so it seems. But as the basketball season progresses, their lives become unexpectedly intertwined. In this story of an unlikely bond, award-winning author Carl Deuker explores that dark and confusing place between loneliness and friendship, between faithfulness and betrayal. Filled with gripping game play, the novel will leave readers wondering how much they themselves would reach out to a kid like Trent.

release date: Aug 29, 2017
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Backfield Boys: A Football Mystery in Black and White

In Backfield Boys, renowned sports journalist and New York Times–bestselling author John Feinstein tells a thrilling story of friendship, football, and a fight for justice.

Freshman footballers Jason Roddin and Tom Jefferson are a perfect pair: Jason is a blazing-fast wide-receiver, while his best friend Tom has all the skills a standout quarterback needs. After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to be invited back with full-ride scholarships.

But on day one of practice, they’re shocked when the team's coaching staff makes Tom, a black kid, a receiver and Jason, a white kid, a quarterback. Confronted with mounting evidence of deep-seated racial bias, the boys speak out, risking their scholarships and chances to play. As tensions ratchet up with coaches and other players, Tom and Jason must decide how much they're willing to lose in a conflict with powerful forces that has nothing―and everything―to do with the game they love.

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release date: Jun 18, 2013
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Boy21
You can lose yourself in repetition--quiet your thoughts; I learned the value of this at a very young age.

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of getting out someday, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, a unique friendship may turn out to be the answer they both need.
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release date: Feb 22, 2011
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The Batboy
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of HeatTravel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Brian is living every baseball kid's dream: he is a batboy for his hometown Major League team. Brian believes that it's the perfect thing to bring him and his big-leaguer dad closer together. And if that weren't enough, this is the season that Hank Bishop, Brian's baseball hero, returns to the Tigers for the comeback of a lifetime. The summer couldn't get much better! Until Hank Bishop starts to show his true colors, and Brian learns that sometimes life throws you a curveball.
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release date: Mar 18, 1997
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Crash
A modern classic from Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli.

"Readers will devour this humorous glimpse of what jocks are made of." --School Library Journal, starred review

Cocky seventh-grade super-jock Crash Coogan got his nickname the day he used his first football helmet to knock his cousin Bridget flat on her backside. And he has been running over people ever since, especially Penn Webb, the dweeby, vegetarian Quaker kid who lives down the block. Through the eyes of Crash, readers get a rare glimpse into the life of a bully in this unforgettable and beloved story about stereotypes and the surprises life can bring.

"Without being preachy, Spinelli packs a powerful moral wallop, leaving it to the pitch-perfect narration to drive home his point" --Publishers Weekly

"Spinelli's writing style is great for kids in this age-group, fast-paced and funny." --Booklist
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