Best Selling Books in School & Sports - Fiction

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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, 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: Aug 01, 2008
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Peak (A Peak Marcello Adventure)

The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below. – Peak Marcello

After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit--and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life.

Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk. The story of Peak’s dangerous ascent—told in his own words—is suspenseful, immediate, and impossible to put down.

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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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: 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: Mar 04, 2003
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The Contender

The breakthrough modern sports novel The Contender shows readers the true meaning of being a hero.

This acclaimed novel by celebrated sportswriter Robert Lipsyte, the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in YA fiction, is the story of a young boxer in Harlem who overcomes hardships and finds hope in the ring on his path to becoming a contender.

Alfred Brooks is scared. He’s a high-school dropout and his grocery store job is leading nowhere. His best friend is sinking further and further into drug addiction. Some street kids are after him for something he didn’t even do. So Alfred begins going to Donatelli’s Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that has trained champions. There he learns it’s the effort, not the win, that makes the boxer—that before you can be a champion, you have to be a contender.

ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults * ALA Notable Children’s Book * New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

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release date: Jan 12, 2010
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Mexican WhiteBoy
Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Peña's Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship, baseball, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.

Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.
   But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.
   That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.

"[A] first-rate exploration of self-identity."-School Library Journal

"Unique in its gritty realism and honest portrayal of the complexities of life for inner-city teens...De la Peña poignantly conveys the message that, despite obstacles, you must believe in yourself and shape your own future."-The Horn Book Magazine

"De la Peña does an excellent job...Readers see themselves in Danny, Uno, and Sofia, whether or not they share their backgrounds. In the end, they find themselves wanting the characters to succeed."-VOYA

"The baseball scenes...sizzle like Danny's fastball...Danny's struggle to find his place will speak strongly to all teens, but especially to those of mixed race."-Booklist

"De la Peña blends sports and street together in a satisfying search for personal identity."-Kirkus Reviews

"Deftly explores the subject of interracial mixing."-Multicultural Review

"Matt de la Pena has done the impossible; fired a perfect fastball on the low inside corner and hit a towering home run at the same time. A tough, funny, edgy, hopeful story about friendship under fire and love in its true sense."-Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline and Whale Talk

"Mexican Whiteboy...shows that no matter what obstacles you face, you can still reach your dreams with a positive attitude. This is more than a book about a baseball player--this is a book about life."-Curtis Granderson, New York Mets outfielder

An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults

A Junior Library Guild Selection



From the Hardcover edition.
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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: Apr 21, 2009
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Deadline

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass eighteen-year-old make his mark on the world from Nowheresville, Idaho—especially when he only has one year left to do it? When Ben Wolf learns his senior year of high school will be his last year, period, he is determined to go out in a blaze of glory.

That means not letting anyone know about his diagnosis. It means trying out for the football team. It means giving his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine. It means going for the amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki.

But living with a secret isn't easy . . . What will Ben do when he realizes he isn't the only person who's keeping one?

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