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Updated by Valley Libraries Radio Reference on Jan 04, 2021
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January 14-17, 2020: Sports

On your mark, get set… READ. That’s right, listeners, we have some book suggestions for you sports fans out there.

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Sarah's selection

Sarah's selection

I’m not into sports, but I loved Ghost by Jason Reynolds. As the first in his four-book Track series, it epitomizes that perfect, satisfying blend for me: funny and poignant at the same time. Castle (aka: Ghost) stumbles upon a city track meet one day while he's bored and decides to informally race one of the sprinters, keeping up with the athlete while running in the grass, without warming up, and without the right gear. We quickly see that Ghost was born to run. Reynolds infuses his book with a warm (and sometimes silly) humor. Ghost's life is not easy and Reynolds gently introduces themes of trauma and social ostracism. Every plot point feels realistic, as do the characters that Ghost interacts with -- especially Coach. It ends on a big cliffhanger and readers will be excited to see how Ghost performs in subsequent series

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Ali's selection

Ali's selection

I gotta say, I’m also not into sports, but as a kid, I loved the book Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Cat Kinsey is the fastest runner at school and longs to participate in the Play Day races coming up, but her stubborn, traditional father refuses to let her wear pants so she can run comfortably. A nearby family, the Perkins, have lost everything to dust storms of the Great Depression, and are living in their Studebaker in an encampment for transient workers. When their youngest daughter catches pneumonia, Cat runs the race of her life to get help. The book covers a lot of ground, including prejudice, Depression-era politics and economics, and the importance of kindness.

Note: We realized after the fact that this item is not in the Valley Libraries catalog. You can request materials from other libraries for a small fee via the InterLibrary Loan service.

3

Jamie's selection

Jamie's selection

Is nobody here into sports?! We may not be the most knowledgeable on the subject… but fortunately, good sports writers can immerse you in the game whether you go in knowing much about it or not. Carl Deuker is one of those writers, with a wealth of details and snappy prose to keep things moving. All of his young adult titles are worth checking out, but his most recent, Gutless, is a good place to start. High school athlete Brock has the technical skills to be a varsity football star -- what he doesn’t have is the willingness to hit and get hit. Next to his fearless teammates, he feels like a coward. But the real test of courage comes when a friend is targeted by bullies, and Brock struggles to stand up for him. His dilemma is painfully real on and off the field, and you’ll be rooting for him to figure out where he stands and prove he’s got guts after all.