Sports and Adventure

Grade Level Interest
M
: Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S: Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA: Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

In August 1914, Ernest Shackleton and 27 men sailed from England in an attempt to become the first team of explorers to cross Antarctica from one side to the other. Five months later and still 100 miles from land, their ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. The expedition survived another five months camping on ice floes, followed by a perilous journey through stormy seas to remote and unvisited Elephant Island. In a dramatic climax to this amazing survival story, Shackleton and five others navigated 800 miles of treacherous open ocean in a 20-foot boat to fetch a rescue ship. (M, S)

 

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, a small West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. (A/YA)

 

 

In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais

Following the championship season of the Amherst Lady Hurricanes basketball team, this poignant account documents the personal struggles and tribulations that accrued to the girls’ ultimate victory, which won them the respect they had always sought. (A/YA)

 

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX by Karen Blumenthal

Can girls play basketball or ice hockey or soccer? Can girls become lawyers or doctors or engineers? Of course they can…today. But just a few decades ago, opportunities for girls were far more limited, not because they weren’t capable of playing or didn’t want to become doctors or lawyers, but because they weren’t allowed to. Then quietly, in 1972, something momentous happened: Congress passed a law called “Title IX,” forever changing the lives of American girls. (M, S)

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Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

In some ways the model for the new wave of adventure books, Adrift is an undeniable seafaring classic, a riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out.(A/YA)

 

The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team by Wayne Coffey

Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach, and they engineered what Sports Illustrated called the greatest sports moment of the twentieth century. Their “Miracle on Ice” has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable. (A/YA)

 

Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn by Larry Colton

One player stands out on the Hardin High School’s girls’ basketball team. Her name is Sharon La Forge, a talented but troubled teenager. During a 15-month stay on the Crow Reservation where the high school is located, the author, a professional baseball player turned journalist, begins to understand how the conditions of life on the reservation affect the lives of teens like Sharon. (A/YA)

 

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing—not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack—could come between her and the waves? (M, S)

 

Shooting Stars by Lebron James

The Shooting Stars were a bunch of kids—LeBron James and his best friends—from Akron, Ohio, who first met on a youth basketball team of the same name when they were ten and eleven years old. United by their love of the game and their yearning for companionship, they quickly forged a bond that would carry them through thick and thin and, at last, to a national championship in their senior year of high school. (A/YA)

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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

Only a handful of people have stood atop Everest. Krakauer is one of them, but the story he tells here is not of glorious triumph. Rather, it is a true account of survival and death. Krakauer had a front-row seat to the headline-making 1996 climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of five people, and his account of the unfolding tragedy, filled with keenly observed details, is not only a transfixing drama but also an inquiry into survivor guilt and the outer limits of human strength and responsibility. (A/YA)

 

How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen

When you grow up in a small town in the north woods, you have to make your own excitement. High spirits, idiocy, and showing off for the girls inspire Gary Paulsen and his friends to attempt shooting waterfalls in a barrel, breaking the world record for speed on skis by being towed behind a souped-up car, and wrestling…a bear? Extreme sports lead to extreme fun in new tales from Gary’s boyhood. (M)

 

Why A Curveball Curves: The Incredible Science of Sports by Popular Mechanics

In Why a Curveball Curves, the experts at Popular Mechanics, along with top athletes, coaches, and sports journalists, explore the science behind sports. Fluid dynamics, biomechanics, and technology determine everything from speed in cycling to protection in football to performance measurement in all sports. This book is designed for both the player and the fan, helping athletes become better-prepared and giving enthusiasts a more complete understanding and appreciation of competition.(A/YA)

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told — Aron Ralston’s searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home. (A/YA)

 

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. The next three days were an impossibly grueling ordeal for Simpson, crawling over the cliffs and canyons of the Andes back to base camp. (A/YA)

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