It won't be long before March Madness is here, and even folks who don't usually watch basketball are cheering for teams. I've never been much of a basketball player, but enjoy reading stories about the sport and its players. In some books, the game is central to the story, in others, it serves as the stage for a story about other issues.
Some of the best basketball books I've read this year:
Travel Team Summer Ball
both by Mike Lupica
Lupica creates great characters that the reader soon cares about a great deal. Travel Team and Summer Ball are both about Danny Walker, who loves basketball and is lucky enough to be really good at the game, too. Travel Team opens just after Danny learns he didn't make the travel team because the coach thought he was too short. Some long odds bring a new chance on an unlikely team. Danny works hard to play beyond his height, and to hold his team together through some hard times. Summer Ball brings further adventures and more to learn about basketball and teamwork.
Boost by Kathy Mackel
The characters in this book grabbed me right away. The pressures these two sisters feel in their sports to be "the right size" and the temptation of steroids as an easy path to that size are quite clear.
Night Hoops by Carl Deuker
What happens -
- when a parent needs more from a child-athlete than the child wants to give?
- when different priorities about sports come between parents and split up a home?
- when the neighbor kid you aren't allowed to play with is on your team?
- when the younger sibling outshines the older sibling on the court?
This book kept me involved from the start, seeing how Nick and Trent and Scott would work it all out.
Other suggested titles: