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10 Sports-Themed YA Reads Worthy of A Gold Medal

5 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

The wait is finally over—the Summer 2021 Olympic Games are here! If you're not already in an Olympic state of mind, these sports-themed YA books will get you there. What are your favorite events to follow during the Olympic Games?!

The Edge of Anything

The Edge of Anything

Books

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020One of A Mighty Girl's Best Books of the YearA Bank Street Best Books 2021Finalist for the Cybils AwardsLen is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that's stagnated her work and left her terrified she's losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their inner demons.But both Len and Sage are keeping secrets that, left hidden, could cost them everything, maybe even their lives.Set in the North Carolina mountains, this dynamic #ownvoices novel explores grief, mental health, and the transformative power of friendship.

Goldfish

Goldfish

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I am Lou Brown:Social outcast, precocious failure, 5'10" and still growing. I was on the fast track to the Olympic superstardom. Now, I'm training boys too cool to talk to me. In a sport I just made up. In a fish tank.My life has quickly become very weird. Nat Luurtsema's YA debut is side-splittingly funny and painfully true to anyone who's just trying to figure out how they fit into the world.

A Season of Daring Greatly

A Season of Daring Greatly

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Eighteen-year-old Jill Cafferty just made history. Her high school’s star pitcher, she is now the first woman drafted by a major league baseball team. Only days after her high school graduation, she’ll join the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Class A Short Season team . . . but not everyone is happy to have her there. On top of the pressure heaped on every pitcher, Jill must deal with defying conventions and living up to impossible expectations, all while living away from home for the first time. She’ll go head-to-head against those who are determined to keep baseball an all-male sport. Despite the reassurance of coaches and managers alike, a few of her teammates are giving her trouble. The media presence following her at each game is inescapable. And to top it all off, Jill is struggling with the responsibilities of being a national hero and a role model for young women everywhere. How can she be a role model when she’s not even sure she made the right choice for herself? Didn’t baseball used to be fun?This literary and engrossing story of a young woman trying to mark out a place for herself in a male-dominated world will captivate fans of Friday Night Lights, The Art of Fielding, John Corey Whaley, and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Furia

Furia

Books

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB YA PICK Recipient of the 2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Medal One of BuzzFeed's Must-Read YA Books of 2020 A Best Book of the Year: Cosmopolitan * Kirkus Reviews * SheReads * New York Public Library  “An engrossing #OwnVoices novel.” —PopSugar “This book will set your dreams on fire . . . It’s fabulous.”  — Reese WitherspoonA powerful contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams. In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.    At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.    On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.   But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.   Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.

Break the Fall

Break the Fall

Books

"This book makes you understand exactly what it is like to compete as a woman at the highest level in sport, and it is exhilarating and satisfying indeed." --Holly Sorensen, Television Creator/Showrunner, Make it or Break It, Step Up: High WaterAudrey Lee is going to the Olympics.A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She's made the United States gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She's on top of the world.The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most--but not all the gymnasts are as supportive.With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach's ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn't date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world?Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn't need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she's not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey's determination be enough?

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