Soar by Joan Bauer

 

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

 

“The problem with having a story like this is people don’t know what to do with it. Their faces get super sad and their shoulders slump as they pat me on the head, which I find irritating and say. ‘My, you are a little survivor, aren’t you?’

Bauer, Joan. Soar.  Viking, 2016. 296 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47034-8

There are a few things that you need to know about Jeremy Lopper. First, he is probably 12 years old. The other things you should know about him are that he was left at a water cooler in an office building with a note and a stuffed eagle when he was a baby. He was found by a single man named Walt, a computer genius, who later adopted him. The other thing you need to know is that Jeremy has had a heart transplant, and his new heart, that he has affectionately named Alice, is not working as great as everyone would have hoped.  Lastly, Walt and Jeremy love baseball!

Walt and Jeremy move to a small town where Walt has a consulting job. This town is all about baseball and Walt and Jeremy can’t wait to get there. When they arrive however, all is not as they had planned. There is an unexplained death and some unexpected secrets that surface which are tearing the town apart.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about Jeremy though- he has THE BEST ATTITUDE about life and baseball. Will it be enough to help this town? Read this book to find out what happens to the town, baseball, Jeremy and Walt.

I love, love, loved every page of this book!

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Link to Worldcat.org

 Joan Bauer

HRS Joan Bauer

Courtesy of Penguin Books

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Stick by Michael Harmon

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“Everything. This whole school. The team. Sometimes it seems like it’s all just fake. Like a pretend world. Like we’re something better than all the dregs. Isn’t that what Coach tells us? That we’re better than everybody else?”

Harmon, Michael. Stick. Alfred A. Knopf., 2015. 229 pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-385-75436-1

It all started when Brett’s (aka Stick’s) teammates dropped raw eggs on a fellow classmate. It was just a guy Stick didn’t even know but it started him thinking about a lot of things – like the football team thinking they were better than everyone else –  like his coach who was always yelling at them – like his Dad who drinks too much and only focuses on Stick’s mistakes on the field, not any of the good things he does. The team is headed for the state championship. Scouts are looking at Stick and he’s sure to get a college scholarship to play football and then eventually play in the NF. What does all this thinking do for Stick? He quits – quits the team and football – the game he has loved for so many years. Imagine his teammates reaction? Imagine his coach’s reaction? Imagine his Dad’s reaction? Now imagine an unlikely friendship with the kid who got the eggs dropped on him who also happens to be a superhero at night. You’ve got to read this book to see how it turns out? This is a story about being true to yourself. I loved it!

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

HRS Black-Eyed Susan

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Stick is a High School nominee for the 2016-2017 Black Eyed Susan Award. For more information go to the Maryland Association of School Librarians.

Courtesy of Penguin Books

Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Peña

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“‘If I don’t make it to the NBA I’ll kill myself. I know it don’t sound so good when I say it, Annie, but that’s how I feel. There ain’t nothin else I wanna do. Just play ball.

De la Peña, Matt. Ball Don’t Lie.  Delacorte Press, 2005. 280 pages. Hardcover. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-385-902588

Matt de la Peña is one of my new favorite authors. I did a lesson for my high schoolers introducing Matt, book talking a few of his books, and practicing writing a story from a primary source picture just like he did with Last Stop on Market Street.

I became intrigued by Matt after reading “Sometimes The ‘Tough Teen’ Is Quietly Writing Stories”

 

From School Library Journal (Courtesy of Amazon.com)

“Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–That white boy can ball….He don’t play like no regular white boy. Sticky, 17, has spent his life being abused by pimps living with his prostitute mother, bouncing from one foster home to another, and living on the street between failed placements. But he’s developed incredible hoop skills that have given him considerable social standing among his mostly black peers. And he gets a girlfriend named Anh-thu, who loves him and wants to help him reach his dreams. Sticky sees basketball as his way out of his dead-end life and is determined to make the right moves in the game to attain his goal. But he doesn’t quite know how to make the right moves in his life, until a bad decision leads him to confront dark secrets. Jumping back and forth in time, this first novel has a unique narrative voice that mixes street lingo, basketball jargon, and trash talk to tell Sticky’s sorry saga from a variety of viewpoints. Although readers who are not familiar with basketball may have trouble following some of the detailed game action, even they will be involved in the teen’s at once depressing and inspiring story. Sticky is a true original, and de la Peña has skillfully brought him to life.–Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego”

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

Ball Don’t Lie was made into a movie. Unfortunately, it’s rated R.

 

 

Want to learn more about Matt de la Pena? Click Here for an interview with Matt de la Peña.

 

Awards

  • An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
  • An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
Courtesy of mattdelapena.com

  Courtesy of mattdelapena.com

Matt de la Peña’s
 Website ,
Facebook,
and
Twitter Account 

 

 

Off the Rim by Sonya Spreen Bates

“Someone’s been sending Jenna these creepy messages on Facebook,” said Amber. “What kind of creepy messages?” I said. “Threats mostly.”

Bates, Sonya Spreen. Off the Rim. Orca Book Publishers., 2015. 157 pages. Paperback. $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4598-0888-1

Dylan makes the starting lineup for his high school basketball team, the Mountainview Hunters. Life should be good, right? Wrong. His girlfriend Jenna is getting some harassing messages on Facebook, e-mail, and her cell phone. Jenna has no idea who or why. It gets worse when she and Dylan are forced off the road by a black truck. Dylan enlists the help of a teammate to find out who it is. Will they find out in time?

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

Available in:

Paperback

Want to learn more about Sonya Spreen Bates? Click here to check out her website.

Full Impact by Suzanne Weyn

“Players don’t like to tell the truth. They don’t like to be sidelined. Arnie’s not playing like he used to. His timing’s off. And he’s gotten hit a lot this season. I want you to keep an eye on him. Let me know if he shows any of the signs we talked about. I’ll take it from there

Weyn, Suzanne. Full Impact. Darby Creek., 2013. 102 pages. Paperback. $7.95, ISBN 978-1-4677-0705-3

Arnie and Norval are friends on and off the football field. They both want to play college ball. The only way Arnie will get to college is with a football scholarship. That’s why he plays so hard. That’s why he doesn’t stop playing after hit after hit to his head. He thinks if he can just hang in there until the season is over, he can rest and heal then. The hits are taking their toll on Arnie and it’s beginning to show. Coach Green wants Norval to tell him about any changes he sees in Norval? What will Norval do? Will he spy on his friend and report back? If he does, will it be too late? You won’t want to put this book down until you find out how it ends.

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

Available in:

Paperback

Library Binding

Kindle

HRS Suzanne Weyn pic

Want to learn more about Suzanne Weyn? Click here to check out her website.

Like to follow Suzanne Weyn on Twitter? Click here.

Or you can also go to the Suzanne Weyn Official Facebook page here.

Recruited by Suzanne Weyn

“Cool, Kadeem thought. I get to show what I can do right at the start. It’s my chance to make a great impression”

Weyn, Suzanne. Recruited. Darby Creek., 2011. 98 pages. Paperback. $7.95, ISBN 978-0-7613-6167-7

Kadeem, star quarterback at Southside High, wants to play football in college and then eventually in the pros. His grades are improving but not as good as they could be and he needs a scholarship. Things get exciting when college recruiters start showing up to watch his games. One in particular from Teller University is inviting him to parties, giving him money, and introducing him to an oh so hot cheerleader. Is all of this legal? Will Kadeem keep enjoying all the perks and accept the offer to Teller or will he do the right thing and help the NCAA officials with their investigation?

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

Available in:

Paperback

HRS Suzanne Weyn pic

Want to learn more about Suzanne Weyn? Click here to check out her website.

Like to follow Suzanne Weyn on Twitter? Click here.

Or you can also go to the Suzanne Weyn Official Facebook page here.

© Chris Peeler 2013