YA Sports Stories

Are you interested in reading some fiction centered around sports?  The following books all have teenage main characters playing sports and learning about life.

After the Shot Drops

Randy Ribay
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ribay)

Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted. Nasir can't help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.

All the Things We Never Knew

Liara Tamani
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Tamani)

Carli and Rex have an immediate connection, an understanding that must mean first love, but family secrets, disappointments--and basketball, which holds center stage in both their lives.


Kwame Alexander
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Alexand)

Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. 

Bright Burning Stars

A.K. Small
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Small)

Kate and Marine, best friends and longtime students at the intensely competitive Paris Opera Ballet School, must decide what price they are willing to pay to win the only available spot in the professional ballet company that operates the school.


Tanya Boteju
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Boteju)

Daya Wijesinghe sees a bruise as a mixture of comfort and control, but joining a roller derby team push her toward big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.


Stephen Davies
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Davies)

Leah Baxter is a genius. She's a few wins away from becoming a junior chess grandmaster, but she is at stalemate, grieving for her father. She decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and quit chess. Soon Leah discovers her new gambit: chessboxing, a fierce hybrid sport which will test her body and mind to their limits.

The Crossover

Kwame Alexander
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Alexand)

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Finding Her Edge

Jennifer Iacopelli
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lacopel)

Follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn to both her old dance partner and her new one.

Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between

Laura Silverman
- Editor
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Game)

A charming and inclusive YA anthology all about games--from athletic sports to board games to virtual reality.


Sarah Deming
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Deming)

Gravity Delgado has been breaking records and competitors since she started boxing with a legendary coach at age twelve, and now will reach the Olympics if her home life and romance do not distract her.

Gut Check

Eric Kester
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Kester)

When star quarterback Brett suffers a terrible concussion, his brother Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother's secret is worth the risk to their relationship and their town's economic future.

Harley in the Sky

Akemi Dawn Bowman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bowman)

Harley, dreams of quitting school to join her parents' Las Vegas circus and when they refuse, she joins a rival circus where she must learn hard truths and face consequences.

A Heart in a Body in the World

Deb Caletti
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Caletti)

Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and friends, Annabelle, eighteen, runs from Seattle to Washington, D.C., becoming a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to her recent trauma.


Candace Buford
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Buford)

When his best friend is unfairly arrested and kicked off the team, Russell Boudreaux kneels during the national anthem in an effort to fight for justice and, in an instant, falls from local stardom to become a target of hatred.

The Knockout

Sajni Patel
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Patel)

When Kareena Thakkar finally admits she is a top-level Muay Thai fighter, knowing that might further alienate her from her Indian community, her classmates, especially handsome Amit, enthusiastically support her.

Michigan vs The Boys

Carrie Allen
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Allen)

After her girls' ice hockey team is cut for budget reasons, Michigan tries out for the boys' team, and earns a place on the starting lineup. But when she bests her teammates with her skills and her refusal to back down, hazing crosses the line into assault.

The Running Dream

Wendelin Van Draanen
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Vandraa)

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Running Full Tilt

Michael Currinder
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Currind)

Sixteen-year-old Leo Coughlin's life is increasingly stressful because his autistic older brother Caleb's behavior is becoming more bizarre and even violent, and their parents' marriage is falling apart--but Leo finds an escape in long distance running, and in two new friends: Curtis, himself a potential state champion who teaches him the strategy of running, and Mary, his would-be girlfriend.


Kara Bietz
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bietz)

High school seniors Julian Jackson and Elijah Vance reconnect on the football field after three years apart, learning to both trust and love each other again.


Mary Cecilia Jackson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Jackson)

Though Savannah is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Savannah has always believed that her lifelong creed, 'I'm not the kind of girl who tells' will make her just like everyone else, normal, happy, safe.

Spin the Sky

Jill MacKenzie
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mackenz)

A nationwide televised dance competition holds tryouts near Magnolia's small Oregon town, and she wants the chance to show the townspeople who she really is, as well as the opportunity to finally get her and her sister out of town for good.

They'll Never Catch Us

Jessica Goodman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Goodman)

Sisters Stella and Ellie Steckler are both determined to win a scholarship and escape their stifling small town, but their plans are upset when a new girl joins the cross country team and then disappears.


Caela Carter
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Carter)

After sacrificing their childhoods, Grace, Leigh, Camille, Wilhelmina, and Monica are competing in the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, after which their lives will change forever.

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Steve Sheinkin
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 796.332 Sheinkin)

A great American sport and Native American history come together in this true story of how Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner created the legendary Carlisle Indians football team.

Why We Fly

Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Jones)

Told from alternating points of view, Chanel and Eleanor's rocky start to senior year gets more complex when the cheerleading team kneels for the national anthem and each girl grapples with the consequences.

Graphic Novels
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Box Brown
(Graphic Novels - GN 796.81292 Andre Bro)

Drawing from historical records about Andre's life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world and his film co-stars. Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century's most recognizable figures.

The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1

Carly Usdin
(Graphic Novels - GN Avant Guards v. 1)

As a transfer student to the Georgia O'Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they're going.

Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms

Crystal Frasier
(Graphic Novels - GN Frasier Cheer Up)

Annie is under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeBe is a people-pleaser, a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life in order to maintain their support of her transition. The two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they'd lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.

Dragon Hoops

Gene Luen Yang
(Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Yang Yan)

Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him 'Stick' and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about.

Fence Volume 1

C.S. Pacat
(Graphic Novels - GN Fence v. 1)

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama...

Slam! Volume One

Pamela Ribon
(Graphic Novels - GN Slam v. 1)

In the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, two young women will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line.


Tillie Walden
(Graphic Novels - 796.91292 Walden Wal)

It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again. She was good. She won. And she hated it. For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden's life. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she'd outgrown her passion--and she finally needed to find her own voice.