The Summer 2016 Games are upon us—and what better way to prepare for the hours you’re going to spend inside your (hopefully) air conditioned home in a TV trance watching all manner of summer sports, than spending hours in your air conditioned home reading books about sports?
Here are a few books to get you (and keep you!) in the athletic spirit—without having to ever break a sweat!
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
We had to start with the most obvious choice! This is the young readers adaptation of the astonishing true story of nine boys on the underdog University of Washington rowing team who beat the elite East Coast teams and eventually went on to challenge the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler in the 1936 Olympic Games.
A story of strength made more powerful by the fact that it’s all true!
Tumbling by Caela Carter
Calling all gymnastics obsessives! Tumbling gives readers a front row seat to the Olympic gymnastic trials—and to five girls whose Olympic dreams might be realized during them. Even though this book is fiction, it brings you right into the intensity of the action and you’ll feel like you’re right there alongside the gymnasts you see on TV.
The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer
This modern take on Pride and Prejudice features main character Megan who is a soccer star with Olympic dreams—and the furthest thing from a girly girl. Som you can imagine the hijinx that ensue when her Southern Belle mother secretly enrolls her as a debutante in the 2016 Texas debutante season.
The Season is light-hearted, funny, and fun—the perfect read to get you through the hours between Olympic matches.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
You might not automatically think about this classic Sarah Dessen novel as a “sports book” but its main character Macy loves running—until her father dies during one of their habitual morning runs.
The Truth About Forever is about a lot of things—grief, friendship, new love, and acceptance. Sports may not be front and center but they form an important part of the complex character of Macy.
Any Mike Lupica Book
It wouldn’t be a sports book round-up without mentioning Mike Lupica—king of sports stories. Whether you want to read a book about football, basketball, or baseball, all of Mike Lupica’s books are the perfect combo of sports and heart.
The Blacktop series by LJ Alonge
There are two books already out to enjoy in this new basketball series with more on the way. Each one focuses on a different main character but they’re all action-packed and will make you feel like you’re right there on the court.
Looking for more book recommendations? Try these 9 YA page-turners to devour this summer!