Baseball season has begun for the South Coast Sharks. As a senior, Griffin has college in his sights and plans to land himself a baseball scholarship. His determination causes him to turn a blind eye to the hazing of new players by the team captain, Wade. But when Griffin senses that his cousin Carson is getting the brunt of Wade’s aggression, Griffin finally stands up to him. Soon after, steroids are found in Carson’s locker, and he’s kicked off the team. Can Griffin stop Wade’s reign of terror, prove his cousin’s innocence and still stay on track with his baseball dreams?
"Griffin, the story’s narrator, is believably caught in a tempest of confusing problems, and in a satisfying turn of events, he musters the courage to stand up for what’s right." Publishers Weekly
Eighth-grader Emma is the tallest person in her class. She used to be into sports in a big way, but now that she’s hanging out with her new best friend, other things have become more important - like clothes and makeup and fitting in. When Emma gets roped into volunteering for the girls’ volleyball team, she feels the urge to play again. First, though, she’ll have to overcome her fear of what her new friends will say if she does.
Resource Links named Spiked as One of the Year’s Best for 2013 in their annual roundup of top-rated children’s books!
Everything stops making sense for southpaw Travis Barkley when his parents die in a car crash and he is separated from his sister, Amanda. After years of being in the foster-care system, Travis receives a puzzling postcard from Amanda and heads to southern California to try to find her. His search is a dead-end until he meets Jesse and Ethan. With the help of his new friends, Travis continues to look for Amanda. Travis's love of baseball is rekindled when Ethan convinces him to pitch on his baseball team. His attention divided, Travis must decide between jeopardizing his chance at a future in baseball and connecting with his sister.
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Teens - Starred Selection
Hockey is all Tyler ever wanted to do. But when he finally makes the Select team, things aren't how he imagined it. Tyler divides his time between playing for fun in house league and playing high-stakes hockey in Select. But trying to succeed at both is wearing him down: the house league team accuses him of holding back, and the pressure to win during Select games is immense. And the pressure isn't just coming from the players and the coach, it's coming from somewhere much closer to home -- his hockey-loving mom. Tyler's burnt out and feeling crushed by the stress, but how can he give up the game he loves?
"In Making Select, author Steven Barwin tackles a hockey issue that has been much talked in recent years -- youth hockey burnout." Amazon
Renna is not only captain, she's also de facto coach of her basketball team. But when a rival from an opposing team takes a vacant spot on her team, Renna faces some tough choices she wasn't prepared for. It starts with a shove in the hall, then a slight on the team's blog, exclusion from a social even and finally an uncalled-for move on the court that leaves Renna injured. Will Renna admit she's the target of bullying before her beloved team is torn apart?
"Everyone involved in team sports should read this book." Rani Iyer Washington State University Press
Hanging off the side of a cliff
Noah is the top member of his rock climbing team, the Rock Dogs. Along with Lucas, Noah's best friend, and Eric, his biggest rival, the Rock Dogs win the annual in-house competition, and are rewarded with a three-day camping trip to Rattle Snake Point. There is only one catch: everyone must bring an adult. Luckily, Noah's dad, who has been preoccupied with his new business, finds the time to go along. But he is unable to leave his work at home, resulting in a survival lesson for both Noah and Eric.
"Obviously well-researched, the book feels very authentic and is a must-read for climbing fans. Resource Links Claire Hazard
Jordy and his friends spend all their free time on their skateboards, navigating the crowded streets of Toronto's Kensington Market. They're thrilled when a new skateboarding park opens and offers a youth competition with a rich prize. The talented Alisha might be able to coach Jordy to a win, but what will his friends think about Jordy getting advice from a cute girl?
"Barwin has used the backdrop of kids who love to skateboard in inner city Toronto to highlight the issue of changing friendships and the subsequent wrestling of shifting loyalties between friends and family. Readers will be able to relate to Jordy's struggles. They will cheer his successes and be content with the satisfying conclusion. Recommended" Libbt McKeever Canadian Review of Materials
Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens Award
Having a new all-star step-sister who wants the puck more than you is a problem
Gregg Stokes can tell you exactly when his life took a turn for the worse. It was the day his new stepsister, Amy, joined the starting line-up of his hockey team, and everyone immediately felt the deep chill between them. Can they thaw their icy relationship for the sake of the team and their new family?
"Icebreaker explores the challenges step siblings face in new blended families.... we have a strong story likely to appeal to young teens." Wendy Williams Resource Links
Mason's basketball team, the Cabbagetown Raptors, is going co-ed after seven successful seasons. He's pretty open-minded about the change, especially after he meet Cindy, a really top-notch player. The other guys aren't so sure. Before long everyone has taken sides, and the Raptors' chance of making the national finals seem to fade into oblivion. When Mason's growing friendship with Cindy goes sour, he takes it upon himself to make things better, both with Cindy and the team. Faced-paced and action-packed, Slam Dunk explores issues that arise when boys and girls play together on mixed teams.
Mason dreams of spending the summer canoeing and kayaking at a camp up north with his pals from Cabbagetown Junior High. He’s stuck in Toronto, though, ready to go crazy with boredom. When hears about tryouts for a local roller hockey team, he sees a way out. But that way seems blocked at every turn: the team captain is tough on him, the coach even tougher, and finding a way to pay the league fees might be toughest of all.