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      Breaking the Ice

      by Angie Bullaro

      Nov 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      The inspiring true story of Manon Rhéaume, the first and only woman to play a game in the National Hockey League, featuring an afterward from Manon herself.

      “One day, a woman will play in the National Hockey League. If no one prevents her,” said a twelve-year-old Manon Rhéaume. Manon always dreamed of playing hockey. So, when the team her father coached needed a goalie, five-year-old Manon begged for the chance to play. She didn’t care that she’d be the only girl in the entire league or that hockey was considered a “boys’ sport” in her hometown of Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada. All she cared about was the game. After her father gave her that first chance to play, she embarked on a spectacular, groundbreaking career in hockey.

      At every level of competition, Manon was faced with naysayers, but she continued to play, earning her place on prestigious teams and ultimately becoming the first woman to play a game in the NHL. Including an afterword written by Manon herself, Breaking the Ice is the true story of one girl’s courage, determination, and love for the sport.

      Gridiron: Stories from 100 Years of the National Football League

      by Fred Bowen

      Oct 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      The National Football League is the most popular sports league in the United States. Its championship game, the Super Bowl, is watched by millions of people every year. But it wasn’t always like this. In the last one hundred years, football has changed from a poorly organized, often overlooked sport to America’s favorite pastime. Here are the stories of that remarkable transformation. The stories of the greatest players, the most successful coaches, the most memorable games—and the amazing plays that made us gasp as we watched them in stadiums and on televisions all over America.

      Discover the league’s scrappy beginnings in an automobile showroom, and early players like Red Grange, the Galloping Ghost. Relive the very first championship game, played indoors after a circus had visited, and famous games like the Ice Bowl. See the NFL at war, and meet some of the remarkable athletes who helped desegregate the league. Learn how the draft came into existence, and about the teams that strove for that almost impossible goal—a perfect season.

      Veteran sportswriter Fred Bowen brings his in-depth knowledge and lively prose to these fascinating stories, and award-winning artist James E. Ransome has created stunning full-page illustrations that bring the sport of football to life like never before.

      A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team

      by Arshay Cooper

      Oct 2020

      Sports High

      Growing up on Chicago’s Westside in the 90’s, Arshay Cooper knows the harder side of life. The street corners are full of gangs, the hallways of his apartment complex are haunted by junkies he calls “zombies” with strung out arms, clutching at him as he passes by. His mother is a recovering addict, and his three siblings all sleep in a one room apartment, a small infantry against the war zone on the street below.

      Arshay keeps to himself, preferring to write poetry about the girl he has a crush on, and spends his school days in the home-ec kitchen dreming of becoming a chef. And then one day as he’s walking out of school he notices boats lined up on the floor of the gymnasium, and a poster that reads “Join the Crew Team”.

      Arshay, having no idea what the sport of crew is, decides to take a chance. This decision to join is one that will forever change his life, and those of his fellow teammates. As Arshay and his teammates begin to come together, learning not only how to row, many never having been in water before, the sport takes them from the mean streets of Chicago, to the hallowed halls of the Ivy League. But Arshay and his teammates face adversity at every turn, from racism, gang violence, and a sport that has never seen anyone like them before.

      Kevin Durant: Epic Athletes

      by Dan Wetzel

      Oct 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      In this middle-grade biography, acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel tells the inspirational real-life story of NBA superstar Kevin Durant! In 2016, Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world when he decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Many questioned why one of the league's best players would join a team that was already stacked with talent—didn't he want to make a name for himself as the sole leader of a team?

      Kevin would have the last laugh, winning two championships and putting to rest any questions about his legacy. In choosing to tune out the noise, he instead set his sights on success. Even after his father abandoned the family when he was a kid, when he was told he was too skinny to make an impact in the NBA, Kevin ignored the critics and forged his own path to victory. Filled with sports action and comic-style illustrations, this inspiring biography recaps the life of one of the most talented scorers in NBA history.

      My Eyes Are Up Here

      by Laura Zimmermann

      Sep 2020

      Young Adults Plus

      If Greer Walsh could only live inside her head, life would be easier. She’d be able to focus on excelling at math or negotiating peace talks between her best friend and…everyone else. She wouldn’t spend any time worrying about being the only Kennedy High student whose breasts are bigger than her head.

      But you can’t play volleyball inside your head. Or go to the pool. Or have confusingly date-like encounters with the charming new boy. You need an actual body for all of those things. And Greer is entirely uncomfortable in hers.

      The Turnover

      by Mike Lupica

      Sep 2020

      Sports Middle Plus

      Gramps is Lucas’s hero, which is second only to the fact that he is also Lucas’s basketball coach. Gramps coached the team to victory in the championships last year, and when he decides to come out of retirement to coach another season, Lucas is thrilled. This season will absolutely be the greatest yet. So when his English teacher challenges the class to write a biography of the person they most admire, Lucas can’t think of anyone he’d rather write about.

      Except…Gramps is being cagey. He avoids every question Lucas asks, and gets angry every time Lucas brings up his past as a hotshot basketball player. Lucas can’t help but wonder—is there something Gramps is trying to hide? And if there is, will Lucas be prepared to face the truth about the man he thought he knew?

      With basketball championships fast approaching, time is running out for Lucas to decide.

      Breath Like Water

      by Anna Jarzab

      Sep 2020

      Sports High

      Susannah Ramos has always loved the water.

      A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her Olympic dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews.

      As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost--and the beauty--of trying to achieve something extraordinary.

      Simone Biles: Epic Athletes

      by Dan Wetzel

      Sep 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel scores a perfect ten with this uplifting middle-grade biography of gold medal gymnast Simone Biles!

      In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Simone Biles dazzled gymnastics fans across the globe with each jaw-dropping backflip, spin, and jump she landed. Her record-breaking performance catapulted her to the top of the sport, and she quickly became a hero to young people.

      But well before Simone faced Olympic trials on the balance beam and rings, she confronted real-life challenges as a kid, as she moved in and out of foster care. With the support and love of her grandparents, plus her unwavering drive to make history on the ultimate stage in sports, she grew into an incredible role model and activist for the #MeToo movement—and one of the greatest athletes of our time.

      The Easy Part of Impossible

      by Sarah Tomp

      Aug 2020

      Sports High

      After an injury forces Ria off the diving team, an unexpected friendship with Cotton, a guy on the autism spectrum, helps her come to terms with the abusive relationship she’s been in with her former coach.

      Ria Williams was an elite diver on track for the Olympics. As someone who struggled in school, largely due to her ADHD, diving was the one place Ria could shine. But while her parents were focused on the trophies, no one noticed how Coach Benny’s strict rules and punishments controlled every aspect of Ria’s life. The harder he was on her, the sharper her focus. The bigger the bruise, the better the dive. Until a freak accident at a meet changes everything. Just like that, Ria is handed back her life, free of Benny.

      To fill her now-empty and aimless days, Ria rekindles a friendship with Cotton, a guy she used to know back in elementary school. With Cotton, she’s able to open up about what Benny would do to her, and through Cotton’s eyes, Ria is able to see it for what it was: abuse. Then Benny returns, offering Ria a second chance with a life-changing diving opportunity. But it’s not hers alone—Benny’s coaching comes with it. The thought of being back under his control seems impossible to bear, but so does walking away. How do you separate the impossible from the possible when the one thing you love is so tangled up in the thing you fear most?

      One Last Shot

      by John David Anderson

      Aug 2020

      Sports Middle Plus

      For as long as he can remember, Malcolm has never felt like he’s good enough. Not for his parents, who have always seemed at odds with each other, with Malcolm caught in between. And especially not for his dad, whose competitive drive and love for sports Malcolm has never shared.

      That is, until Malcolm discovers miniature golf, the one sport he actually enjoys. Maybe it’s the way in which every hole is a puzzle to be solved. Or the whimsy of the windmills and waterfalls that decorate the course. Or maybe it’s the slushies at the snack bar. But whatever the reason, something about mini golf just clicks for Malcolm. And best of all, it’s a sport his dad can’t possibly obsess over.

      Or so Malcolm thinks.

      Soon he is signed up for lessons and entered in tournaments. And yet, even as he becomes a better golfer and finds unexpected friends at the local course, be wonders if he might not always be a disappointment. But as the final match of the year draws closer, the tension between Malcolm’s parents reaches a breaking point, and he feels like it’s up to him to put the puzzle of his family back together again.

      The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season

      by John Feinstein

      Jul 2020

      Sports High

      John Feinstein has already taken readers into the inner circles of top college basketball programs in The Legends Club. This time, Feinstein pulls back the curtain on college basketball’s lesser-known Cinderella stories—the smaller programs who no one expects to win, who have no chance of attracting the most coveted high school recruits, who rarely send their players on to the NBA.

      Feinstein follows a handful of players, coaches, and schools who dream, not of winning the NCAA tournament, but of making it past their first or second round games. Every once in a while, one of these coaches or players is plucked from obscurity to continue on to lead a major team or to play professionally, cementing their status in these fiercely passionate fan bases as a legend. These are the gifted players who aren’t handled with kid gloves—they’re hardworking, gritty teammates who practice and party with everyone else.

      With his trademark humor and invaluable connections, John Feinstein reveals the big time programs you’ve never heard of, the bracket busters you didn’t expect to cheer for, and the coaches who inspire them to take their teams to the next level.

      On Your Mark, Get Set, Gold!: An Irreverent Guide to the Sports of the Summer Games

      by Scott Allen

      Jun 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Packed with awe-inspiring facts, this hilariously informative guide will make readers laugh their sports socks off! From boxing to boccia, find out just what it takes to compete in every sport in the summer games. You’ll discover what makes each sport great—and not so great—as well as what skills and equipment you’ll need to start practicing like a pro!
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