Normal Public Library Teens

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    This is a space for teens and teen librarians to discuss books, library events and activities, and news related to teen services at Normal Public Library.
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    Normal Public Library
    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
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Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, a small West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. (A/YA)

In These Girls Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais

Following the championship season of the Amherst Lady Hurricanes basketball team, this poignant account documents the personal struggles and tribulations that accrued to the girls’ ultimate victory, which won them the respect they had always sought. (A/YA)

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Living in surreal Tangerine County, Fla., a legally blind boy triumphs on the soccer field and begins to uncover the ugly truth about his football-hero brother. (M)

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX by Karen Blumenthal

Can girls play basketball or ice hockey or soccer or softball?  Of course they can…today. But just a few decades ago, opportunities for girls were far more limited.  Then, in 1972, Congress passed a law called “Title IX,” forever changing the lives of American girls. (M, S)

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

In a desperate attempt to impress the new girl, Matt agrees to swim the butterfly at championships, even though he can barely tread water. At the same time, he’s dealing with his horny grandpa, a sadistic swim instructor, and his pals’ schemes to catch a glimpse of bare female skin. (M, S)

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

When Phoebe’s mom remarries and moves the family to a Greek island, all of Phoebe’s plans for a triumphant track season go up in smoke. Now, Phoebe is trying to fit in at her exclusive new school, where Phoebe’s classmates are all descendents of the Greek gods!  How can she compete with that? (M, S)

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane

After her father, who taught her to throw a knuckleball, dies and her mother becomes withdrawn, Molly decides to join the boys’ baseball team as her own way of working through her grief. (M)

Crackback by John Coy

When Miles Manning, a successful high school football player, discovers his teammates are using steroids—and one of them is his best friend—he’s faced with a tough decision: Is he willing to do what it takes to win? (S)

Box Out by John Coy

Liam has just been bumped up to starter on the varsity basketball team, and the pressure’s on. When the team’s coach starts counting on the power of prayer—and enforcing teamwide participation—Liam finds himself in a spotlight that’s more nerve-racking than any trip to the free-throw line. (M, S)

Whip It/Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

Bliss Cavendar’s pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Bluebonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches. When she discovers a local roller derby league, she embarks on an epic journey full of tattooed girls, boys in bands—and more than a few bruises. (S)

Ironman by Chris Crutcher

Bo’s anger at his father gives him the energy as a triathlete to press his body to the limit, but it also translates into angry outbursts toward his teachers.  Now dangerously close to expulsion from school, Bo has been assigned to Anger Management sessions with the school “truants.” (S)

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

T. J. Jones is determined to have the Cutter All Night Mermen—the unlikeliest swim team a high school has ever seen—earn coveted letter jackets of their own. It won’t be easy. For one thing, they don’t even have a pool. (S)

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

In six tense, exciting short stories, athletes face up to more than sports in tales of love and death, of bigotry and heroism, of real people doing the best that they can, even when that best is not enough. (S)

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Mick is determined not to make the same mistakes his father, a failed football hero, made. But after losing a big game, Mick begins using “gym candy,” or steroids. His performances become record-breaking, but the side effects are terrible…and how long can he keep his secret? (S)

High Heat by Carl Deuker

As the star closer for his high school baseball team, Shane Hunter is untouchable. Firing fastballs at ninety miles per hour, he loves being a winner. But when his father is accused of a crime, Shane’s charmed world is turned upside down. (S)

Beanball by Gene Fehler

It’s the last inning of a high school baseball game between arch-rivals Oak Grove and Compton. Center fielder Luke “Wizard” Wallace steps up to the plate—and is hit by a beanball, a wild pitch that shatters his skull, destroys the vision in his left eye, and changes his life forever. (M, S)

Last Shot by John Feinstein

Steven and Susan, winners of a sports journalism contest, are given a trip to New Orleans and a coveted press pass for the Final Four. But when they overhear a threat to throw the championship game, they have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing a star player…and why. (M)

Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn Fitzgerald

Tess’s love in life is soccer. When she finds out that all sports at her school will be cut unless the community votes for a tax levy, Tess will do anything to rally votes. (M, S)

Hoops of Steel by John Foley

Basketball is Jackson O’Connell’s life. Much more than a game, it allows him to cross barriers of class and race, and make new friends from the rival high school. Driven by his passion for hoops, he can almost forget his alcoholic father and a night of violence that tore his family apart. (M, S)

Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz

After witnessing his samurai uncle’s ceremonial suicide, Toyo Shimada is accepted to an elite school, where he works to earn a place on the baseball team. In his attempts to understand the ways of the samurai, Toyo gains personal insight and applies his new knowledge to his favorite pastime. (M, S)

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing—not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack—could come between her and the waves? (M, S)

Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Syrah Cheng has always wanted to be a professional snowboarder. But after she narrowly survives an avalanche and her parents bar her from the sport, Syrah finds herself alone and misunderstood, without the escape and release she found on the slopes. (M, S)

Real by Takehiko Inoue

A motorcycle accident, bone cancer, a speeding truck crashing into a boy on a stolen bicycle—tragic, life-changing events turn the worlds of three young men upside down. Three very different personalities have only one thing in common—their passion for wheelchair basketball. (S)

Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby

For Alex Ford, dressage is an oasis. In the stable, he can slip into his riding pants, shed the macho cowboy image, and feel like himself for a change. For Cleo O’Shea, dressage is a fresh start, where no one remembers her past. (M, S)

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge

Kevin Boland’s whole life revolves around baseball. But when he’s diagnosed with mono, he’s forced to quit the team. Bored, Kevin borrows his father’s book of poetry and starts writing his own insightful verse, both funny and serious, in which he records his candid observations about life and baseball. (M)

Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg

When star quarterback Bobby Framingham is outed as gay by a student reporter, Bobby must find a way to earn back his teammates’ trust and accept that his path to success might be more public, and more difficult, than he’d hoped. (S)

Heat by Mike Lupica

Michael Arroyo is the star pitcher of his Little League team.  Everything is on track for his dream of the Little League World Series to come true when he is benched until the birth certificate that didn’t make it out of Cuba with the family can be produced to prove he is only 12 and eligible to play. (M, S)

The Big Game of Everything by Chris Lynch

Jock and his younger brother spend a summer working at their grandfather’s unfinished, 13-hole golf course, where Jock begins to see Grampus and the game of golf in a new light. (M, S)

Throwing Like a Girl by Weezie Kerr Mackey

When Ella and her parents move from Chicago to Dallas in March, the softball coach recognizes her natural athletic ability and encourages her to try out, introducing Ella to a new lifelong love. (M, S)

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

After spending the summer training a rival high school’s quarterback, D.J. Schwenk, tired of living in the shadow of her football star older brothers, decides to try out for the football team herself. (M, S)

Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

Lonnie Jackson, a teenage basketball player from Harlem, is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake. (S)

Slam by Walter Dean Myers

Greg “Slam” Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He knows he’s got what it takes to go all the way to the top. Slam’s grades aren’t so hot, though, and when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up. (M, S)

Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Pena

Sticky is a foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn’t seem to belong. But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out…if he can only realize that he doesn’t have to be the person everyone else expects him to be. (S)

Far from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters

Mike pumps iron in the morning, drives her truck to school, plays softball in the afternoon, and fixes the neighbors’ plumbing at night. But when a new girl, Xanadu, arrives in town, Mike’s world is turned upside down. Xanadu is everything Mike is not—cool, complicated, sexy, and…straight. (S)

Girl Got Game by Shizuru Seino

Kyo is excited about attending Seisyu Academy, famous for its adorable girls’ uniforms. Her excitement is crushed, however, when her father explains to her that, as Seisyu is also famous for its boys’ basketball program, he enrolled her as a boy, so she can fulfill his dream of becoming a star. (M, S)

Peak by Roland Smith

After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or to go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. (M, S)

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm

Told from the point of view of a sharecropper, this compelling graphic novel follows Baseball Hall of Famer Leroy “Satchel” Paige from game to game as he travels throughout the segregated South. (M)

Black and White by Paul Volponi

Marcus and Eddie are best friends who found the strength to break through the racial barrier. Marcus is black; Eddie is white. Stars of their school basketball team, they are true leaders who look past the stereotypes and come out on top. But one night will change their lives forever. (M, S)

One Good Punch by Rich Wallace

Michael Kerrigan is almost too good to be true. A dedicated athlete and captain of the track team, he’s never been in trouble. That is, until the police find four joints in his locker. Now Mike is faced with a choice—a choice that will determine the kind of athlete, friend, and man he becomes. (S)


Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

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