What Made Maddy Run – Kate Fagan

33296283What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Non-fiction, Biography, Sports, Mental Health, Psychology, Suicide


BLURB:

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today. Continue reading

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Fierce – Aly Raisman

35523654Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything by Aly Raisman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Gymnastics, Coming of Age


BLURB:

Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a “mommy & me” gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen years later, she’d be standing on an Olympic podium, having achieved her dreams. Aly’s road to success was full of hard work, perseverance, and victories, but not without its hardships. Aly faced many obstacles, from naysayers who said she’d never make it in gymnastics to classmates who shamed her for her athletic body to a devastating betrayal of trust. Through it all, Aly surrounded herself with supportive family, friends, and teammates and found the inner strength to remain positive and believe in herself. Now, in her own words, Aly shows what it takes to be a champion on and off the floor, and takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey before, during, and after her remarkable achievements in two Olympic Games–through her highest highs, lowest lows, and all the moments in between. Continue reading

Pelé: The King of Soccer

soccerPelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
First Published: October 24th, 2017
Publisher: First Second Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Graphic Biography, Sports, Soccer, Coming of Age


BLURB:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pele, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as -O Rei- (The King), Pele is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pele is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed -the beautiful game—a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality. Continue reading

All Star – Jesse Lonergan

all starAll Star by Jesse Lonergan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
First Published: April 1st, 2015
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel (no colour), Sports, High School Life, Baseball


BLURB:

Carl Carter is leading the Elizabeth Monarchs of rural Vermont to the state championship his senior year. The world is Carl’s oyster: a full scholarship to the University of Maine awaits, going pro after college isn’t out of the question, and he’s so good he can do whatever he wants—until, that is, he makes one very arrogant mistake. Acclaimed graphic novelist Jesse Lonergan offers readers a thought-provoking exploration of the fleeting highs of success in this engrossing book. Continue reading

SLAM! Volume 1

32332997SLAM! Vol. 1 by Pamela Ribon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comics Distributors
First Published: August 15th, 2017
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: So Fast
Genres & Themes: Comics, Sports, Realistic Fiction, Friendship, Roller Derby


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From the first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, Jennifer and Maisie knew they’d be fast friends. But when they’re drafted to different teams, the pull of competition — and their increasingly messy personal lives — threaten to drive them apart. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, a better lover, and a better friend. Derby can heal your heart . . . but it might break a bone or two in the process. Continue reading

Spinning – Tillie Walden

30238178Spinning by Tillie Walden

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: First Second Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: slow/fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Graphic Novel, Memoir, Sports


BLURB:

For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But over time, 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, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the figure skating team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. It all led to one question: What was the point? The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion–and she finally needed to find her own voice. Continue reading

The Running Dream – Wendelin Van Draanen

8354134The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Disability, Sports, Realistic Fiction

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BLURB:

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her. Continue reading