Earlier this year, I wrote about three great books about basketball that are must-reads for YA readers. If you enjoyed that list, and those books, then good news! Two more excellent YA books about basketball have released since then, with another great one dropping next week. And even better, they’re a nice mix of prose, graphic novels and memoir. So whether you’re a player or a fan, add these YA books about basketball to your list.
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang is an award-winning comics writer and artist, and he’s served a term as the Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He’s also a teacher, and at the high school where he works, basketball is huge. Yang’s never been into sports, but the allure and excitement of basketball is hard to ignore at his high school, especially since the varsity team, nicknamed the Dragons, are having an incredible season that might just take them all the way to the California State championships. As Yang got to know the young athletes, he knew that he had to tell their stories, which all add up to a collective journey that’s thrilling and life-changing for them all.
All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani
In Tamani’s sophomore novel, she tells the story of Carli and Rex, two Texas teens who play for their school’s respective basketball teams. They’re both very good, with bright futures ahead of them, and when they meet they can’t deny their connection. But Carli is dealing with an uncertain home life—her picture perfect family is suddenly fracturing, and she has to decide which parent she’ll live with. Meanwhile, Rex’s mom died when he was a baby and his dad’s been pretty absent, so Rex carries the heavy load of survivor’s guilt. These two teens come of age and experience love as they grapple with miscommunication and life’s unexpected surprises both on and off the court.
A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong
Ren and Luna’s friendship was first forged on the basketball court, where they met and shared a love of the game. But when Luna moves back to Oahu, she and Ren lose touch. Then Luna shows up years later and wants to pick things up where they left off, but Ren is cautious. She’s dealing with a lot at home and at school, and she doesn’t want to be hurt again—but when Luna joins Ren and her friends on the school’s newly formed women’s basketball team, Ren finds that avoiding Luna is completely impossible, on and off the court. This graphic novel will be out August 4, and judging by the cover alone the art will be gorgeous!
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