Here are sports action adventure novels– some are old favorites and others are brand new. We’ve included the title and a brief little book description to catch your interest.
When a major earthquake hits California, trapping seventeen-year-old Ruby with Charlie, a stranger, beneath the rubble, they struggle to stay alive and hopeful with only memories and each other’s voices to sustain them.
When best friends Tom and Jason leave New York City for an elite, sports-focused boarding school in Virginia to play football, they find some coaches and teammates to be steeped in racism.
Small, shy Matt Baker, who has been marginalized because of a speech disorder, and big, bold, and brash Ben Roberson become unlikely practice partners as their baseball team navigates the rapidly approaching end of their season.
Finn’s running from his family’s tortured past, but his basketball coach’s assignment– to take care of the new player whose parents have just been murdered– makes avoiding the truth much harder. This is such a good story. Finn’s voice is strong and haunting. His love of basketball as his savior is powerful. And the friends in his world are incredible. Great for fans of Winger.
Cracking the Bell
Isaiah loves football– it saved his life, giving him structure and discipline after his sister’s death destroyed their family. But getting knocked unconscious on the football field threatens to take away his safety net and his ticket to college. Who is Isaiah if he’s not the star player any longer? Does an Isaiah even exist outside of the world of football? Is football saving him from his demons, or just substituting for them?
The Crossover – graphic sports
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars wrestle with highs and lows on and off the basketball court as both the game, and girls, complicate their brotherhood.
What happens when four space cadet rejects become the only accidental survivors of a space station attack meant to signal the beginning of the war to end life on earth? Spoiler alert: lots of explosions.
This one is a scary survival story because it feels like it could really happen– the states next to California shut off its water supply, and society falls apart. This is the story of teens fighting for survival. Lots of characters showcase different aspects of the crisis, though their stories eventually overlap in unexpected ways.
Fence– the prose (paragraph novel version)
This follows the misadventures of a high school fencing team. They’re a funny group of strangers trying to learn to be a team for competition, and a group of friends for life.
Arlo loves being at the heart of the action on the football field. But while his dad cheers him on, his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch. The cheering crowds and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince Arlo that everything is OK, in spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion he’s starting to experience both on and off the field.
Adam’s a near-silent high school kid adopted from Poland and stuck in freezing rural Minnesota. His passion is basketball, and he’s a standout on the team. But being a silent basketball star doesn’t lend itself to easy friendships, and it doesn’t help him express the complexity of his feelings about both his new and old lives. His recruitment onto a new all-star team is an opportunity, but his own hidden anger, stubbornness and fears might throw it all away. I adore Adam and his brutal honesty, and this has one of the best apology scenes I’ve ever read. So powerful and good.
To escape the violent cartel that is after them in Ciudad Juárez, siblings Sara and Emiliano flee across the border, seeking a better life in the United States and hoping to bring their pursuers to justice, only to discover that an even greater danger awaits them.
Lovely and the Lost
Kira, who was found in the woods as a kid– near death and with amnesia– doesn’t relate well to people. She prefers spending her time training search-and-rescue dogs. But when a kid gets lost in the wilderness near her adoptive mother’s hometown, the search may lead Kira to find more than just the missing girl. Family secrets, survival, a great brother and funny/fierce best friend make for an intriguing survival mystery.
Run Hide Fight Back
An explosive new book from the author of The Girl who was Supposed to Die. Terrorists take over a shopping mall, executing some people and holding others hostage. Six high school students end up hiding in a store’s back room, but the secrets they’re keeping may hurt their survival chances.
Seventeen-year-old “Slam” Harris is counting on his basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.
Nick dreams of winning MVP of his summer baseball league, of finding a cure for his sister, of meeting his hero, Yankee pitcher Michael Arroyo, and of no longer living in fear of the government and ICE agents.
A bomb has gone off at a high school, killing some and leaving others trapped as the bomber threatens to detonate additional explosions. Will anyone survive? This one is by the same author as The Testing series.
When Alex makes up her mind to join her middle school’s football team, she doesn’t expect it to be easy. But she also never anticipated she’d be met with scorn and derision from her exclusively male teammates. But the guys suck the joy right out of the game for Alex–going out of their way to trip her up during tryouts, and teaming up against her just to watch her fail. Suddenly, Alex is the lowest she’s ever felt. But if getting QB is worth it to her, she’s going to have to fight for it.
Spoiled rich-boy Grant is just about to literally get away with murder– it helps to have rich parents to buy the best possible legal representation. But on the eve of his trial he goes on a wilderness weekend where things go drastically wrong. And the big question is, “Who or what keeps killing his surviving companions? And why?” This is a dark horror/mystery that will keep you guessing.
Lucy has her future all figured out. Make an appearance at prom, ditch graduation, and then head out on an epic road trip with her boyfriend, Luke. But when everyone’s phones start to ring halfway through the dance, Lucy knows something terrible has happened–something big that’s going to make her plans pale in comparison to just surviving.
Popular Sports/Action/Adventure Series
Berserker Duology- action
Hanne and her siblings flee Norway after her “gift” causes her to commit murder, and on the American frontier Owen, a cowboy, leads them toward their uncle who may help them learn control.
- Berserker #1
- Ransacker #2
Check, please! Duology– graphic novel, sports
Bitt’s freshman year of college is full of complications– from trying to figure out how to be successful on the ice hockey team, to making friends with the other players even as he tries to hide a secret part of himself. These characters are funny, rude, blunt, honest, and surprisingly multidimensional.
- #Hockey #1
- Sticks and Scones #2
Fence Series– graphic novel, sports
Nicholas gets accepted to a fancy boarding school, but to stay there he’ll have to earn a scholarship spot on the fencing team. He’s a pretty naturally talented fencer, but he hasn’t had years of training like his competition. And his temper also sometimes gets the best of him. His chief fencing rival also happens to be his roommate, so it’s hard for him to escape the pressure. I love this one even though I didn’t know anything about fencing before I started. It’s got great action, great characters, and great illustrations.
- Fence Volume 1
- Fence Volume 2
- Fence Volume 3
- Rivals Volume 4
Insignia Trilogy- sports/action/adventure
Tom, a genius at virtual reality games, is recruited by the United States Military to begin training at the Pentagon Spire as a Combatant in World War III.
- Insignia #1
- Vortex #2
- Catalyst #3– on order, will arrive later this spring
Loop Trilogy action
Enduring a tortuous existence on a futuristic death row for teens where inmates can delay their execution date in exchange for becoming laboratory subjects, Luka uncovers rumors about chaos spreading throughout the outside world before he becomes targeted by his crazed fellow prisoners.
- Loop #1
- The Block #2 (arriving next fall)
Monument 14 Trilogy action
A school bus heading to school is caught in a sudden hailstorm which grows in strength, soon threatening to completely destroy the bus. The bus drive deliberately crashes into a local Costco and the 14 survivors, kids of all ages, seal off the opening while she goes for help. But they aren’t the only ones who want to take refuge in the store, and not everyone is willing to peacefully share resources.
- Monument 14 #1
- Sky on Fire #2
- Savage Drift #3
Track Quartet- sports
This punch-in-the-gut series starts with Ghost– a misfit with anger management issues who finds himself on a local track team. His story is SO good, and the remaining three books each follow another of his teammates. The author, Jason Reynolds, has a voice that is about as true and powerful as anyone writing today. Ghost blew Ms. Mac’s mind.
- Ghost #1
- Patina #2
- Sunny #3
- Lu #4