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Basketball: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about basketball?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to basketball. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about basketball.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about basketball can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Rebound
Written by Kwame Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

New York Times bestseller ∙ ALA Notable Book * “An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood.”–Kirkus, starred review From the New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Rebound, a dynamic novel in verse and companion to his Newbery Award-winner, The Crossover, illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to. A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander, Rebound will go back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck “Da Man” Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family’s past.

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The Crossover
Written by Kwame Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 11-15

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book “A beautifully measured novel of life and line.”–The New York Times Book Review “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. ‘Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood–he’s got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line. As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets a girl, the twins’ bond unravels.Told in dynamic verse, this fast and furious middle grade novel that started it all absolutely bounces with rhythm and bursts with heart.

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Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters
Written by Suzanne Slade & illustrated by Don Tate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The true story of the high-flying Harlem Globetrotters – the team that changed basketball forever. In this book you will find one-finger ball-spinning, rapid-fire mini-dribbling, and a ricochet head shot!You will find skilled athletes, expert players, and electrifying performers – all rolled into one!You will find nonstop, give-it-all-you’ve-got, out-to-win-it, sky’s-the-limit BASKETBALL!You will find The Harlem Globetrotters, who played the most groundbreaking, breathtaking ball the world had ever seen. With rhythmic writing and dynamic illustrations, Swish! is a celebration of the greatness, goodness, and grit of this remarkable team.

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The Real Slam Dunk
Written by & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Marcus is excited! His class is about to meet a professional basketball player, just what Marcus plans on being when he grows up. But his hero says some surprising things about school and sports. In this engaging chapter book an African American boy learns to turn his hoop dreams into realistic, achievable ones.

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All the Right Stuff
Written by Walter Dean Myers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-18

New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen’s perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers weaves together political philosophy, basketball, and making soup in Harlem, with the depth that defines his writing career. After his father is shot and killed, Paul Dupree finds a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen. Elijah, the soup man, questions Paul about tough life choices, even though Paul would rather be playing basketball. Over the summer, Paul begins to understand the importance of taking control of your life. All the Right Stuff includes a Q&A between Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman, coauthor of Kick.

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  • The Crossover (Graphic Novel) - New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙ 2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults ∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙ Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book ∙ Kirkus Best Book “A beautifully measured novel of life and line.”—The New York Times Book Review “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

  • Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence - Olympic dreams come true in this inspiring picture book from Michael Jordan’s mother, author of the New York Times bestselling Salt in His Shoes. Long before he became a professional All-Star basketball player, Michael Jordan had dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal—and with dedication and perseverance, that’s exactly what he did. This heartwarming picture book, written by Michael’s mother and illustrated by Barry Root, gives a rare glimpse into a sports hero’s childhood and emphasizes the role that good values play in success. An ideal companion to the New York Times bestselling Salt in His Shoes and releasing in time for the 2012 Olympics, Dream Big is an inspiration to all.

  • Free Throw - Since Derek is the tallest kid on his basketball team, his coach decides to have him play center instead of Jason. Derek thinks this is a lucky break, until Jason stops passing the ball to him.

  • Pippa Park Raises Her Game - “Pippa is a magnetic heroine, funny and good-hearted.”–Booklist Readers will cheer on Pippa Park in this wonderful middle school book about friendships, bullying, crushes, and family. In this relatable story, Pippa reinvents herself and discovers who she really is on and off the basketball court. Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. When Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. At school, Pippa juggles old and new friends, a crush, and the pressure to get As and score points while keeping her past and family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened. As things spiral out of control, Pippa wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try. GREAT FOR DISTANCE LEARNING! A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Now an AR Quiz! Bonus Content in the Book includes: Discussion Questions, Author Q&A, and Korean Language Glossary with Pronunciation Guide Download complimentary Tween Book Club printable online activities at pippapark.com: word games, make-your-own-book playlist, discussion questions, and the Common Core Language Arts Guide for educators!

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Who Is Michael Jordan?
Written by Who HQ & illustrated by Dede Putra
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Grab your Js and hit the court with this Who Was? biography about NBA superstar Michael Jordan. Meet the man who changed the game forever. Michael Jordan has always been competitive–even as a young boy, he fought for attention. His need to be the best made him a star player on his college basketball team and helped him become an NBA legend, both for his skills and his endorsements. His Nike contract for Air Jordan basketball shoes set an unmatched precedent for professional athletes. Author Kirsten Anderson takes readers through each exciting moment, detailing the iconic reverse lay-ups and jump shots of Michael Jordan’s storied career.

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Wizenard Series: Season One
Written by Wesley King
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

#1 New York Times BestsellerA USA TODAY BestsellerA People Magazine pick Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about basketball brilliance all day and night, but the hard truth is that he’s a benchwarmer for the West Bottom Badgers, the worst team in the league. Even their mysterious new coach, Rolabi Wizenard, can’t seem to help them end their losing streak. Reggie is willing to train tirelessly to improve his game, but the gym itself seems to be working against him in magical ways. Before Reggie can become the player he dreams of being, he must survive the extraordinary trials of practice. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant presents this illuminating follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wizenard Series: Training Camp–a story of strain and sacrifice, supernatural breakthroughs, and supreme dedication to the game.

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Nikki on the Line
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

Nikki wants to be a basketball star . . . but between school stress, friend drama, and babysitting woes, will she be able to make it on her new team? Judy Blume meets Mike Lupica in this pitch-perfect, action-packed, and funny novel. Thirteen-year-old Nikki Doyle’s dreams of becoming a basketball great feel within reach when she’s selected to play on an elite-level club team. But in a league with taller, stronger, and faster girls, Nikki suddenly isn’t the best point guard. In fact, she’s no longer a point guard at all, which leaves her struggling to figure out who she is and how she fits in. The stress piles on as Nikki’s best friend spends more and more time with another girl on the team, and when her science teacher assigns a family tree project that will be impossible to complete unless Nikki reveals her most embarrassing secret. As if that’s not enough to deal with, to cover the costs of her new team, Nikki has agreed to take care of her annoying younger brother after school to save money on childcare. As the stakes rise on the basketball court, at school, and at home, Nikki’s confidence plummets. Can she learn to compete at this new, higher level? And how hard is she willing to work to find out?

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Point Guard
Written by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Gus and Cassie have always been on the same team off the field, but in this third novel in New York Times bestselling author Mike Lupica’s Home Team series can they stay friends when they’re on the same court? Everyone assumes that Gus, whose family is from the Dominican Republic, is a baseball guy. But this year Gus is even more excited about basketball than any other sport he’s ever played. He’s been practicing some new moves and lately he’s more surprised when he misses his shot than when he scores. Plus now that he’s convinced his friend Teddy to try out for the team and Jack’s shoulder is healed, it looks like Walton’s home team will be unstoppable. But this isn’t going to be the season Gus expected, because their team is getting a new player–and she just happens to be one of his best friends. Gus knows Cassie is more than good enough to compete on the boys’ team, and besides they really do need a point guard, so why isn’t he able to shake the feeling that she belongs on their bleachers rather than their bench? And to make matters worse, with their center Steve Kerrigan constantly making comments about his Dominican heritage, and Steve’s dad voicing his views on immigration as he runs for office, Gus is starting to wonder if he really belongs in Walton after all. Can Gus find a way to bring the home team together both on and off the court, or will all these prejudices block their shot at a winning season?

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Dragon Hoops
Written by Gene Luen Yang
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18

In his latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

Gene understands stories–comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.

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  • Beastly Basketball - Joe knows kung fu. In fact, he loves it more than anything. Every single evening, Joe walks to his neighborhood kung fu studio to practice for hours on end… until the day he arrives to find his studio is closed–permanently. Unperturbed, Joe decides to pursue his second-favorite activity–basketball. He joins his school’s team only to find that the players are disorganized, timid, and lacking in discipline! So, Joe uses his experience in martial arts to bring out the best–or beast!–in his teammates by assigning each player a particular style of kung fu that suits their personalities. Will their newfound skills lead to flawless victory, or will they continue to get beaten to the punch?

  • Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court - In his first memoir written especially for young readers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will focus on his relationships with several important coaches in his life - including his father, his high-school coach and Coach Wooden - as he tells the story of his life and career. Like many kids in elementary school, Kareem (then Lew Alcindor) struggled with fitting in, pleasing a strict father, and severe shyness that made him socially awkward. Unlike most kids, he also had to grapple with a sudden growth spurt that shot him up taller than pretty much everyone around him, including students, teachers, and even his own father. His increasing fame as a basketball player throughout high school brought new challenges as this shy boy was shoved into the national spotlight. At the same time, social unrest in the country, particularly involving the growing civil rights movement, tugged at his conscience as he tried to find his place in it. After all, he was just a kid. What could he do? Recruited to UCLA, his fame as an unstoppable center made him a college superstar. But as his fame rose, so did the social turmoil in the country: Vietnam War protests, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., large-scale riots, the Women’s Movement. He could have hidden from all the turmoil as a sports celebrity, but he chose to join in the social evolution. The result was converting to Islam and changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The public backlash was blistering, but he didn’t waver.

  • Who Was Kobe Bryant? - Told in a new Who HQ Now format for trending topics, this Who Was? biography details NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s legendary career and the impact of his legacy on the sports world and beyond. Kobe Bryant was just an eighteen-year-old high-school basketball player when he decided to enter the National Basketball Association’s draft. Though he was the thirteenth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, he would never play a single game for them. Instead, Kobe was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would spend his entire twenty-season career, winning five championships and numerous awards. Author Ellen Labreque takes readers through each exciting moment, from his iconic dunks to his 81-point game–all the milestones that span Kobe Bryant’s legendary career and legacy.

  • Rookie of the Year - Combining fast-paced action for young readers and fresh, humorous takes on school issues for teachers, this installment in the Rip and Red series is an illustrated chapter book that both audiences will love. Just when they think they’ve got the hang of things, Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in head-spinning ways. Tiki, a new girl whose Egyptian dad is an animal-rights activist, has just joined their class. She’s charismatic, funny—and she’s got game! Rip has his world turned upside down as Tiki proves to be tough competition on the Clifton United basketball team and leads a rebellion against the lousy new food service in the school cafeteria. Red—a kid on the autism spectrum—is struggling with the upheavals as well. But as these two funky and funny best friends discover, sometimes radical change is the right move, on the court and off. Phil Bildner and Tim Probert return to the Rip and Red series that started with A Whole New Ballgame in a sequel that is just as fun and entertaining as the first book, Rookie of the Year.

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Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Written by Jen Bryant & illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The story of Elgin Baylor, basketball icon and civil rights advocate, from an all-star team
 
Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players, he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA.
Above the Rim is a poetic, exquisitely illustrated telling of the life of an underrecognized athlete and a celebration of standing up for what is right.

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Slam Dunk Shoes
Written by Jake Maddox & illustrated by Sean Tiffany
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Jamal’s been asked to try out for the super-elite youth basketball team. His dad makes him a deal: If Jamal makes the team, he gets new shoes. But will the fancy new shoes really improve Jamal’s game?

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Travel Team/The Big Field
Written by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-

Two of New York Times bestseller and legendary sportswriter Mike Lupica’s best loved and bestselling titles in one action-packed volume! The action is on the basketball court in Travel Team, when the underdogs get a second chance and prove that you can’t measure heart. In The Big Field, the baseball league championship is on the line, but just how far is reluctant second-baseman Hutch willing to bend to be a good teammate?

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Marshmallow & Jordan
Written by Alina Chau
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Alina Chau’s Marshmallow & Jordan is a middle-grade graphic novel about a disabled, sports-loving Jordan, and the magical elephant named Marshmallow who she befriends. Jordan’s days as star player for her school’s basketball team ended when an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now, she’s still the team captain, but her competition days seem to be behind her…until an encounter with a mysterious elephant, who she names Marshmallow, helps Jordan discover a brand new sport. Will water polo be the way for Jordan to continue her athletic dreams–or will it just come between Jordan and her best friends on the basketball team? And with the big tournament right around the corner, what secret is Marshmallow hiding?

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The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life
Written by Kwame Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

New York Times bestseller ∙ Indie Next Pick You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives? Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.

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  • The Right Hook of Devin Velma - Even though he suffers from social anxiety, twelve-year-old Addison agrees to help his best friend achieve social media fame while at a nationally-televised NBA game.

  • My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall - “Elena is one of the brightest stars in our game today and an iconic role model.” —Lisa M. Borders, WNBA President “Inspiring in many ways.” —Kirkus Reviews Elena Delle Donne, 2015 WNBA MVP and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, shares her inspirational story of being a young basketball prodigy who gave up an impressive basketball scholarship for family and self-discovery.

  • The Fifth Quarter - Get ready to hit the court in this heartfelt, sporty, graphic novel!Lori Block is dedicated to her fourth-grade basketball team, despite being relegated to an extra period before the real game starts, known as the fifth quarter, where the not-so-good kids play and the points don’t count. That doesn’t matter to Lori though, because working on her skills gives her hints of self-confidence, which is a nice break from feeling awkward and out-of-place in her daily life. With athletic promise and a dogged determination to keep improving, Lori pursues her passion while navigating awkward social dynamics, her own expectations, and her first overnight away from home. Will her drive allow her to find true courage both on the court, in school, and at home?

  • Tournament of Champions - The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It’s spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn’t like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn’t seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he’s never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He’s supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert’s cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert’s energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children’s Book Council

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A Whole New Ballgame
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn’t believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more “off” the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other—and find ways to make a difference—in the classroom and on the court.

With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.

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Travel Team
Written by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The #1 Bestseller! Twelve-year-old Danny Walker may be the smallest kid on the basketball court – but don’t tell him that. Because no one plays with more heart or court sense. But none of that matters when he is cut from his local travel team, the very same team his father led to national prominence as a boy. Danny’s father, still smarting from his own troubles, knows Danny isn’t the only kid who was cut for the wrong reason, and together, this washed-up former player and a bunch of never-say-die kids prove that the heart simply cannot be measured. For fans of The Bad News Bears, Hoosiers, the Mighty Ducks, and Mike Lupica’s other New York Times bestselling novels Heat, The Underdogs, and Million-Dollar Throw, here is a book that proves that when the game knocks you down, champions stand tall.

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Written by Sherman Alexie & illustrated by Ellen Forney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

The 10th anniversary edition of Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel–bonus content included! Sherman Alexie, in his first book for young adults, tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, beautifully written, semi-autobiographical, and coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will continue to make a lasting impression for many years to come. Bonus content to include an introduction from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson, a new author’s note, an excerpt of a sequel from the character Rowdy’s point of view, and more!

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Bound for Danger
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Brother detectives Frank and Joe find themselves on the basketball court and in the midst of a dangerous team initiation scheme in this thrilling Hardy Boys adventure. Joe and Frank are taken aback when Principal Gerther announces that they need more extracurriculars on their school transcript, and he’s signed them up for the basketball team. They think it’s odd because they both stink at basketball! But the Hardys soon find out that their principal isn’t acting out of concern for their college applications; he wants them to solve a dangerous mystery on the team. It turns out that a band of masked players are kidnapping new team members and then beating them up, blackmailing them, and threatening them–all in an effort to boost performance. Can the boys step up to the line and stop the shadiness?

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Elle of the Ball
Written & illustrated by Elena Delle Donne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game.

Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall—not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her—and perform publically for a grade.

In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.

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  • Brittany the Basketball Fairy -

  • The Million Dollar Shot - Eddie Ball has the chance of a lifetime: to win a million dollars by sinking a foul shotduring halftime at the NBA finals, no less. But someone really wants Eddie to shoot an air ball on the big day, and will do anything to sabotage the million dollar shot.

  • Two-Minute Drill - From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica! Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade?the golden-armed quarterback of the football team and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.

  • The Basketball Mystery - The Boxcar Children join a basketball team and are thrilled to find out the famous Buzz and Tipper Nettleton are their coaches! But when practice schedules get mixed up, and Tipper’s Most Valuable Player trophy goes missing, the Aldens know there’s been foul play. Can they find the culprit?

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The Basketball Mystery
Written by David A. Adler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Cam Jansen and her friend Eric are having fun at a local basketball game. They watch the teamAs retiring coach receive a basketball signed by his former players, including the governor. But after the game, the ball is gone. Was it stolen? In this latest addition to the bestselling chapter book series, Cam uses her photographic memory to solve the sporty mystery!

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Hot Hand
Written by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica! It’s simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything’s become complicated. His brother Ben hardly talks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business. And his dad is always on his case about not being a team player. But when Ben’s piano recital falls on the same day as the championship game, it’s Billy who teaches his dad the meaning of being a team player.

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Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream
Written by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Young Michael Jordan, who is smaller than the other players, learns that determination and hard work are more important than size when playing the game of basketball.

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Long Shot
Written & illustrated by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Pedro, an avid basketball player, decides to run for class president, challenging a teammate who is also one of the most popular boys in school.

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H.O.R.S.E.
Written & illustrated by Christopher Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-12

One day at the basketball court, two kids, a familiar challenge―H.O.R.S.E.? But this isn’t your grandmother’s game of hoops. Not when a layup from the other side of the court, standing on one foot, with your eyes closed is just the warm-up. Around the neighborhood, around the world, off Saturn’s rings . . . the pair goes back and forth. The game is as much about skill as it is about imagination. A slam dunk from award-winning author and illustrator Christopher Myers, H.O.R.S.E. is a celebration of the sport of basketball, the art of trash-talking, and the idea that what’s possible is bounded only by what you can dream.

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  • Little Shaq - The start of a brand new series by Shaquille O’Neal and illustrated by 2014 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award winner Theodore Taylor III, Little Shaq is sure to be a hit with young readers. When Little Shaq and his cousin Barry accidentally break their favorite video game, they need to find a way to replace it. That’s when Little Shaq’s science project inspires a solution: a gardening business. They can water their neighbors’ gardens to raise money for a new game! Little Shaq and Barry make a great team both on and off the basketball court, but will their business be as successful as they hoped? Showing kids that anything is possible with the support of friends and family, Little Shaq will inspire them to love reading, play fair, and have fun! Read all the books in the Little Shaq series!Little ShaqLittle Shaq Takes a ChanceLittle Shaq: Star of the Week

  • Power Forward - From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the first book in an exciting new chapter book series about a fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It’s his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way. For starters, Zayd’s only on the D-team. (D stands for developmental, but to Zayd it’s always felt like a bad grade or something.) Not to mention, he’s a bit on the scrawny side, even for the fourth grade team. But his best friend Adam is on the Gold Team, and it’s Zayd’s dream for the two of them to play together. His mom and dad don’t get it. They want him to practice his violin way more than his jump shot. When he gets caught blowing off his violin lessons to practice, Zayd’s parents lay down the ultimate punishment: he has to hang up his high tops and isn’t allowed to play basketball anymore. As tryouts for the Gold Team approach, Zayd has to find the courage to stand up for himself and chase his dream.

  • Leprechauns Don't Play Basketball - Melody is certain that her new basketball coach, Mr. O’Grady, is a leprechaun, and soon she and the other children are keeping an eye on him and observing his growing relationship with third grade teacher Mrs. Jeepers.

  • The Basket Counts - Mel Jensen is new to the Titans basketball team, but he knows he could be a vital part of the starting lineup - if only two other players would give him a chance to show his stuff. But Caskie and Stoney seem bent on ignoring him, and Mel knows it’s because he’s black. Should Mel fight fire with fire, or should he try to get along, if only for the sake of the team?

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Johnny Long Legs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Everyone in Johnny Reese’s new school assumes that his long legs will make him the star of the White Cats basketball team. But his legs have no spring, and his shorter teammates can easily outjump him. On top of his troubles on the court, Johnny has to get used to a new father and stepbrother who also expect a lot from him. Will Johnny Long Legs ever be able to live up to his nickname?

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B is for Baller: The Ultimate Basketball Alphabet
Written by James Littlejohn & illustrated by Matthew Shipley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Featuring dozens of iconic superstars like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, and Steph Curry, B is for Baller is the ultimate alphabet book for young hoops fans–whether they’re taking their first shot at the ABCs or already perfecting their threes! James Littlejohn’s words leap off the page and bring legends to life, while Matthew Shipley’s colorful, stylish illustrations are sure to delight fans young and old. What started as a successful Kickstarter project from two passionate NBA fans is now the perfect read for little ballers everywhere!

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Dino-Basketball
Written by Lisa Wheeler & illustrated by Barry Gott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Plant-eating dinosaurs face meat-eating dinosaurs in a basketball game at Mastadon Square Garden.

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Cinder-Elly
Written by Frances Minters & illustrated by G. Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A lively new twist on an old familiar fairy tale Readers young and old will enjoy this fresh look at the age-old tale in which an urban-dwelling Cinder-Elly used the help of a trash can, a copy machine, and even a glass sneaker to find her Prince Charming. With a jazzily rhthmic, rhyming text and quirky, funny illustrations, this version of the familiar favorite is irresistible.

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Basketball Break
Written by C. C. Joven & illustrated by Ed Shems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Lucas likes basketball, but he is a ball hog. Can Lucas learn to pass the ball? This Starting Line Reader showcases how to be a team player.

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