What is Sports Literacy?

Welcome to my sports literacy blog. Here you will find resources for educators as well as sports-related young adult literature for middle and high school students. While many of these texts come from recommended lists from public libraries across the country, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN), and respected educators, librarians, and authors, I cannot personally vouch for every text/resource on this list. Instead, my goal has been to provide relevant options for individuals interested in various aspects of sports literacy. My hope is that teachers and students alike will make informed decisions on the texts they read and the resources they utilize.

mexican   deadline   boy21   dream   slam   ghost   crossover   Contender   Hate

Why Sports Literacy?

As Chris Crowe (2001) once noted, “Americans love sports, and we’re predisposed to like movies, stories, and books that deal with sports in interesting or creative ways. Sports culture permeates almost every aspect of contemporary society” (p. 129). Thus, as a sports lover myself, I can think of no better way to engage students in reading than by connecting literature to one of the most popular extracurricular interests of middle and high school students across the country. For more information, check out my co-edited book, with Luke Rodesiler, called Developing Contemporary Literacies through Sports.

Sports and Young Adult Literature

Inevitably, the best of these novels offer well-developed characters facing common experiences and challenges pertinent to teen readers with sports merely providing the hook, backdrop, and/or setting. In the words of David Gorlewski, former co-editor of English Journal, “Sports, like any social endeavor, can provide a prism through which to view human nature and explore the experiences of young adults.” My hope is that the stories and resources found on this blog might prove useful for teachers and students in just this manner.

My colleague, Abby Scoresby, and I have tried to incorporate as great a variety of texts/genres as possible to meet the needs of secondary students of various ages, backgrounds, and genders, as well as students with diverse reading levels and extracurricular interests. To do so, we have pulled from authors both past and present and from resources old and new. We are regularly updating the site, so check back often.

Please note that all grade levels listed by individual texts are based on reviews from sources such as School Library Journal, BookList, etc. They do not necessarily represent our views of grade level appropriateness and should be considered with caution.

Sports Literacy Publications

For more information on examining sports and culture in the English classroom, take a look at this 2014 themed issue of English Journal as well as this list of recommended resources. If you are more interested in sports and young adult literature, pick up a copy of the spring/summer 2016 issue of SIGNAL Journal, including my article “Young Adult [Sports] Literature: Looking Back and Moving Forward” or check out this NCTE blog post.

To hear more about the edited book, Developing Contemporary Literacies through Sports, check out this interview with Education Talk Radio or the other information found on the book’s website.

To find out more about Alan’s sports literacy program for 8th grade boys at Paisley IB Magnet School in Winston-Salem, NC, check out the information on this web page. You might also be interested in my involvement with the Skip Prosser Literacy Program or the dance education course I co-teach with Christina Soriano called EDU 222: Integrating Arts and Movement into the Elementary Curriculum.

For more, follow me on Twitter at Alando1423. If you would like to suggest other resources/texts, please contact me by email at any time.

To find a list of adolescent and young adult novels for each sport, click on the tabs to the left.