#CybilsAwards Book Lists: Non-Traditional Sports

Everyone knows books about the “traditional” sports: basketball, baseball, football, and soccer. But what about the sports that aren’t as big a deal to the general public. They are important to those who participate in them, and they can serve as backdrops for some pretty amazing stories.


Why We Fly
by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
Sourcebooks Fire

“Why We Fly will appeal to young readers interested in competitive cheerleading, alternating-voice narratives, and books featuring social protest.” – Gary Anderson at What’s Not Wrong


Don’t Hate the Player
by Alexis Nedd
Bloomsbury YA

“Don’t Hate the Player is a fantastic read that explores the challenges a young woman of color faces when she enters the world of competitive videogaming while trying to keep the rest of her life on track.” – Carla Reimer at Books I Can’t Shut Up About


Thrill Seekers: 15 Remarkable Women in Extreme Sports
by Ann McCallum Staats
Chicago Review Press


The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens
by Isabel Roxas
Flying Eye Books


Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms
by Crystal Frasier, illustrated by Val Wise, lettered by Oscar O. Jupiter
Oni Press

“The story is realistic, and I cared about what happens to the characters.” – Anne W


Glorious Wrestling Alliance
by Josh Hicks
Graphic Universe


Bartali’s Bicycle: The True Story of Gino Bartali, Italy’s Secret Hero
by Megan Hoyt, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Quill Tree Books

“I can’t stop reading picture books that make me cry. A Tour de France winner smuggling documents for the resistance, hiding Jewish families & distracting guards at train stations. Illustrated in a luscious throwback to classic Italian posters.” – Dr. Genevieve Ford


Sakamoto’s Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory
by Julie Abery, illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Kids Can Press, Ltd

“This little known story about Hawaiian history and sports history is a tale about perseverance, believing in yourself and how one person can make a difference for many. The lyrical, rhyming text, along with the tropical illustrations bring the story alive.” – Susan


The Impossible Climb (Young Readers Adaptation): Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and a Climber’s Life
by Mark Synnott and Hampton Synnott
Viking Books for Young Readers