Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Game, Series, Match

With the soccer season now well underway, my mind turned to the number of riveting sports-themed series now available. If you enjoy watching or playing sport—but particularly if you love getting out and participating in competition at any level—stories with sport as the backdrop can be especially appealing.

The challenges, conflicts and characters developed from the sporting arena are diverse and plentiful!  A great game or event commentary puts us right there in the action and gets the adrenaline pumping; while, the highs and lows of meeting our own and others’ expectations of performance can often map the challenges faced in real life. I recently enjoyed Cath Crowley’s Gracie Faltrain series (12+) which had me short of breath as the narration kicked back and forth with the lightning speed of soccer—and humorous asides! Crowley has a wonderful ear for realistic teenage dialog, no doubt the result of years absorbing it as a secondary teacher.

As Gracie Faltrain and most sports related stories reveal, competition brings not just the ball or the game into sharp focus—but ourselves. In its purest terms, sport ultimately negates dishonesty to yourself, your coach or your competitors; at the end of the day, it’s Truth-Central. Living in a household of runners, I also know you have to put in the miles to get results. There are no shortcuts and, for the most part, sport provides a fair ledger: what you put in, is what you get out.

The recognition that many less avid readers would prefer to be out doing something active, has prompted an increase in books with a central sporting theme, for both younger and teenaged readers. Add to the mix the sports-themed series, and the gap between finishing one book and picking up another may reduce noticeably. Check out our current list of sports-genre series books any time by clicking on the ‘sports’ tag. We’ll be adding more to this section over the next couple of weeks. If you have any series you’d like to recommend—fiction or non-fiction—please comment or send an email to

Marielle Rebbechi