Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get in the Game: Read Sports Fiction and Nonfiction

Get in the Game: Read! was this year's national summer reading theme. A display of sports fiction and nonfiction books has been up in the teen area all summer. If you missed it, or saw something there and can't remember the title, here is a list of some of the books. Titles listed are linked to the Library's online catalog.

Authors in the Young Adult collection who mainly write sports fiction are:
Chris Crutcher -- Carl Deuker -- John Feinstein -- Tim Green -- Robert Lipsyte -- Mike Lupica.  Also see the sports fiction series: Orca Sports

Sports Fiction

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander, 2014. Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. Realistic fiction. Novel in Verse. 750L

Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, 1997. Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight. Realistic fiction. Ecofiction. 680L

Shift, by Jennifer Bradbury, 2008. When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating high school and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened. Realistic fiction. 770L

Tumbling, by Caela Carter, 2016.  After sacrificing their childhoods, Grace, Leigh, Camille, Wilhelmina, and Monica are competing in the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, after which their lives will change forever. Realistic fiction. 690L

Summerland, by Michael Chabon, 2002.  Ethan Feld, the worst baseball player in the history of the game, finds himself recruited by a 100-year-old scout to help a band of fairies triumph over an ancient enemy. Fantasy fiction. 950L

Eleven Things I Promised You, by Catherine Clark, 2016. While competing in a bike race with her high school teammates, 17-year-old Frances is determined to complete ten tasks compiled by her best friend Stella. Realistic fiction.

Deadline, by Chris Crutcher, 2007. Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos.". Football. Realistic fiction. Humorous. 880L

Tall Story, by Candy Gourlay, 2011. Sixteen-year-old Bernardo, who is eight feet tall and suffers from a condition called gigantism, leaves the Philipines to live with his mother's family in London, much to the delight of his 13-year-old half sister Andi, a passionate basketball player. Realistic fiction. Humorous. 670L

Second Impact, by David Klass, 2013. When Jerry Downing, star quarterback in a small football town, gets a second chance after his drunk driving had serious consequences, Carla Jensen, ace reporter for the school newspaper, invites him to join her in writing a blog, mainly about sports. Realistic fiction. 980L

Zeroboxer, by Fonda Lee, 2015. As seventeen-year-old Carr 'the Raptor' Luka rises to fame in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, he learns a devastating secret that jeopardizes not only his future in the sport, but interplanetary relations. Science fiction. 870L

Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock, 2006. After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, 16-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her. Realistic fiction. Humorous. 990L

Out of Nowhere, by Maria Padian, 2013. Performing community service for pulling a stupid prank against a rival high school, soccer star Tom tutors a Somali refugee with soccer dreams of his own. Realistic fiction. 670L

Keeper, by Mal Peet, 2003. In an interview with a young journalist, World Cup hero, El Gato, describes his youth in the Brazilian rain forest and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star. Magic realism. 780L

Jockey Girl, by Shelley Peterson, 2016. When Evie learns that her mother is alive, she hatches a plan to enter the Caledon Horse Race and win enough money to find her and leave her unloving father. Realistic fiction.

Pretty Tough, by Liz Tigelaar, 2007. Two feuding sisters from Malibu, California, take their rivalry to the soccer field when both girls make the high school team. Realistic fiction. 690L

The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen, 2011. When a school bus accident leaves 16-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again. Realistic fiction. 650L

The Final Four, by Paul Volponi, 2012. Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large. Realistic fiction. 870L

Muckers, by Sandra Neil Wallace, 2013. Inspired by a true story. Felix O'Sullivan, standing in the shadow of his dead brother, an angry, distant father, and racial tension, must lead the last-ever Muckers high school football team to the state championship before a mine closing shuts down his entire town. Historical fiction. 860L

Now is the Time for Running, by Michael Williams, 2011. When soldiers attack a small village in Zimbabwe, Deo goes on the run with Innocent, his older, mentally disabled brother, carrying little but a leather soccer ball filled with money, and after facing prejudice, poverty, and tragedy, it is in soccer that Deo finds renewed hope. Realistic fiction. 650L
Away Running, by David Wright, 2016. Matt and Free are playing American football in Paris, where Matt deals with racial tension and Free tries to forget what's going on at home in Texas. Realistic fiction. 720L

Sports Non-Fiction

Following are sport books recently added to the YA nonfiction collection. 

Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution, by Jonathan P. D. Abrams, 2016. Explores the trend of teenage basketball stars skipping college and going right into playing professionally, resulting in the 2005 age limit requirement instituted by the NBA, mandating that all players must attend college or another developmental program for at least a year.

Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-or-Break Moment, by Carla Killough McClafferty, 2013. Offers a look at the origins of football and the latest research on concussion and traumatic brain injuries in the sport.

Doping in Sports: Winning at any Cost?, by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, 2016. An examination of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in athletics explores the pressure athletes face for success, investigations held by anti-doping agencies, and the long-term effects of some steroids.

Basketball Now!: The Stars and Stories of the NBA, by Adam Elliott Segal, 2015. Segal provides action-packed profiles of the best professional basketball players on the planet. He reflects on the best clutch shooters of all time; counts down the history of the NBA draft; and pays homage to the greatest dunks every witnessed.

This is Your Brain on Sports, by Jon L. Wertheim, 2016. The executive editor of Sports Illustrated and a psychologist join forces to examine the behavior of those involved in professional sports, explaining how athletes can successfully put aside personal trauma on game day and why people love to root for a loser.

Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes are Claiming their Rightful Place in Sports, by Cyd Zeigler, 2016. Examines the experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender athletes, coaches, and other sports figures, especially in the United States, including the risks they face, coming out or remaining closeted, and other considerations.

Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance: The World's Best-Selling Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Guide, by Lennard Zinn, 2015. From basic repairs like how to fix a flat tire to advanced overhauls of drivetrains and brakes. An illustrated step-by-step guide explains the tools you'll need and how to know you've done the job right. Hundreds of hand-drawn illustrations and exploded parts diagrams.

A Few Nonfiction Sports Books of Note:
  • A Passion For Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times, by Benson Bobrick, 2012.
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown, 2013.
  • Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, and a Dream, by H.G. Bissinger, 2004.
  • In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, by Madeleine Blais, 1995.
  • One Shot at Forever: a Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season, by Chris Ballard, 2012.
  • Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team that Changed a Town, by Warren St. John, 2012.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Summer Clubs & Workshops for Teens at the Library

**We won!** Our teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, created a video, Rock Your Game at the Library, to enter in the Collaborative Summer Library Program's 2016 Teen Video Challenge. The challenge was to create a promotional video about this year's teen summer reading theme: Get in the Game: Read. The TTT's video won for the state of Massachusetts this year.
See the winning videos from other states here:

Summer clubs and workshops for teens are listed below.
All are free. Some of them require advance registration as space is limited. Sign up at the Reference desk or call 978-468-5577.


Teen Think Tank Meeting  
For ages 11 18. Thurs. June 2, 6:30 to 7:55 PM

The TTT is our teen advisory board. The TTT works with the Teen Librarian to improve library collections, and to create programs and services designed for teens. Come share your bright ideas! Earn community service credit for school! We meet 11 times a year. To join, contact Kim at:

Magic the Gathering Club  For ages 10+. 
Saturdays: 2:00 to 4:00 PM,  June 25 to August 27
Magic the Gathering is a strategy based card game, for those who enjoy magical creatures battling each other. It is easy to learn. The club is for all levels, from beginners to people who already enjoy playing the game. Come try out your decks! For more info. contact Ari at: aristotle_massos at

M.A.G.E. (Minecraft and Assorted Games for Everyone) Tuesdays, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, June 28 to Aug. 30 MAGE is run by teens, for all ages who play well with others. Bring your own laptop and have an active Minecraft membership. Beginners and advance players welcome. One Rule: No griefing. (During the summer months MAGE meets on Tuesday evenings. During the school year they meet on Wednesday afternoon.)

Dungeons & Dragons Club   For ages 14+  
First meeting will be Saturday, June 25, noon to 4PM, to make the schedule for the rest of the summer. D & D is the world’s leading tabletop RPG. Fifth edition rulesets are generally used over a variety of running campaigns. Some experience with roleplaying games is preferred, but not necessary. Beginners welcome. 
For more info. contact Kim at:

Youth Book Sale and Two Movies
Wednesday, June 29 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Stock up for the summer at this one-day-only youth book sale, organized by the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library. Credit cards accepted. 
Two movies will be shown:
Pixar Shorts 1 & 2,  1:00 to 3:15 PM, (rated G)
Inside Out, 3:30 to 5:10 PM (rated PG)


Frisbee Show and Play with Todd Brodeur 
Thursday, July 7, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Two-time World Class Champion Todd Brodeur will present a brief history of the Frisbee and discuss the aerodynamics of the game. Then, learn how to do tricks, throws, catches and combinations, and see Todd’s collection of rare flying discs. No registration required.

Get in the Game: Sport Story Photography with Toni Carolina  
For ages 11 to 18.  
This is a 2-part workshop:
1st part meets:   Thu., July 14, 3:00 to 4:30 PM
2nd part meets: Tue., August 2, 3:00 to 4:00 PM
On July 14 bring a camera (cell phone camera not acceptable). Learn how to tell a sport story in 3 to 5 images. Return on August 2nd with prints of your shots to create a sport story photography exhibit in the Young Adult area. Register at the Reference desk. Space limited.

Teen Think Tank shopping spree to Barnes &Noble
Saturday, July 9, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Participants will choose books for the library’s collections. To participate you must have attended at least one previous Teen Think Tank meeting. 
To attend, call Kim Claire at: 978-468-5577 x14.

Martial Arts with Deb Mahoney  For ages 12 and up.
Monday, July 18, 4:00 to 5:00 PM    Join Tashi Deb, a 5th degree black belt from Mark Warner’s Professional Martial Arts Academy.  Learn beginning and more advanced defense techniques depending on needs/wants of the group. No registration required.

Get in the Game Still Life Pastel Painting
with Greg Maichack  For ages 11 to adult.
Thursday, July 21, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Join Greg Maichack for a hands-on pastel painting workshop. Greg will demonstrate how beginners to accomplished artists can easily pastel paint a still life that incorporates game pieces and words. Essential techniques of pastel painting will be demonstrated. Professional grade pastels, paper, and materials are included. Register at the Reference desk. Space limited.

CAD Bring Your Own Ideas with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 and up (including adults).  
Two sessions:
Thursday, July 28, 3:00 to 5:00 PM -or-
Saturday, July 30, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM 
Is there an object you would like to make on our 3-D printer, but need help designing? Bring your idea to this workshop. Jeff will help you create your design using Tinkercad, a free program available online. 
Participants must bring a laptop for this workshop. 
Register at the Reference desk. Space limited.

Teen Think Tank Meeting
Thursday, August 4, 6:30 to 7:55 PM
Come share your bright ideas! Earn community service credit for school! We meet 11 times a year on the first Thursday of the month. To join, contact Kim Claire at or call 978-468-5577 x14.

Interactive Sword Games with Guard Up!
For ages 11 to 16.  Thursday, August 4, 3:00 to 4:00 PM  
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early, by 2:45 PM. 
An hour of high energy interactive sword games, using foam swords, with instructors from Guard Up! Participants must wear loose-fitting pants (no shorts!), a t-shirt, and indoor shoes/sneakers (no flip flops or sandals). All attendees must provide a signed Guard Up Waiver filled out by parent or legal guardian.
Register at the Reference desk. Space limited.

Get in the Game: Eat to Win cooking with Liz Barbour  
For ages 11 to 18. Thursday, August 11, 3:00 to 4:00 PM
Chef & cooking instructor Liz Barbour will show you what to eat, when to eat, and how much you need to eat so you can perform at your highest level in this delicious program. Presentation will be followed by  demonstration and tasting of healthy snacks. 
Register at the Reference desk. Space limited.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Turn for the Verse
There are only a few weeks left to write your poem and enter it in the Library's 6th Teen Poetry Contest.
Poetry Contest
Deadline to enter is
midnight April 30.
    April is National Poetry Month.
Celebrate poetry by reading a verse novel.You'll find them shelved in Young Adult fiction.There is a sticker on the book's spine. It looks like this:                             
Click this to see all of our novels-in-verse(including audiobooks).

Twenty-one Verse Novels

Booked, by Kwame Alexander, 2016. Nick Hall is the star player on the soccer team until a bombshell announcement shatters his world.

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander, 2014. Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. Awarded the Newbery Medal in 2015.

Psyche in a Dress, by Francesca Lia Block, 2006. A young woman, Psyche, searches for her lost love and questions her true self in a modern retelling of Greek myths.

Ringside, 1925: Views From the Scopes Trial, by Jen Bryant, 2008. Visitors, spectators, and residents of Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925 describe, in a series of free-verse poems, the Scopes "monkey trial" and its effects on that small town and its citizens.

Freakboy, by Kristin Clark, 2013. Told from three viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Brendan, a wrestler, struggles to come to terms with his place on the transgender spectrum while Vanessa, the girl he loves, and Angel, a transgender acquaintance, try to help.

One, by Sarah Crossan, 2015. Despite problems at home, 16-year-old conjoined twins Tippi and Grace are loving going to school for the first time and making real friends when they learn that a cardiac problem will force them to have separation surgery, which they have never before considered.

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, by Margarita Engle, 2009. Escaping from Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939, a young Jewish refugee dreams of finding his parents again, befriends a local girl with painful secrets of her own, and discovers that the Nazi darkness is never far away.
Hidden, by Helen Frost, 2011. When 14-year-olds Wren and Darra meet at a Michigan summer camp, both are overwhelmed by memories from six years earlier when Darra's father stole a car, unaware that Wren was hiding in the back.

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, by Stephanie Hemphill, 2010. A fictionalized account, told in verse, of the Salem witch trials, told from the perspective of three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692--Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam, Jr.

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, 1997. In a series of poems, 14-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins, 2004. Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind.

My Book of Life by Angel, by Martine Leavitt, 2012. Angel, a 16-year-old girl working the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, befriends Melli, an 11-year-old girl in the same situation and realizes she must do all that she can to save Melli and perhaps save herself at the same time.

The Realm of Possibility, by David Levithan, 2004. A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.

Up From the Sea, by Leza Lowitz, 2016. A novel in verse about the March 2011 tsunami that sent Japan into chaos, told from the point-of-view of Kai, a biracial teenaged boy.

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, by Leslea Newman, 2012. Relates, from various points of view, events from the night of October 6, 1998, when 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was lured out of a Wyoming bar, savagely beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, by Sonya Sones, 2004. Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.

The Language Inside, by Holly Thompson, 2013. Raised in Japan, American-born tenth-grader Emma is disconcerted by a move to Massachusetts for her mother's breast cancer treatment, because half of Emma's heart remains with her friends recovering from the tsunami.

Orchards, by Holly Thompson, 2011. Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home.

Love and Leftovers, by Sarah Tregay, 2011. When her father starts dating a man, 15-year-old Marcie's depressed mother takes her to New Hampshire but just as Marcie starts falling for a great guy her father brings her back to Iowa, where all of her relationships have become strained.
A Time to Dance, by Padma Venkatraman, 2014. In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.

The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices From the Titanic, by Allan Wolf, 2011. Recreates the1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others including the iceberg itself.