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Growing Reader

Tween

An Introduction to Mike Lupica:
Sports Stories and Life Lessons for Kids and Tweens

by Devon A. Corneal

Mike Lupica is a longtime sports columnist and commentator who started his career covering the New York Knicks when he was just 23. In the past 30 years, he’s written for newspapers and magazines, authored biographies of professional athletes, and appeared as a television anchor for ESPN. He has also coached his kids’ basketball, baseball, and soccer teams and, in his spare time, writes bestselling middle grade and YA novels about, you guessed it, sports. When it comes to athletics, it seems there’s nothing Lupica doesn’t know or can’t do.

Lupica’s stories combine the best of team sports: suspense, hard work, dedication, cooperation, obstacles, victory, defeat, and life lessons that stay with you long after the game is over. His books engage hardcore fans, reluctant readers, rookies, and sports junkies because he uses his real-life experiences to create a fictional world of young boys striving on and off the field that feels relevant and deeply personal. Most importantly, Lupica’s stories remind readers that sports is merely a part of our lives and that athletes are measured not just by their success on the field, but by who they are off of it. The world of sports, he says, “teaches kids about being on a team, being part of something greater than themselves if they play hard and well and unselfishly. If they can learn that, they can apply it to anything they do, in or out of sports, for the rest of their lives.”

Lupica is the author of over 30 books for adults and children. We’ve compiled what we think is the “essential” list of his middle grade titles for the football, basketball, or baseball enthusiast in your family, including the recently released football story Lone Stars.

  • For Baseball Fans

  • For Baseball Fans

  • The Batboy

    by Mike Lupica

    Also available from:

    Brian thinks being a batboy for his dad’s Major League Baseball team is a dream come true. Until he sees how some of the players behave when they’re not in front of the crowd. Then Brian learns that families and teams are far more complicated than they appear.

    Also available from:
  • The Big Field

    by Mike Lupica

    Also available from:

    In baseball, you’ve got to adapt — which is exactly what Hutch is doing by agreeing to play second base instead of shortstop. But when Hutch discovers his father giving tips to the guy who took Hutch’s spot, Hutch has to decide exactly what he’s willing to sacrifice for the good of the team.

    Also available from:
  • Heat

    by Mike Lupica

    Also available from:

    Michael Arroyo is a Cuban immigrant, an orphan, and a kid with a serious arm. His fastball could help propel his team all the way to the Little League World Series, unless questions about his age threaten not only his baseball dreams but also his life in the United States.

    Also available from: