Growing Reader


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