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I am not a huge TV watcher but there are a few shows on Netflix and Prime that I enjoy and will tune into when I get a moment to sit down. During the last few months though I took the opportunity to get caught up on some of my “must watch” list of shows, one of these being “Cheer” on Netflix. My middle daughter did Cheerleading for three years and I had heard amazing things about this docuseries so I figured I would try an episode to see what all the fuss was about.

 

Within the first 15 minutes I was hooked and ended up binge watching the entire season. It was fantastic and immediately after I finished it I started googling the show, watched the cast on Ellen, with Oprah and finally watched Jerry interview Brad Pitt at the Oscars.  Jerry is a favourite for sure!

 

Since it was on my mind, it also got me thinking about how important sports are to kids, especially those kids who are risk and/or might not regularly attend school. What “Cheer” highlights is that there are so many kids out there with limited opportunities and if given the chance at playing a sport either at a high school level, competitive level or college, being part of a team will keep them from getting into trouble and making horrible personal decisions. Kids, whether they are 2 or 22 need guidance, structure, and acceptance and being part of team with a strong caring coach (and Coach Monica nails it) is so crucial for kids and their mental and physical development.

 

Watching this show also got me wondering about all the sports fiction titles being published that should be highlighted and talked about more. I will confess this is not a genre that I am familiar with nor do I read much of so I reached out to some of the publishing sales reps for their favourites and this is what they suggested.

 

Gravity by Sarah Deming is a young adult novel about a female boxer from a broken home who finds a new start after joining a gym and finding she has the ability to go all the way to the Olympics if she can just keep focused on what is important.

 

Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder is another young adult novel about a boy as he discovers a love of long distance running, all the while navigating life in a new school, starting a new relationship with a possible girlfriend and dealing with his complicated relationship with his autistic older brother.

 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is the graphic novel adaptation of the Newbery Medal winning book about two African-American twin brothers, basketball and family.

 

My Best Friend and Other Illusions by Suri Rosen. This middle grade story follows a young girl named Charlie who is a budding acrobat who is desperate to attend a gymnastics camp that will help her to qualify for a spot in the renowned travelling circus Circo Circo. The problem is that her family cannot afford it so she must find a way to earn the money on her own.

 

Ice Chips series by Roy MacGregor. This is a great early chapter book series for kids just starting to read on their own. Perfect for kids who love all things hockey.

 

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. 

 

Orca, has some wonderful High Interest Sports action stories for middle grade readers. Great Canadian authors focusing on everything from snowboarding to dirt biking.

 

If you haven’t watched “Cheer” I highly recommend it and I also hope you might consider a new display in your library highlighting some of these great sports titles.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

“Cheers” to you all!

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