Ten writers and athletes contribute sports stories written exclusively for this volume.
The third installment in Scieszka’s Guys Read Library of Great Reading again seeks to lure young male readers into the world of books. Following Funny Business (2010) and Thriller (2011), The Sports Pages offers a smorgasbord of sportswriting—fiction and nonfiction—to appeal to every sports enthusiast. From baseball to football, ice hockey to track and mixed martial arts, there is plenty here for sports-minded readers to like, with lively action, humor and even a dose of mysticism in the form of magical grapefruit and a witch doctor. James Brown’s “The Choice” and Dustin Brown’s “Against All Odds” are fine nonfiction entries, akin to the motivational talks athletes often present at sports banquets. Tim Green’s “Find Your Fire” has the liveliest sports action, featuring a young offensive lineman learning to deal with changes in his life. Maximilian Funk, in Anne Ursu’s “Max Swings for the Fences,” tries to fit into the social scene of his new school and chooses the wrong way, with disastrous consequences. (Chris Crutcher’s “The Meat Grinder” is slated for inclusion but was not seen.)
The stories here offer action, humor and lessons about life and may well do the trick of connecting boys and books. (Short stories. 9-13)