Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Have a Ball

Black and White - (ISBN: 978-0142406922)

by Paul Volponi

Black Marcus and white Eddie play together and become great friends. After being offered scholarships to play college basketball, the temptation to try and get some spending money through a robbery ends up threatening their friendship. Their arrest and subsequent trials strain their relationship to the breaking point. How do you predict an African-American accused of stealing might get different treatment in the legal system from a white guy? Does our world still “see” black and white rather than the person?

Keeper - (ISBN: 978-0763632861)

by Mal Peet

An interview with a soccer star has unexpected results when the journalist finds himself going back to the star El Gato’s early life in a small jungle community. According to the soccer legend, he saw a ghost that instructed him in goal keeping and other soccer techniques. Enter the ethereal world of El Gato’s memory without noticing you are leaving reality behind.

Princess of the Midnight Ball - (ISBN: 978-1599904559)

by Jessica Day George

In this modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” Rose and her 11 sisters must dance until they drop. A Prince Charming appears in the person of Galen who solves the mystery that allows the girls to stop dancing. Compare this with the original tale; how do they differ? Which version do you prefer?

Soccer Chick Rules - (ISBN: 978-0312376628)

by Dawn FitzGerald

Tess is trying like crazy to get a school levy passed so she can be sure she can continue playing soccer. She’s politicking and playing; her entire life will change if the tax increase does not take place. She finds an unexpected friendship with a cheerleader comforts her when the levy fails. To what extremes would you go to be sure you could keep playing your favorite sport or participating in your favorite activity?

Winter White - (ISBN: 978-0316091169)

by Jen Calonita

Isabelle and Mirabelle’s newfound sisterhood complicates their preparations for the most important ball of the year. Will they complete their lessons, clothing purchases, and mental preparations for the upcoming cotillion while keeping their true feelings about actually being sisters to themselves?

Winter White - (ISBN: 978-0316091169)

by Jen Calonita

Isabelle and Mirabelle’s newfound sisterhood complicates their preparations for the most important ball of the year. Will they complete their lessons, clothing purchases, and mental preparations for the upcoming cotillion while keeping their true feelings about actually being sisters to themselves?

A Formal Affair - (ISBN: 9781423123668)

by Veronica Chambers

Eight Ball 18 - (ISBN: B000K6ZRRU)

by Daniel Clowes

Princess of Glass - (ISBN: 978-1599906591)

by Jessica Day George

Slam! - (ISBN: 978-0545055741)

by Walter Dean Myers

The Boy Who Saved Baseball - (ISBN: 9780399236228)

by John Ritter

Activities for this Theme

Make an easy origami ball.


Make an Origami Magic Ball


Rewrite a traditional fairy tale about a fancy dress ball so that it ends up with a modern twist.


Make these DIY backyard games.