There can never be enough sports books for struggling middle school readers, and I particularly like the 4 for 4 series by John Coy. Top of the Order (#1) and Love of the Game (#3) are ones I got earlier; these next two were back ordered. My only real objection is that the cover format changed at some point, so I have two of the cartoon covers, and two of the photo ones.
Coy, John. Eyes on the Goal(#2)
13 April 2012, Feiwel and Friends
Friends Jackson, Gig, Isaac and Diego are just about to start middle school, but they spend a week at a soccer camp over the summer. Diego has played before, and Gig does well enough, even though he would rather stay home and take care of his family since his father is deployed in Iraq. Jackson (from whose point the book is told) and Isaac get put into a group of players who don't do very well, and they aren't happy about it. Jackson is also struggling with the fact that his mother has a boyfriend. Further complicating matters between the friends is the fact that the soccer camp has some girls nearby, and some of the boys are interested in the girls, and some are more interested in teasing their friends about them. Luckily, their friendships are strong enough to weather both the sports and personal difficulties.
Coy, John. Take Your Best Shot (#4)
28 February 2012, Feiwel and Friends
The boys are still together, and now struggling through classes, detentions, dealing with more girls, and trying to hold the basketball team together after the best player, Isaac, leaves to join a traveling team in order to improve his game. Gig's father is injured, and Jackson's mother gets remarried, so the boys have plenty of difficulties to work through. There is plenty of basketball, however, easily identifiable characters who are likable, and many other qualities that make this series a great one for middle school students. Fans of Rich Wallace's Winning Season series will enjoy these.