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New Zealand sports fiction

Looking for stories where sport is a key part of the plot? Want to read about the ups and downs of competitive sports? Check out these sport-related stories.

Slide the corner by Fleur Beale
When Greg stands up to his father and achieves his dream of becoming a rally driver, he proves to his parents that he can be as successful as his more academic brother and sister.
coverPlaying to win  by Fleur Beale
Denny Logan's feeling left out of the "in crowd". It wouldn't be so bad at his new school if Alice didn't completely ignore him. Then there's Todd, full of testosterone and false bravado. The only thing worth focusing on is rugby and making the first fifteen.
Home Run by Paula Boock
Bryony had never thought of herself as privileged until she began her new school. The rules are different, even in softball, and Bryony wishes to become popular, but at what expense?
Jenna’s wave by Steve Dickinson
No longer allowed to play rugby with the boys, and since there is no girls team, Jenna gives surfing a go. Determined to be the best she can, Jenna gets advice from Mickey Downs, an old, long-haired surfer. Part of the Sport Max series
coverTalking to Adam by Sarah Ell
Katie is 16, right into sailing, school friends, and even more importantly boyfriends. In Katie's world a bit of weight loss is a good thing, a bit of hair loss and fatigue explainable, until she discovers she has Hodgkins disease.
The name of the game by David Hill  
New Zealand is being torn apart by a rugby tour. Rugby-playing Alan Randall and his mates think the South African rugby team should tour. Donna Ostler and her weird friends think not. They want to stop the tour, by marches, protests, even by invading the grounds. Before long New Zealand, including Alan and his friends, is almost at war.
Juggling with mandarins by V.M. Jones
Thirteen-year-old Pip finds a talent he never dreamed he had. He pursues his new passion in secret, determined it will remain one area of his life his domineering dad can't touch. But it can't stay secret forever. Somehow, Pip must find the courage to confront his father and claim the right to live his life on his own terms. Shooting the moon continues the story.
The wave rider by Graeme Lay
Justine finds life in a small New Zealand town totally boring and dull until the arrival of Carl, a blond, tanned surfer from California. This is the story of their developing relationship and the impact it has on Justine’s life and future.
High tide by Anna MacKenzie
“If we’d known how things would turn out, none of us would have signed up in the first place. But then they say it’s always easy to see in hindsight what you have done differently. And I guess none of it would have happened if we hadn’t all been hankering for a bit of adventure …”
CoverShadow of the Mountain is another great read by Anna MacKenzie. Geneva's world has been blown apart by loss. Maybe that's why her decisions are not always the sharpest. One thing she knows: there's no way back to the person she once was. When Angus appears in her orbit it seems an omen that things are changing, but life is never that simple.
Sitting on the Fence by Bill Nagelkerke
The fictional diary of Martin Daly during the Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand in 1981 — a time when the nation was divided between pro- and anti-tour supporters.

The Alex Books — Tessa Duder

Fifteen-year-old Alex struggles to overcome personal trauma and hardship as she competes with her arch-rival for a place on the New Zealand swimming team participating in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
Alex in Winter
cover Tragedy has entered Alex’s life and during the long winter she tries to cope with grief and understanding about her future. But this time the battle is within herself — and something only Alex can win.
Alessandra: Alex in Rome
As a member of the New Zealand swimming team, fifteen-year-old Alex gets her first taste of independence as she faces the challenges of competition in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
Songs for Alex
Returning from the Rome Olympics, Alex has to pass University Entrance, decide whether to take a swimming scholarship and is offered the chance to audition for the part of Saint Joan in a play.

August 2010