Book picks similar to
Payback Time by Carl Deuker


sports
young-adult
realistic-fiction
mystery

Backfield Boys


John Feinstein - 2017
    After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to enroll on scholarship for their freshman year--despite their mothers' fears of injury and especially CTE.On day one, they're stunned when the coaches make Tom a receiver and Jason a quarterback, a complete contradiction to their skill sets and training. They soon suspect this is a racial issue. The boys speak out, risking both their scholarships and their chance to play. But when Jason gets a concussion in the first game of the season, he and Tom must decide how much they're willing to lose in their quest to expose the ugly remnants of a racist past that still linger in contemporary jock culture.In Backfield Boys, -The best writer of sports books in America today- (The Boston Globe) tells a thrilling story of friendship, football, and a fight for justice.

Hit and Run


Norah McClintock - 2003
    Only ten years older than Mike, Billy loves to party, and he doesn't pay much attention when Mike starts getting in trouble. But nothing gets by Mike's history teacher, an ex-cop named Riel especially not long-hidden information about Mike's mother. Her death might not have been an accident after all!

Don't Look Behind You


Lois Duncan - 1989
    or can they?

Swallowing Stones


Joyce McDonald - 1997
    It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful. When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone. But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof. And Michael keeps desperately silent while he watches his world crumble.Meanwhile Jenna, the dead man's daughter, copes with desperation of her own.  Through her grief, she tries to understand why she no longer feels comfortable with her boyfriend and why a near stranger named Michael keeps appearing in her dreams.Suspenseful and powerfully moving, this is the unforgettable story of an accidental crime and its haunting web of repercussions.

Snatched


Pete Hautman - 2006
    Brian Bain is a quiet science geek who has a tendency to blow things up. Ordinarily, they would have nothing to do with each other. But today isn’t an ordinary day: their snobby classmate Alicia Camden has been snatched.Soon enough, Roni and Brian are on the case. But as they dig deeper into the mystery, they find nothing but suspects: Alicia’s hothead boyfriend Maurice, her creepy stepfather, and even Driftwood Doug, the hobo who always seemed to be watching Alicia from the woods. It’s up to Roni and Brian to find Alicia and reveal the shocking secret that led to her disappearance.An eerie mystery that never loses its sense of humor, Snatched marks the beginning of a great new series set in the small town of Bloodwater featuring two offbeat detectives you’ll be thrilled to meet.

Second Impact


David Klass - 2013
    Carla Jenson, lead reporter for the school newspaper's sports section, has recruited Jerry to co-author a blog chronicling the season from each of their perspectives. When Jerry's best friend on the team takes a hit too hard and gets hurt, Carla wonders publicly if injury in the game comes at too high a cost in a player's life—but not everyone in Kendall wants to hear it...

The Truth


Jeffry W. Johnston - 2016
    He shot and killed Derek's little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris's story won't change. It can't. There is far too much at stake…Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn't deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother's killer is the only way to the truth, than he'll go to extremes. But Chris's truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

Double


Jenny Valentine - 2010
    Chap takes on Cassiel's identity, gaining the family and friends he's always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn't as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn't the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel's disappearance, Chap realizes that he's in much deeper danger than he could have imagined. After all, you can't just steal a life and expect to get away with it. Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen's chance at redemption.

Red Kayak


Priscilla Cummings - 2004
    and Digger. But developers and rich families are moving into the area, and while Brady befriends some of them, like the DiAngelos, his parents and friends are bitter about the changes. Tragedy strikes when the DiAngelos’ kayak overturns in the bay, and Brady wonders if it was more than an accident. Soon, Brady discovers the terrible truth behind the kayak’s sinking, and it will change the lives of those he loves forever. Priscilla Cummings deftly weaves a suspenseful tale of three teenagers caught in a wicked web of deception.

Con Academy


Joe Schreiber - 2015
    But Will isn’t the only scammer at Connaughton Academy—Andrea Dufresne is there too, and the ivy-covered campus isn’t big enough for the both of them.So they make a bet—and the winner gets more than just a high school diploma. In this twisty tale of secrets, lies, and deception—it’s hard to figure out who’s double-crossing who. May the best con win!

The Football Girl


Thatcher Heldring - 2017
    QB. Following in his brother’s “baller status” footsteps.Tessa Dooley. Any position that needs filling. Her motto: “Be afraid.”The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship…and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country.But all their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn’t want to end her career as a loser. She really enjoys playing, and if she’s being honest, she likes it even more than running. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb? Or between Tessa and her two best friends, who are counting on her to try out for cross-country with them? And will her parents be upset that she’s decided to take her hobby to the next level?This summer, Caleb and Tessa figure out just what it means to be a boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, best friend, and someone worth cheering for.

From Where I Watch You


Shannon Grogan - 2015
    Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California. Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from a high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café. All Kara has left are memories of better times.But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces a secret terror. Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what’s she’s doing. As they lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.

Down the Rabbit Hole


Peter Abrahams - 2005
    Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late!

Crush. Candy. Corpse.


Sylvia McNicoll - 2012
    Sunny would much rather be doing her volunteer hours at Salon Teo, but her teacher won't let her. Who says volunteering at a hair salon doesn't benefit the community?But working with the Alzheimer's patients has a surprising effect on Sunny. Along with Cole, the grandson of one of the residents, she begins to see that the residents don't have much more choice about their lives than she does: what they eat, how they are treated by staff, even what they watch on television. So Sunny does what she can to make the residents happy - even if she has to sometimes break the rules to do it.But when tragedy strikes at Paradise, Sunny's left to make the decision about whether or not to honor a promise that Cole made to his grandmother about her life and her death.

Missing Judy


Anne Cassidy - 2002
    The family have never been able to stop hoping that she's still alive. Kim can never forget that she let Judy run off that afternoon, but now someone thinks they've found her.