Many young adult books have a storyline about a character, usually the protagonist, who plays a sport competitively, dances or does some other kind of physical activity really well. My favorite sporty character is Rebecca Mason from Anne Digby's Trebizon series. Rebecca is a good student and a gifted writer who discovers that she has an immense talent for tennis when she's about fourteen.
In The Tennis Term at Trebizon, Rebecca's goal is to earn a spot on her school's varsity tennis team. To do this, she's got to prove that she's better than Edwina Burton, an older student who is also a talented player. Their coach arranges a match between them with the idea that the winner will take the sixth and last place on the team. Rebecca wins the match. Afterward, she wanders off of the court and stretches out in front of an ancient tree on her school's campus, close to an easel where a friend is painting a picture of the campus. Rebecca dozes off and wakes to find her friend painting her into the picture. This is what she sees:
“The dark tree-the sunlight-the warm glow of school buildings beyond. Everything was there. And something had been added. A tiny figure in white reclining under the tree in an attitude of joy, ecstasy, even her racket lying in the grass beside her. Here the paint was new and glistening.”
What I love about this moment is that after Rebecca has won the match, her friend captures the spirit of the moment and its context: the triumph, the beauty of the day and the love for her school.
What's your favorite sporting moment in YA literature? Let me know in the comments section below and you can win a copy of The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Remember to leave me a way to contact you. I'll pick a winner on Monday, Dec. 6.