Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Thomas J. Dygard  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1931 in Little Rock, Arkansas

Died: 1996 in Evansville, Indiana

-- Thomas J. Dygard on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dygard lived in Arlington Heights while he was the Associated Press Chicago Bureau Chief. He retired to Evansville, Pa in 1993.

Biographical and Professional Information

Thomas Dygard began his career as a sportswriterfor the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and joined the Associated Press in 1954. After that, he worked in A.P. offices in Little Rock, Detroit, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Indianapolis. At one time he was bureau chief of Chicago. His books for children are all sports related.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Tournament Upstart
ISBN: 068802761X

William Morrow & Co. 1984

The players of the Cedar Grove Falcons, basketball champions from a tiny village in the Ozark foothills, must overcome personal conflicts and lack of confidence, which threaten the team's spirit and their chance at a state championship

The Rookie Arrives
ISBN: 0688075983

William Morrow & Co. 1988

Cocky Ted Bell moves from being star of his high school baseball team directly into playing in the major leagues and finds that he has a lot to learn before becoming the world's greatest third baseman

Forward Pass
ISBN: 068807961X

William Morrow & Co. 1989

To improve his struggling football team's chances of winning, Coach Gardner brings in a new wide receiver, Jill Winston

Halfback Tough
ISBN: 0688059252

William Morrow & Co. 1986

New at Graham High, Joe joins the football team and begins to change his tough guy outlook as he becomes absorbed by the game and gains self-esteem and new friends.

Wilderness Peril
ISBN: 0688041469

William Morrow & Co. 1985

Two teenage boys camping in the Minnesota woods encounter a desperate airplane hijacker attempting to escape with three-quarters of a million dollars

Backfield Package
ISBN: 0688114717

HarperCollins. 1992

Joe Mitchell is Hillcrest High's star quarterback. When he and his three football friends first agree to attend the same college next year and keep the backfield intact, it seems like a terrific idea to Joe. So what if the only school offering all four of them football scholarships is small and little-known Ryder State College? At least he'll get to play winning ball with his friends for four more years!

But as the football season progresses, a college scout from bigleague Randolph University appears in the stands to watch Joe play. Then a sportswriter credits him with almost single-handedly carrying Hillcrest High to its victories, and letters from top football schools start coming in. Now Joe begins to wonder if his decision to go to Ryder State just to stick with his friends was too hasty, and whether, just maybe, his first loyalty should have been to his potential. But what can he do about it now -- a promise is a promise, right?

Exciting you-are-there football action and compelling conflicts on and off the field make Backfield Package an undisputed winner.

Game Plan
ISBN: 0688120075

HarperCollins. 1993

Beano Hatton, the student manager of the Barton High School football team, is thrust into the spotlight--and onto the hot seat--when the team's coach is hospitalized one week before a big game, and Beano is forced to step in and lead the team. "Dygard's competent storytelling and effective characterization make the book a pleasurable read. Beano is likable and his dilemma compelling....A satisfying title."--Booklist.

Rebounder, The
ISBN: 0688128211

HarperCollins. 1994

Transfer student Chris Patton looks and moves like a basketball player--but claims he's not one. Coach Doug Fulton wants to know why, and he discovers a tragedy in Chris's past that prevents him from playing the game he loves. "Readers who look for play-by-play action in basketball books will find several convincing game scenes here."--Booklist.

Infield Hit
ISBN: 0688140378

HarperCollins. 1995

"Entering Cannon City High halfway through his junior year, Hal is convinced that his only hope for making friends is his first love, baseball. He is determined to conceal the fact that his dad is a former star third baseman....As the story unfolds, Hal discovers that he is more than just his father's son he is a fine player in his own right. Baseball fans will love the play-by-play descriptions of games, and Hal's struggle to make new friends and sort out his relationship with his father will appeal to an even wider audience."--Booklist.

Running Wild
ISBN: 0688148530

HarperCollins. 1996

Tough guy Pete Holman has been in and out of trouble for most of his high school career. Then he discovers football, and an exciting new world opens for him. But just when he thinks he's finally turning his life around, his old gang shows up--and jeopardizes everything. "Dygard scores again with a fast-paced story that skillfully blends exciting sports action with a realistic portrayal of the dynamics of high-school friendships."--Booklist.