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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
From the ancients’ reverence for athletics to the modern big-business of sports, this list of the best sports books reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months covers the whole history of triumph on the field.
Brothers at Bat. By Audrey Vernick. Illus. by Steven Salerno. 2012. Clarion, $16.99 (9780547385570). Gr. 1–3.
An exhibition of family loyalty and love of sports, this non-fiction picture book introduces the Acerra family, which in 1938 began fielding a semipro baseball team of siblings with an age range of more than 20 years.
Star pitcher Pete Friedman blows out his elbow, ruining his high-school athletic career before it even begins. But new avenues open up when he embraces a passion for photography, meets a cute girl, and helps his ailing grandfather.
The Final Four. By Paul Volponi. 2012. Viking, $16.99 (9780670012640). Gr. 9–12.
Told over the course of an exhilarating, triple-overtime tournament game and a series of flashbacks, this novel explores talent and dedication, confidence and arrogance, and the uncomfortable realities of big-time collegiate sports.
Jimmy the Greatest. By Jairo Buitrago. Illus. by Rafael Yockteng. 2012. Groundwood, $18.95 (9781554981786). PreS–Gr. 2.
In a tiny village on the ocean, young Jimmy is inspired to take up boxing and accomplish the sort of great things that come from small gestures and a dedication to community.
Challenging readers to think about the complexities of the lucrative business of modern sports, this entry in the Ethics of Sports series refrains from passing judgment while making the point that it’s important to be as informed a fan as possible.
Tracing the Olympic Games from its roots in ancient Greek culture through the 1936 games in Berlin, this history is loaded with fascinating quotes, forgotten events, and thrilling exploits.
Stars in the Shadows: The Negro League All-Star Game of 1934. By Charles R. Smith. Illus. by Frank Morrison. 2012. Atheneum, $14.99 (9780689866388). Gr. 3–6.
Kids who have read about Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell here get the chance to root for them in this non-fiction title that’s an invented play-by-play radio broadcast of the second annual Negro League East-West game.
The Story of the NFL. By Sara Gilbert. 2011. illus. Creative Education, lib. ed., $23.95 (9781608180639). Gr. 6–9.
Focusing on the business of the NFL (and a staggeringly successful business it is), this entry in the Built for Success series packs in plenty of history and insights on the individuals who made the league what it is today.
There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived. By Matt Tavares. Illus. by the author. 2012. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763627898). Gr. 2–5.
This biography of the last hitter to record a .400 season touches all the bases of his legendary career with striking portraits that follow the skinny kid’s maturation into a lanky but muscular athlete.
Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper. By Ann Malaspina. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. 2012. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (9780807580356). Gr. 2–4.
In a biography comprised of free verse and vibrant illustrations, Alice Coachman soars to life as the daughter of a poor cotton farmer and the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
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