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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
The books below, reviewed in Booklist from September 1, 2004, through August 2005, include inspirational, picture-book biographies of great athletes as well as an excellent overview of Title IX and the female athletes who helped move it forward. But athletes don’t need to be world famous, or even real, to inspire. The athletes in the books below will move young readers with the joy and solace they find in physical activity.
Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. 2005. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17.95 (0-689-85957-0).
Gr. 6-9. Profiles of groundbreaking female athletes and legislators alternate with highlights of the women’s movement in this engaging, comprehensive look at the history and future of the law, which bans sex discrimination in U.S. education.
Bolden, Tonya. The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 2004. Knopf, $17.95 (0-375-82401-4).
Gr. 2-5. In this picture-book biography, simple, lively text introduces Ali the fighter and Ali the activist. Sturdy acrylic paintings enhance the rhythmic words.
Cooper, Floyd. Jump! From the Life of Michael Jordan. 2004. Philomel, $15.99 (0-399-24230-9).
K-Gr. 3. Casual, colloquial language and powerful double-page illustrations deliver a stirring childhood profile of hoops legend Jordan, once a wildly energetic boy and then a high-school basketball star.
Curlee, Lynn. Ballpark: The Story of America’s Baseball Fields. 2005. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17.95 (0-689-86742-5).
Gr. 4-6. Curlee offers an engaging history of baseball parks in concise words and boldly colored acrylics that emphasize the growth of the game through the evolution of its playing fields.
Deuker, Carl. Runner. 2005. Houghton, $16 (0-618-54298-1).
Gr. 7-10. The rejuvenating pleasure of long-distance running is at the center of this thriller about a high-school athlete with an alcoholic father and a shady job.
Mackel, Kathy. MadCat. 2005. HarperCollins, $15.99 (0-06-054869-X).
Gr. 5-8. A credible plot, a distinct voice, and lively dialogue distinguish this novel about a girl who struggles through family issues while helping her fast-pitch softball team move toward the national finals.
Nevius, Carol. Karate Hour. Illus. by Bill Thomson. 2004. Marshall Cavendish, $14.95 (0-7614-5169-2).
Gr. 1-3. The world of a karate class comes into up-close focus in this picture book that uses rhymed couplets and photo-realistic paintings. An afterword explains the history and philosophy of karate.
Swanson, Julie A. Going for the Record. 2004. Eerdmans, paper, $8 (0-8028-5273-4).
Gr. 7-12. Leah is headed for the country’s best college soccer programs when she learns that her father has terminal cancer. Without sensationalizing, Swanson follows the young athlete as she grieves and worries about her uncertain future.
Winter, Jonah. Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Illus. by Raul Colon. 2005. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $16.95 (0-689-85643-1).
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Winter follows Clemente’s unabashedly inspirational story from poverty to World Series triumph. Evocative, soft-focus illustrations help bring the history vividly to life.
Yoo, Paula. Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story. Illus. by Dom Lee. 2005. Lee & Low, $16.95 (1-58430-247-X).
Gr. 2-4. Minimal, well-shaped language and subtle, textured illustrations introduce Lee, the son of Korean immigrants who overcame formidable odds to become both an Olympic diving champion and a doctor.
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