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March 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Although it may seem odd to have a novel about contract bridge on our list of the best youth sports books reviewed in the past 12 months in Booklist, we consider all recreational pursuits to be eligible, not just those that require, you know, running.
Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson. By Charles R. Smith. Illus. by Shane W. Evans. 2010. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $16.99 (9781596434738). Gr. 1–3.
Rat-a-tat verse and swaggering artwork bring the provocative boxer to life in this picture-book biography, telling how the son of former slaves became the first black heavyweight champion of the world.
Breathless. By Jessica Warman. 2009. Walker, $16.99 (9780802798497). Gr. 9–12.
Dedicated swimmer Katie only feels truly comfortable in the water, and the intensity of her boarding school’s swim team helps her deal with a litany of family problems and develop a sense of self.
The Cardturner. By Louis Sachar. 2010. Delacorte, $17.99 (9780385736626). Gr. 9–12.
The great (and perhaps only) contract bridge novel for teens treats the card game like an endlessly fascinating mental puzzle as Alton becomes his blind uncle’s helper at the table.
Clemente! By Willie Perdomo. Illus. by Bryan Collier. 2010. Holt, $16.99 (9780805082241). Gr. 1–3.
This picture-book biography illuminates Roberto Clemente’s remarkable achievements both on and off the field through the prism of a father passing on fandom to his son.
Goal! The Fire and Fury of Soccer’s Greatest Moment. By Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy. 2010. illus. Millbrook, $27.93 (9780822587545). Gr. 5–8.
The perfect choice to cash in on the excitement of the 2010 World Cup, this book explores the nuances of scoring in the most popular sport on earth.
Henry Aaron’s Dream. By Matt Tavares. Illus. by the author. 2010. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763632243). Gr. 2–4.
Chronicling Aaron’s childhood and early career, shadowed by the ever-present specter of racism, this picture book is a tribute to the man’s steady perseverance, outstanding play, and lasting legacy.
Homestretch. By Paul Volponi. 2009. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416939870). Gr. 7–10.
After his mother is killed in a car accident, Gaston finds a job at a horse track. Volponi captures the all-consuming thrill of racing as well as the behind-the-scenes details in plotlines about cultural prejudices and tough ethical choices.
No Easy Way:The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season. By Fred Bowen. Illus. by Charles S. Pyle. 2010. Dutton, $16.99 (9780525478775). Gr. 1–3.
Unlike many decades-old baseball stories, Williams’ remarkable 1941 season hasn’t lost its appeal over the years, and Bowen makes the most of it in this dramatic picture book.
Shapes in Sports. By Rebecca Rissman. 2009. illus. Heinemann, lib. ed., $21.50 (9781432921705). PreS–Gr. 1.
This book in the Spot the Shape series introduces young children to the myriad geometric shapes and patterns found in all corners of the sports they love.
The Story of the Chicago Bears. By Nate LeBoutillier. 2009. illus. Creative Education, lib. ed., $22.95 (9781583417508). Gr. 5–8.
Providing a clear sense of the team’s continuity through the years, not to mention plenty of crisp, electrifying photos, this entry in the NFL Today series stands well above the typical franchise profile.
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