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April 1, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Baseball, football, martial arts—this list of the best sports books reviewed in Booklist from September 15, 2012, to September 1, 2013, is like our own little Olympics, where the top medal is for “most page-turns in a minute.”
Barbed Wire Baseball. By Marissa Moss. Illus. by Yuko Shimizu. 2013. Abrams, $18.95 (9781419705212). Gr. 2–4.
Zini was a coach in California’s Japanese American leagues when he was forced to report to an Arizona internment camp. There, he worked to create a diamond, complete with bleachers, sprinklers, and an undimming sense of hope.
Becoming Babe Ruth. By Matt Tavares. Illus. by the author. 2013. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763656461). Gr. 1–4.
This engaging rags-to-riches chronicle puts an emphasis on Ruth’s early school years before vividly capturing his larger-than-life career, accomplishments, and charm. The art, like the Babe, is irrepressible.
Guys Read: The Sports Pages. Ed. by Jon Scieszka. Illus. by Dan Santat. 2012. HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99 (9780061963780). Gr. 5–8.
This third book in the series takes a light-handed approach to stories from the likes of Jacqueline Woodson and Gordon Korman. Mini-memoirs, humor, heists—this sports anthology has you covered.
Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball. By John Coy. Illus. by Joe Morse. 2013. Carolrhoda, lib. ed., $16.95 (9780761366171). Gr. 2–4.
In 1891, a phys-ed teacher transformed a childhood pastime into what became basketball—and, boy , did it take off. Well-researched and illustrated with blocky, muscular, whimsical art.
I’m with Stupid. By Geoff Herbach. 2013. Sourcebooks, paper, $9.99 (9781402277917). Gr. 7–10.
The second sequel to Stupid Fast (2011) loses no steam, as football phenom Felton suffers the pressures of college recruitment while dealing with long-distance romance, suicide, and alcoholism.
Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball. By David A. Kelly. Illus. by Oliver Dominguez. 2013. Millbrook, lib. ed., $16.95 (9780761380924). Gr. 2–4.
Just when you’d thought you’d read it all comes this unique tale of the baseball coach who invented “baseball mud,” the substance rubbed on balls for a superior grip. Comic and educational.
Take Me out to the Yakyu. By Aaron Meshon. Illus. by the author. 2013. Atheneum, $15.99 (9781442441774). PreS–Gr. 2.
A young boy who loves attending baseball games in both America and Japan joyfully points out the differences to his grandfather. A revealing bicultural day at the park.
Tap Out. By Eric Devine. 2012. Running Press, paper, $9.95 (9780762445691). Gr. 10–12.
Gritty, bloody, and chilling, this is a unblinking look at 17-year-old Tony, who uses a local mixed-martial-arts gym as inspiration to disengage from the drug dealers running his trailer park.
Winger. By Andrew Smith. Illus. by Sam Bosma. 2013. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781442444928). Gr. 9–12.
The author of some of the edgiest YA around offers up a hornball boarding-school romp about a scrawny rugby player juggling his exploits, on both the athletic and romantic fields.
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Terry Widener. 2013. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780375868443). Gr. 2–4.
This worthy follow-up to You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! (2009) adopts the same gob-smacked tone as it gushes over Mays’ impossible feats. With giddy, fierce illustrations, the Say Hey Kid has rarely looked this good.
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