No matter the time of the year, it’s always the perfect season for at least a few sports. For young fans, information books about the sports they love can be the perfect accompaniment to watching and playing the game, and they are often touted as fabulous choices to present a “reluctant reader” because of their real-life connection and appeal. Beach Ball Books has three new titles that offer an inside look at familiar sports, as well as an introduction to the wackiest sports you’ve most definitely never heard of.
The Ultimate Guide to Basketball is filled with pages of fun history, facts, and stats about basketball. The book is divided into six major sections: Tipoff, First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter, Fourth Quarter, and Overtime. Each of these chapters includes trivia relating to the early days of basketball, the court and positions, scoring, shooting, and rules of the WNBA and NBA. Between each of these sections, author James Buckley, Jr. includes information about every NBA team, including individual information about some of the players. The style of the Ultimate Guide to Basketball is perfect for young and middle-grade readers, particularly those who may lose interest with longer sections of reading material. Although my (Lauren) sports-loving son still enjoys fiction, books like these rank at the top of his list. With the pages and pages of history and fun facts about current teams and players, this is a book that can be read and enjoyed many times.
In First Pitch, author John Thorn relates the story of America’s favorite pastime. John Thorn is the Official Baseball Historian of Major League Baseball, and he has received many awards for his work. In First Pitch, his first children’s book, he relates the history of baseball using kid-friendly stories, historical documents, newspaper clippings, paintings, and prints. While some of baseball’s story may be well known, Thorn includes fascinating information that will be new to many and dispels some popular myths as well. If you have a baseball fan, this book is sure to be a hit. I recommend the text in this book for ages 9-12, but the stories are enjoyable for fans of any age.
In Weird Sports, Michael Teitelbaum presents a variety of sports from around the world that can seriously only be categorized as bizarre. Honestly, as I (Dawn) first browsed through the pages of this slim text aimed at kids aged seven to fourteen, I kept thinking that the pictures must have been doctored. There’s no way someone chooses to go “bog snorkeling,” right? If you think that sounds odd, you have to check out the two page spread on “extreme ironing.” Yes, that is ironing, as in sliding a hot iron over a piece of clothing, except that one photo shows someone doing it high atop a rock outcropping. (I had to laugh at the pile of orange extension cord visible in the photo!) Page after page gives information about the weirdest of the weird, but still legitimate sports, complete with boxes detailing the necessary gear and the official rules. One section highlights sports that will undoubtedly seem odd to American children yet are familiar and beloved sports for children in other countries around the world. Weird Sports stands out among nonfiction sports themed books for its outrageous fun and glimpse into the wide, weird world of sports!
Thanks to Beach Ball Books for providing review copies of these books. Put them on your shopping list for the young sports lover in your life!
Dawn and Lauren each have a few sports loving children in their families. Dawn blogs at my thoughts exactly, and Lauren at Baseballs and Bows.