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Based On A True Story and Sports: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about based on a true story is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life!

Girl Running book
#1
Girl Running
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Micha Archer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

* "A bright salutation of a story, with one determined woman at its center."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review The inspiring story of the first female to run the Boston Marathon comes to life in stunningly vivid collage illustrations. Because Bobbi Gibb is a girl, she's not allowed to run on her school's track team. But after school, no one can stop her--and she's free to run endless miles to her heart's content. She is told no yet again when she tries to enter the Boston Marathon in 1966, because the officials claim that it's a man's race and that women are just not capable of running such a long distance. So what does Bobbi do? She bravely sets out to prove the naysayers wrong and show the world just what a girl can do.

Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay book
#2
Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Stewart
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The first illustrated telling of the Everest story that equally features Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. On the morning of May 29, 1953, the sun was shining brightly and a gentle breeze was blowing on the highest elevation of the world--and for the first time ever, people were there to witness it. Their names were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, and they had ascended Everest. This is the breathtaking story of how these two men battled frost- biting temperatures, tumbling ice rocks, powerful winds, and death-defying ridges to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain. Combining fresh and contemporary illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton with Alexandra Stewart’s action-packed text, this unique narrative tells the complete stories of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay--from their births right up through their final days—and the lasting impact they've had on the world.

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams book
#3
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters. Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena’s turn. It wasn’t easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn’t let it stop them. With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.

Yogi book
#4
Yogi
Written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Terry Widener
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The life and famous words, such as "it ain't over till it's over," of Major League Baseball player and New York Yankee Lawrence "Yogi" Berra are celebrated in this nonfiction picture book. Yogi Berra loved his family, his neighborhood, his friends, and, most of all, baseball. He was crazy for it, ever since he was a young kid playing with friends in an abandoned dump. But baseball didn't love him back--at least not at first. Yogi was different. He didn't have the right look. When he finally made it to the major leagues, Yogi faced pranks and harassment from players, sportswriters, and fans. Their words hurt, but they made Yogi determined to show all that he could do. Author Barb Rosenstock's dynamic text and illustrator Terry Widener's powerful artwork reveal the talents, loves, and inspirational words of this celebrated New York Yankee and American icon, who earned a World Series ring for each finger and made baseball love him back.

The Funniest Man in Baseball book
#5
The Funniest Man in Baseball
Written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Jennifer Bower
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Max Patkin was pitching in the minor leagues when he was injured and had to leave his dreams behind. He joined the Navy and eventually was able to play again while in the military . . . and this time he got to pitch against superstar Joe DiMaggio. When Joe hit one of Max’s throws out of the park, Max threw down his glove, left the mound, and chased Joe around the bases, making faces and imitating his every move. The crowd loved it! And a baseball clown was born. This inspiring and comical biography carries an important message: Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you hope . . . but moving in a new direction can sometimes bring happy surprises.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!