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Competition: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about competition?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to competition. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about competition.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about competition, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Dream Machine to popular sellers like The View from Saturday to some of our favorite hidden gems like Cheetah Can’t Lose.

We hope this list of kids books about competition can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Competition

#1
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The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

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#2
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The Donut Chef
Written & illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When his competitor sets up his business right next door to the first doughnut shop in town, culinary chaos ensues as the original doughnut guru and the newcomer try to outdo one another with their crazy creations, including Gooey Coca-Mocha Silk and Peanut-Brittle Buttermilk.

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#3
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The View from Saturday
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories – one for each of the team members – that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

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#4
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Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written & illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

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#5
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Maisy's Field Day
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When Maisy and friends have a special day for races and competitions, it’s not about winning or losing — the fun is in playing the games. Join Maisy and her pals for Field Day! First is the egg-and-spoon race (oops, Eddie’s egg is a little too wobbly). No problem, there are lots more games to play — a wheelbarrow race, a three-legged race, and even a get-dressed-up-silly race. When it’s time to play ringtoss, Eddie’s trunk comes in handy, and in the relay race, Maisy and Charley run as fast as they can. Last of all comes a great big game of tug-of-war, where both teams fall down laughing at the end!

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#6
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Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In rhyming text a child, home from a game, bids goodnight to all the sights and sounds of a school football game.

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#7
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G Is for Golazo
Written by James Littlejohn & illustrated by Matthew Shipley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

S is for soccer. F is for football, and fútbol, and fußball… No matter what you call it, everyone loves the beautiful game! The creators of B is for Baller return with a vibrant, stylish parade of soccer legends. Featuring dozens of international superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Pelé, Diego Maradona, Marta, Mia Hamm, and Abby Wambach, G is for Golazo is the ultimate ABC book for budding soccer fans.

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#8
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I Can Play
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
The finger holes for I Can Play are so fun! There are a few other books in this series, but I love that this book talks about teamwork. This book is sure to occupy little ones for a long time as they use their fingers to be limbs for all of the people in the book! I also love that this book talks about all the wonderful things we can do with our bodies: jump, kick, run, etc!
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Readers make athletes splash, sprint, or score just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, readers help the athletes unite as a team in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

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#9
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Cheetah Can't Lose
Written & illustrated by Bob Shea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An overly confident cheetah challenges a pack of clever kittens to a race.

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#10
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Wizardmatch
Written by Lauren Magaziner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Lennie Mercado’s grandfather, the current Prime Wizard of Pomporromp, is retiring and decides to host a tournament for Lennie and her cousins to compete to win his title, land, position, castle, and unlimited magical powers, but when Poppop introduces new rules to eliminate sibling rivalry, Lennie decides the games are unfair and makes plans to sabotage the event.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Competition and...

Books About Competition and Contests

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The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Buy book
$17.99
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$15.29
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$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Feb 28
Add to list
The View from Saturday
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories – one for each of the team members – that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Buy book
$8.99
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$8.49
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How I Met My Monster
Written by Amanda Noll & illustrated by Howard McWilliam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. With its perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this silly-spooky prequel to the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! will keep young readers entertained.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Snowboard Sham - When Will Pastora’s family arrived at the Sorenson Resort for a family vacation he did not know that there was going to be a snowboarding competition; he enjoys snowboarding, but he is embarrassed to admit that he is only a beginner so he signs up at a higher level–and soon realizes that tackling the more difficult slopes is dangerous and that he needs some help to admit his error in front of his new, more experienced acquaintances.

  2. The Easter Egg - Jan Brett’s lovable bunny hero, Hoppi, and her remarkable Easter Rabbit will enchant readers as they pore over illustrations filled with dazzling eggs made by Flora Bunny, Aunt Sassyfrass and others. If Hoppi can make the best Easter egg, he will get to help the Easter Rabbit with his deliveries on Easter morning. But it is not so easy. Discouraged, he goes into the woods to think when a blue robin’s egg tumbles out of its nest. Hoppi keeps it safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Rabbit arrives, he declares the empty blue eggshell the very best one to reward Hoppi for his kindness. Spring is everywhere in gorgeous illustrations framed with pussy willows, flowering vines and flowers. Side borders feature busy rabbits making their unusual eggs and, in a border above, the Robin’s family drama unfolds. A gatefold surprise reveals the Easter Rabbit.

  3. Out of Step - Last season Mercy Anderson was one of the best dancers on her school’s dance team when they almost made it to the state championship, but a sudden growth spurt has made her awkward and unsure of her moves–a personal coach would help bring her back to competition level, but can she earn enough money dog walking to pay for the training?

  4. Lucky Me, Lucy McGee - Fourth grader Lucy McGee’s ukulele is missing–and if she doesn’t find it soon, she’ll be kicked out of the Songwriting Club! Lucy McGee is determined to track down her beloved instrument, but she can’t let anyone catch on–even best friend Phillip. When Lucy learns that YouTube songwriting stars Ben & Bee are playing a show on Saturday and they’re giving away a free ukulele, it seems like the perfect solution. If only it wasn’t the most in-demand, expensive concert ever. Soon frenemy Scarlett announces that she has an extra ticket to the show, prompting everyone in the Songwriting Club to try to win her over. Lucy McGee will have to get extra creative to find out what happened to her uke and to charm the always-scheming Scarlett in this humorous but heartfelt chapter book. The third book in Mary Amato’s charming Lucy McGee series features artwork on every page as well as song lyrics for aspiring musicians to try out on their own.

Books About Competition and Sports And Recreation

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Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In rhyming text a child, home from a game, bids goodnight to all the sights and sounds of a school football game.

Buy book
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$22.60
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Add to list
G Is for Golazo
Written by James Littlejohn & illustrated by Matthew Shipley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

S is for soccer. F is for football, and fútbol, and fußball… No matter what you call it, everyone loves the beautiful game! The creators of B is for Baller return with a vibrant, stylish parade of soccer legends. Featuring dozens of international superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Pelé, Diego Maradona, Marta, Mia Hamm, and Abby Wambach, G is for Golazo is the ultimate ABC book for budding soccer fans.

Buy book
$17.95
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$15.26
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$14.60
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Add to list
I Can Play
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
The finger holes for I Can Play are so fun! There are a few other books in this series, but I love that this book talks about teamwork. This book is sure to occupy little ones for a long time as they use their fingers to be limbs for all of the people in the book! I also love that this book talks about all the wonderful things we can do with our bodies: jump, kick, run, etc!
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Readers make athletes splash, sprint, or score just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, readers help the athletes unite as a team in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 28
Honorable Mentions
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  1. Epic Athletes: Serena Williams - An inspiring middle-grade biography of the most celebrated women’s tennis player ever, Serena Williams, from acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel! Serena Williams is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. From growing up in a tough neighborhood to combatting racism to weathering severe health issues, there is no challenge she can’t defeat, no hurdle that will get in the way of her unwavering desire to be the best tennis player in the world. As a little girl, Serena spent years training at her local court with her father and older sister, Venus, dreaming of one day winning Grand Slam titles and earning the number one ranking in the world. In this exciting biography, young readers will discover what it takes to become a champion. Bestselling author Dan Wetzel brings to life the story of an athlete and trailblazer who broke records and racial barriers. Publishing right between Wimbledon and the US Open, and featuring action-packed comic-style interior art, this uplifting biography of the most celebrated women’s tennis player of all time is sure to be a hit with young sports fans across the country.

  2. Brad Marchand - He was too small to make it to the National Hockey League, they decided. Brad Marchand has proven them wrong, helping to lead the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup in thirty-nine years and scoring the winning goal for Canada in the deciding game of the 2016 World Cup final. The 5-foot-9-inch, 181-pound forward continues to surprise the skeptics. Marchand, who grew up in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, was named to the nhl All-Star team for the second straight year in 2018. This full-color book features personal interviews with the “Little Ball of Hate,” as well as interviews with family and coaches, and over forty photos of the star.

  3. I Can Dance - Readers make dancers disco, tap, or pirouette just by wiggling their fingers. But wait! There’s even more fun. In an impressive gatefold finale, readers use two sets of hands to help the dancers perform an encore. With interactive holes on every page and a satisfying touch-and-feel cover, this charming board book is the perfect way to play and read together.

  4. Fast Break - In the sixth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, young Derek bites off more than he can chew when he decides to enter the school talent show and try out for the basketball team. Between promising Vijay that he’ll compete in the school talent show and promising Dave that he’ll try out for the basketball team, Derek Jeter has a lot he’s trying to juggle. A commitment is a commitment, and Derek is determined to work hard and try his best, but he worries he might be in over his head and fears he’s going to let his friends or himself down. How can Derek do it all? Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, Fast Break is the sixth book in Jeter Publishing’s New York Times bestselling middle grade baseball series that focuses on key life lessons from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Books About Competition and Animals

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Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written & illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

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Paige the Pony
Written & illustrated by Lily Small
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Penelope is excited about the Pony Gala and her first chance to compete in the Prettiest Pony Competition, but is distracted by friends who need help. Includes activities.

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Cruising for a Snoozing
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The eighth book in a funny chapter book series filled with full-color illustrations and adorable animals!

A group of sloths arrives at the Grumpy River for a synchronized swimming competition, and the Super Happy Party Bears are thrilled. They throw a party to celebrate their team, but the sloths just…sleep.

The residents of the Grumpy Woods can’t help but notice the giant pile of snoozing sloths, and Mayor Quill plots to get rid of them by shutting down the competition…until he unexpectedly gets the opportunity to show off his swimming moves.

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  1. The Great Race - Discover how 12 animals competed in a madcap swimming race to help create the lunar calendar! Includes facts about Chinese festivals, the lunar calendar and the animals that rule each year.

  2. High Five - From the creators of the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos comes a rollicking, rhyme-tastic, interactive high five competition–starring YOU! Discover the lost art of the high five and improve your slapping skills just in time for the annual high five contest! From hand-limbering stretches to lessons on five-ing with finesse, readers are guided through a series of interactive challenges, each goofier than the next. Acclaimed creative duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have dreamed up another one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud book that kids will beg to read again and again.

  3. The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff - Read this sweet New York Times bestselling series from the author of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, and other beloved books. The Jellybeans are off to summer camp to enjoy ghost stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and swimming in the lake. Each girl finds her own favorite activity: Emily goes to the dance studio, Bitsy does arts and crafts, and Anna reads about nature. But Nicole can’t find anything that’s just right for her. So she decides to start a soccer team and teach her friends her favorite game. Will the Jellybeans be able to win the big match against a neighboring camp? Once again, the girls use their different strengths and talents to work together and have the best summer ever. This third book in the successful New York Times bestselling series shows that, whether readers are girly girls, bookworms, artists, or tomboys, there is a Jellybean for everyone.

Books About Competition and Cooking And Food

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The Donut Chef
Written & illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When his competitor sets up his business right next door to the first doughnut shop in town, culinary chaos ensues as the original doughnut guru and the newcomer try to outdo one another with their crazy creations, including Gooey Coca-Mocha Silk and Peanut-Brittle Buttermilk.

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Little Taco Truck
Written & illustrated by Tanya Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Taco Truck loves serving workers on Union Street, but when Ms. Falafal takes his spot, then more and bigger food trucks arrive, he fears no one will want his tacos anymore.

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The Great Bake Off
Written by Poppy Green & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Sophie helps her mom make lots of sweets in this fourteenth charming book of The Adventures of Sophie Mouse series!

When Sophie helps her mom bake all sorts of sweets, they realize there’s plenty to share with the nearby village. Can they find their way there before the sweets go bad?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Adventures of Sophie Mouse chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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  1. Super Chef Contest - My cousin Trap was entering the Super Chef Contest, which determines the best cook on Mouse Island – and he was bringing me along as an assistant! Slimy Swiss cheese, I don’t know the first thing about cooking fancy dishes . . . and I didn’t think Trap did, either. I was in for an appetizing adventure!

  2. Chip and Curly - Chip the potato chip is sure he has the annual Spud City Festival sack race in the bag–he’s been practicing all year. But when Curly the springy curly fry shows up, Chip knows he’s in trouble. This totally funny story is filled with clever potato puns–and subtle themes of sportsmanship and persistence.

  3. Original Recipe - Finley’s best friend Henry is about to turn nine, and Finley has a major problem: she has no idea what to give him for his birthday. He already owns all of her best creations! The school cook-off might be the perfect solution. The grand prize is a year’s worth of Flying Pie Pizza ― Henry’s favorite. But coming up with something original and tasty is harder than it looks. As one crazy concoction leads to another, Finley discovers that cooking is just like the rest of life ― things don’t always turn out as planned and friendship is the real prize.

  4. Basil and the Big Cheese Cook-Off - Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed Over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective is back and scurrying off to Paris to discover who’s threatening the organizers of the Great Cheese Cook-off! Basil the mouse detective is called to Paris when the organizers of the Great Cheese Cook-off (an international culinary competition) start receiving threats against the event. Who could want to deprive all of mousedom of one of its tastiest nights? Basil immediately suspects Ratigan, who has escaped yet again and was seen lurking around Paris (and who, perhaps, holds a particular grudge against the event’s organizers). He sets off on his investigation at the event’s location, the Parisian College of Cooking (where local foodie mice hide out and take advantage of the school’s kitchens after the human students have departed each evening). But Basil is baffled when circumstantial evidence shows that it couldn’t have been his old enemy after all. With one suspect crossed off the list, it’s up to Basil to find out what’s going on—before those anonymouse threats ruin the Cook-Off—for good!

Books About Competition and Teamwork

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The Mighty Dynamo
Written by Kieran Crowley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

More than anything, Noah Murphy wants to be a professional soccer player—and participating in the Schools’ World Cup qualifiers might be just what he needs to get scouted. But when he’s suspiciously banned from his school team for something he didn’t even do, all his dreams come crashing down. Determined to live up to his Mighty Dynamo nickname, Noah must find his own way to enter the contest no matter what it takes. With his best friend Stevie on tactics, and the skills of some unlikely new teammates, he’s soon ready to take on the world—just as long as no one plays foul.

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Maisy's Field Day
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When Maisy and friends have a special day for races and competitions, it’s not about winning or losing — the fun is in playing the games. Join Maisy and her pals for Field Day! First is the egg-and-spoon race (oops, Eddie’s egg is a little too wobbly). No problem, there are lots more games to play — a wheelbarrow race, a three-legged race, and even a get-dressed-up-silly race. When it’s time to play ringtoss, Eddie’s trunk comes in handy, and in the relay race, Maisy and Charley run as fast as they can. Last of all comes a great big game of tug-of-war, where both teams fall down laughing at the end!

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Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis & illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

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  1. The Golden Acorn - Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But pump the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race it is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player? Best-selling author Katy Hudson (Too Many Carrots and A Loud Winter’s Nap) proves that winning isn’t everything in this energetic picture book about friendship, teamwork, and forgiveness – and that’s something to go nuts about!

  2. The Golden Acorn - Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But pump the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race it is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player? Best-selling author Katy Hudson (Too Many Carrots and A Loud Winter’s Nap) proves that winning isn’t everything in this energetic picture book about friendship, teamwork, and forgiveness — and that’s something to go nuts about!

  3. Ready, Set, Blast Off! - “Picked to represent their planet Nebulon in the Interstellar Space Race, Zack and his friends navigate their specially designed car through an underwater maze, around planetary rings, and through the stars! But when trouble stirs within the team, Zack must take charge. Can he lead them to victory?”–

  4. Jammer Star - Sixteen-year-old Robin Ellis (aka Robin CookieJars) wants to be the best jammer on her roller-derby team and maybe one day play for the Creek City Roller Derby All-Stars like her idol, Annie Mossity. But star junior player April Reid (aka April Powers) always seems to be one lap ahead. Until recently, that is. Robin has noticed that April has been losing a lot of weight, and her game is suffering. This may be Robin’s chance to finally grab the mvp title. But her success may come at a very heavy cost.

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Books About Competition and Performing Arts

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Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance
Written by Stacy Davidowitz & illustrated by Victoria Ying
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Calling all Moonflowers! When Hanazuki and her friends hear about a talent competition on Celebrity Moon, they all want to win the grand prize. Each Moonflower pulls together a team to show off their best talents, and they practice, practice, practice! But Hanazuki’s team is cracking under the pressure. With a little help from Lavender Hemka, she’s going to show them that all they need is a little inspiration! Then Team Hanazuki will be ready to take on Celebrity Moon and the whole galaxy.

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The Major Eights 4: Starstruck
Written by Melody Reed & illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book four of the Major Eights series, Becca shoots, but will she score a meet and greet with her favorite basketball player? When Becca finds out about her school’s free throw competition, she is ready to put her basketball skills to the test! And if she wins, she’ll get to meet her favorite basketball player! But after a series of bad practices, her nerves start to get the best of her. Can the Major Eights help Becca regain her confidence and meet her hero?

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Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
Written by Alyssa Zaczek
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Seventh-grader Martin McLean has trouble expressing himself except at Mathletes competitions and now, as a female impersonator but his first-ever drag show falls on the same night as an important Mathletes tournament.

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  1. The Audition - Bunheads meets The Kicks in this first novel in a brand-new middle grade trilogy from New York Times bestselling author, dancer, model, and actress Maddie Ziegler! Twelve-year-old Harper has been dancing practically since she could walk. She loves her dance studio and team, and just won her first ever top junior solo in a regional competition. But right before the school year starts, Harper’s parents drop a bombshell—the family has to relocate from their cozy town in Connecticut to sunny Florida for their jobs. That means goodbye to her friends, dance team, trips to see shows in NYC—and did she mention dance team? When she arrives at her new dance school and new team, it feels like everyone has better feet, quicker turns and faster taps than Harper. And it doesn’t help that a group of girls, who nicknamed themselves The Bunheads, wonder how the heck she made the team if she can’t even do a simple turn sequence in front of the class. Thankfully, Harper befriends Lily, a fellow newbie in the studio who is just as eager to make her mark and find a friendly face. With a big competition coming up for the dance team, Harper is determined to show everyone—especially those Bunheads—what she’s made of. And when a very badly timed injury threatens all of the work they have done, The Bunheads, Lily, and Harper must learn to truly work together to give them their best shot at the top spot!

  2. Jack and Louisa Act 3 - A show-stopping middle-grade series about life in and out of the spotlight from Broadway stars and Internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead. Two weeks at Camp Curtain-Up is just what Jack and Louisa need to fuel their passion for theater: Broadway musical sing-alongs, outdoor rehearsals, and tons of new MTNs (musical theater nerds) to meet… maybe even a special someone. It almost feels like fate when the two friends return home to find local auditions for The Sound of Music. But as Louisa fantasizes about frolicking in the Alps, Jack gets tempted by a student-run drama competition that would reunite the two with their camp friends. Will Jack get Louisa to skip an audition? Can Lou handle Jack as her director? And will someone finally get a big, Broadway happy ending?

  3. The Winner Is . . . - Two talented junior chefs have sliced and diced their way into the finale of Next Best Junior Chef. This week’s theme: innovation. Which junior chef will rise to the top and earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef? And whose goose is cooked? Two contestants compete on- and off-camera, but only one will win the whole enchilada. This is a finale you won’t want to miss! Bonus: includes real cooking techniques for the aspiring young chef!

  4. Room 555 - Fourteen-year-old Roonie loves hip-hop almost as much as she loves her grandmother. She cannot wait to compete in her school’s dance competition. But as her grandmother’s health deteriorates, Roonie becomes more and more reluctant to visit her in the care home. These feelings of guilt and frustration cause Roonie to mess things up with her hip-hop dance partner and best friend, Kira. But while doing some volunteer hours in the hospital geriatric ward, Roonie meets an active senior recovering from a bad fall. Their shared love of dance and the woman’s zest for life help Roonie face her fears, make amends with Kira and reconnect with Gram before it’s too late.

Books About Competition and Family

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Wizardmatch
Written by Lauren Magaziner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Lennie Mercado’s grandfather, the current Prime Wizard of Pomporromp, is retiring and decides to host a tournament for Lennie and her cousins to compete to win his title, land, position, castle, and unlimited magical powers, but when Poppop introduces new rules to eliminate sibling rivalry, Lennie decides the games are unfair and makes plans to sabotage the event.

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The Hula Hoopin' Queen
Written by Thelma Lynne Godin & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A spunky girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood—young and old alike—joins in on the fun.

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood’s got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch!

With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

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Robot on the Loose
Written by Henry Winkler & illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Hank, the star of the bestselling easy-to-read series, is back! This time, he has to learn the nuts and bolts of making a robot–and making a friend! Hank’s school is hosting its first-ever Build-a-Robot competition and Hank is ready to win. There’s just one problem: he completely forgot about the contest! While other kids have been working on their robots for a month, Hank has just two days to create an amazing robot that will wow the judges and win him the trophy. To make matters worse, there might be another problem, too. Hank has no idea how to build a robot! With help from Jaden, a robot expert at his school, Hank and his friends construct their robot, Stanley, just in time. But on the day of the competition, Stanley malfunctions! It will take Hank, Frankie, Ashley, and their new friend Jaden to get it back on track. Forget winning the trophy–Hank has to stop a robot on the loose!

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  1. The Robot Ransom - Henry and Jessie’s middle school robotics team is going to the regional competition! But it seems like someone doesn’t want their team to compete. Can the Aldens use their sleuthing skills and what they’ve learned about robotics to find the culprit and save the day?

  2. Cali Plays Fair - Fans of Rainbow Magic and Mermaid Tales will love this new series full of adventures under the sea!<p></p>Princess Cali and her twin brother, Prince Cruise, are expected to do everything together – but at the Royal Mermaid Rescue Crew School, Cali wants to stand out on her own. So when the principal announces a Rescue Crew Tournament to name the top merstudent of the year, Cali is thrilled. This is the perfect way to prove herself!But Cruise is a tough competitor. Will Cali do anything to win…even something fishy?

  3. Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races - Silver’s dreams of becoming a legendary water dragon racer come true when she befriends a rare dragon that can swim and fly. Twelve-year-old Silver Batal calls the desert home, but her heart belongs to the waters. Although she’s expected to become a jeweler like her father, Silver harbors a secret and forbidden wish to race water dragons. Destiny comes calling when her friendship with a mysterious old woman leads her to Hiyyan, a baby dragon that can swim and fly. Risking everything, Silver, Hiyyan, and her resourceful cousin Brajon set off across the desert to join the legendary races in the royal city. But the road to Calidia is filled with danger, and the trio must band together as they encounter ferocious cave beasts, clever desert foxes, and cutthroat competition. Set in a vivid, Arab-inspired world filled with friendly and fearsome water dragons, K.D. Halbrook’s middle-grade fantasy adventure is perfect for fans of Tui T. Sutherland, Sayantani DasGupta, and Roshani Chokshi.

  4. Cleonardo, the Little Inventor - Cleonardo’s father is an inventor. So was her grandfather, her great-grandfather, and all the great-greats before them. Cleo wants to be an inventor too. She tries to help her father in his workshop, but he never uses her great ideas. Can Cleo invent something big and important and perfect all by herself? This imaginative story of a father and his daughter brings the magic of creativity to little inventors everywhere.

Books About Competition and Making Friends

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Dylan the Villain
Written & illustrated by K. G. Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A surprising and laugh-out-loud showdown between two pint-sized super-villains, perfect for young fans of Despicable Me.

Dylan’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Snivels, have always told him that he is the very best and cleverest super-villain in the whole wide world. And Dylan’s confident that it’s true–until he starts school and meets Addison Van Malice. Sure, Dylan’s costume is scary. But Addison Van Malice’s is bone-chilling. And yes, Dylan’s laugh is crazy. But Addison Van Malice’s is bananas. And Dylan’s inventions are certainly super-villainous. But Addison Van Malice’s are demonic! When their teacher, Ms. Ick, announces a Diabolical Robot Building Contest, Dylan sees his opportunity to prove that he really is the most evil villain of all. But Addison’s not giving in without a fight. And so begins a competition of skill and wits that doesn’t go the way anyone expected…

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Chamelia and the New Kid in Class
Written & illustrated by Ethan Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Chamelia is a chameleon who loves to stand out in a crowd. She’s always the star of the show, especially at school. But when a new kid in class becomes the center of attention, Chamelia feels left out. Can she figure out how to beat her competition? Or will she learn to share the spotlight and make a new best friend? Join the fabulous Chamelia in this funny and charming story about friendship, school, and the true meaning of being a star!

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Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench!
Written by Henry Winkler & illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In this winning addition to the easy-to-read bestselling series, Hank has to hustle to prove he can be his basketball team’s secret weapon! For two years running, Hank’s school has beaten their arch rivals at the annual second grade basketball game. When his friends try out, Hank is determined to play, too. There’s just one problem: Hank is terrible at basketball. Luckily Dr. Dunk (AKA Hank’s dad) and Hank’s friends have his back. With a little help, Hank just might be what the team needs to win their first three-peat in PS 87 history! This bestselling series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is perfect for the transitional reader. With a unique, easy-to-read font, endless humor, and characters every kid would want to be friends with, any story with Hank is a slam dunk! From the Trade Paperback edition.

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  1. Mustache Baby Meets His Match - When Baby Javier comes for a playdate, Baby Billy, a.k.a. Mustache Baby, feels the need to show him a thing or two, seeing how Javier’s new to town—and also sports an impressive beard. What ensues is a hilarious test of wills and facial hair, as each baby sets out to prove his manliness. It seems Mustache Baby may have truly met his match . . . but one-upmanship isn’t the point of a playdate, is it?

  2. Momo and Snap Are Not Friends! - When Momo and Snap first meet there is conflict, then competitiveness, and finally playfulness, until danger arises and they see the benefits of cooperation and friendship.

  3. The Steves - When puffin Steve meets puffin Steve, neither can believe it. Surely one of them must be the first Steve, the best Steve, the Stevest of Steves… The claims of each bird become sillier and sillier as the argument descends into name-calling—until both Steves realize there’s really no need to fight over a name.

Books About Competition and Winning And Losing

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Cheetah Can't Lose
Written & illustrated by Bob Shea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An overly confident cheetah challenges a pack of clever kittens to a race.

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Winners Never Quit!
Written by Mia Hamm & illustrated by Carol Thompson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Free Mia Hamm photo inside! Mia loves playing soccer. That is, until she has trouble scoring a goal when her team is about to lose. Before she can lose, she quits. Fed up with her attitude, Mia’s brothers and sisters will not let her play with them anymore. Will Mia learn that beinga team player is more important than winning or losing the game? This wonderful and motivating story from America’s soccer champion shows kids that: Winners Never Quit!

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Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny
Written by Barbara Park & illustrated by Denise Brunkus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader-Junie B. Jones! It’s an Easter egg-stravaganza! Lucille is having an Easter egg hunt at her rich expensive mansion! And guess what? The winner gets a play date to swim in Lucille’s heated indoor swimming pool! Only, here is the problem. How did Junie B. get stuck wearing a big dumb bunny suit? And how can she possibly find eggs when she keeps tripping over her huge big rabbit feet? Being a dumb bunny is definitely not as easy as it looks. Will Junie B. end up with egg on her face? Or will the day deliver some very uneggspected results?

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  1. Junie B. Jones Is Captain Field Day - Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Afternoon kindergarten is having a field day, and Junie B. Jones is team captain! Only, here’s the problem. Room Eight keeps on winning too many events. And so how will Room Nine ever become the kindergarten champions? As Captain Field Day, will Junie B. find a way to lead her team to victory? Or will it be up to someone else to save the day?

  2. Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ - The students in Miss Molina's third grade class are abuzz with excitement about the upcoming spelling bee, where they will be competing against the two other classes in third grade. Simon Ellis, who just happens to be good at a lot of other things, is also very good at spelling. But Simon's best friend, Jackson, tells him that it's getting boring losing to Simon all the time. Simon is stuck in an impossible situation: Jackson will be mad whether he spells all the words correctly for their team or if he makes a mistake on purpose and causes his team to miss out on the all-you-can-eat pie buffet. Simon's competitive spirit takes over until he realizes that sometimes the best way to win is to take a chance and let other people shine.

Books About Competition and Friendship

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Mira and the Big Story
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mira is a girl with big questions. She knows two different stories about the way the world came to be. Which story is right? Can they both be right? Is there room for more than one way to think about the world and our place in it? Follow her on an inspiring journey as she discovers a story big enough to include everyone. Along the way, Mira learns to respect and revere the traditions and beliefs of others. Teach children kindness and acceptance with this beautifully illustrated and compelling tale. It is sure to keep young ones enthralled.

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Cora's Mystery
Written by Janet Gurtler & illustrated by Katie Wood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Cora is so excited about the upcoming school swim meet – she’s sure she and her friends will win the relay race. But when the team mascot goes missing, Cora is convinced her luck and talent has disappeared with it. She’s determined to find the culprit before it costs her team the race.

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Dear Professor Whale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Now that Professor Whale has retired, he writes many letters to You, Whoever You Are, Who Lives on the Other Side of the Horizon. Seal and Pelican are busy delivering the letters and Penguin is now teaching. Although he is happy his friends are doing so well, Whale wants a special friend;, who might call him by a friendly sort of name. Like Whaley, maybe, instead of Professor.

In this charming follow-up to the international bestseller Yours Sincerely, Giraffe, another correspondence flourishes across the horizons. The letters bring penguins, whales, and seals together in the famous Whale Point Olympics, where the winners are friendship and humor.

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  1. Ready, Set, Goal! - Shelly Siren and Trident Academy’s Shell Wars team travel to the city of Atlantis for the championship game in this sparkling new adventure. Illustrations. 5 1/8 x 7 5/8.

  2. Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade - Anna can’t wait for the Puppy Parade. She’s certain Banana will win. Soon Banana will be famous—and that means Anna will be famous too! But when Sadie and Isabel suggest they all enter Banana in the parade together, Anna starts feeling a little unsure about sharing her dog—and the spotlight—with her friends. How can Anna be Best in Show and be a good best friend?

  3. Springtime Crime - Spring has sprung in River Heights! The annual Flower Sculpture contest is in a couple of days and everyone in town is working hard to finish their floral works of art. But Nancy, Bess, and George are most excited to see the world-famous pop singer, Miss LaLa, perform. The superstar grew up in River Heights and has agreed to kick off the contest with a song. And just when the girls thought life couldn’t get any better, they run into Miss LaLa herself! The singer is in a bit of a pickle though: She brought a giant hat made of white peonies for the show but she doesn’t have a refrigerator big enough to store it in. George thinks quickly and offers to put it in her mom’s catering refrigerator. But when the girls check on the hat the next morning they see something has gone terribly wrong. Half of the snowy white blooms are wilted and brown! They use their detective skills to rule out a blackout. And George can’t remember if she locked the door last night. Could someone have snuck into the kitchen and switched the fresh flowers with droopy ones? Nancy and her friends are determined to find out! Could it be Madame Withers, whose signature wilted rose perfume was rejected by Miss LaLa? Perhaps it was the famous flower artist Pierre, who was angry that Miss LaLa was the star of the show. Or it maybe it was Benjamin Bing, who ruined his flower sculpture with brown hair spray and had no more white peonies to replace them. It’s up to the Clue Crew—and you—to find out!

  4. Frank Pearl in the Awful Waffle Kerfuffle - Frank Pearl is chasing a prize in this Judy Moody® story for newly independent readers. Just once, Frank Pearl would like to win at something! He is going to win a prize if it’s the last thing he does. Could an amazing yo-yo trick or Cookie the parrot land him a prize? Could a blue ribbon be his at the Great Third-Grade Breakfast Bash? With three shots at a prize and Judy Moody cheering him on (sort of?), there’s no way that Frank can miss out on a trophy this time.

Books About Competition and Girls And Women

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Recess Rebels (Miranda and Maude #3)
Written by Emma Wunsch & illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A princess and a revolutionary form an unexpected friendship in this charming, illustrated chapter book series

The girls and boys of 3B aren’t getting along. It starts with a game of tag and ends with a tug of war. In between, there are sneak attacks, a girls-only newspaper, a doughnut filled with cheese, and one stolen Frizzle chicken. Maude gets lots of opportunities to protest, but in the end, it’s Miranda who learns to stand up for what she believes in.

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Settle the Score
Written & illustrated by Alex Morgan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Devin is finally catching her stride with the winter soccer league, and as the championships approach, Devin and Jessi’s team has a real shot at coming out on top! Only, Zoe’s team does too, and suddenly things get awkward between the Kicks. Devin tries to keep her head, but she’s torn—she wants her friend to be happy, but she wants to win, too! And Zoe’s too busy strategizing with her new teammates to make time for the Kicks. As the finals get closer, tensions rise until even Frida and Emma don’t know who to root for. Maybe this time the Kicks can’t stand up under the weight of competition.

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The Startup Squad
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship! All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks. The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one… The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!

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  1. Boxitects - A STEAM-centered, adorably illustrated picture book about Meg, a brilliant and creative boxitect who creates extraordinary things out of ordinary cardboard boxes.

  2. Robot Queen - Today is a special day at Kylie Jean’s school, where everyone works on computer projects and learning coding, and Kylie is fascinated by the robotics team called RoboGirls–so she resolves to build a robot of her own, so she can impress the older girls, and join the team in time for the competition.

  3. Julie Black Belt - The long-anticipated sequel is here! In this second story, Julie continues her lessons, but she also learns the importance of friendship and the right attitude. Julie proudly wears her yellow belt and is eager to attain her next rank: orange! Inspired by the movie star Brandy Wu, Julie now meets a new kid in her class…but is he better than her? Julie grapples with unexpected challenges but another mentor enters the picture too. With some wise and helpful advice, can Julie earn her own Belt of Fire? - - - “My daughter was happy to see this as she too is a little ball of energy and there aren’t many English books with Asian girl characters like her! The comic book style fits well with the high energy character and Chua’s illustrations are great fun. We can’t wait for the next Julie Black Belt book!” - Perogies & Gyoza

  4. The Major Eights 1: Battle of the Bands - Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together, but are they ready to perform in front of a real audience in a Battle of the Bands competition? Find out in the first book of this early chapter book series! Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine’s basement. Maggie bangs on the drums, Becca strums her guitar, Jasmine plunks the keys of her keyboard, and Scarlet wails into her hairbrush mic. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine’s brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they’re a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls. . . . With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

Books About Competition and School

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Books Vs. Looks
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Kiki wants to start a book club, but Pearl tries to steal the spotlight with a rival fashion club in this sparkling Mermaid Tales adventure. Kiki misses her brother, Yuta, who lives on the other side of the ocean. To help keep in touch, the two of them start a book club, and Kiki decides it would be fun to expand the club for all of Trident Academy. But Pearl doesn’t want anything to do with a boring book club. Instead, she decides she’s going to make the best club ever: a fashion club! Pearl will do anything to make sure the other students join her club instead of Kiki’s, and offers free food, candy, and even prizes to draw them in. But will it be enough? Who will win the battle of the clubs?

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Dream Machine
Written by Martha Maker & illustrated by Xindi Yan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Bella learns that sometimes following your dreams is easier said than done in this fourth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Bella is a computer whiz and loves brainstorming new gadgets to make. So when she spies a flier for a citywide robotics competition, the young inventor’s wheels start spinning. She can’t wait to start building and programming! There’s just one problem: all the kids on her school’s robotics team are older. Bella must find a way to prove herself to the big kids. Now the competition is heating up—both in the craft clubhouse and at school. Will Bella find the confidence to follow her dreams and conquer the competition? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes
Written & illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.
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  1. Yasmin the Painter - Unsure about her artistic skills, second-grader Yasmin is not looking forward to the art competition at school–but with the support and encouragement of her family she produces a prize-winning painting.

  2. Art Queen - Second grader Kylie Jean joins her school art club, and learns to paint in the style of several different artists, but for the Mural Art Contest she decides to paint a watercolor picture of a local Texas barn and duck pond–until a squabble between her dog and the ducks turns it into an example of abstract art instead.

  3. Recess Warriors 2: Bad Guy Is a Two-Word Word - The Recess Warriors face off in another epic showdown on the playground in this new graphic novel from the creator of the hit series Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.

  4. Long Shot - Pedro, an avid basketball player, decides to run for class president, challenging a teammate who is also one of the most popular boys in school.

Books About Competition and Self-esteem

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Go BIG Or Go Gnome!
Written by Kirsten Mayer & illustrated by Laura K. Horton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Laugh your whiskers off with Albert the Gnome in this charming and funny picture book about friendship, self-acceptance — and beards!

A beard is the biggest point of pride for a Gnome, but poor Al can’t sprout a single whisker. Each year, Al feels left out of the Beards International Gnome-athalon, B.I.G.

So Al decides to go BIG or go Gnome! It’s a close shave, but with a hidden talent and the help of his friend, Gnorm, Al learns accepting that you are different is the key to fitting in.

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Rot, the Cutest in the World!
Written & illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rot, a mutant potato, enters a “Cutest in the World” contest but worries when he sees his competition.

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Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane
Written & illustrated by Kate O'Shaughnessy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
This sparkling middle-grade debut is a classic-in-the-making!
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  1. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee - India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

  2. The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee - “India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”

  3. Judy Moody Saves the World! - The mercurial Judy returns - and she’s in a mood to take on the world! Judy Moody did not set out to save the world. She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest. It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest - and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape - or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

  4. Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee - It is Gracie’s first time at the Pig Jubilee with her synchronized swimming team, the Water Sprites, and she is the youngest pig with a chance to win a gold medal–the trouble is that she keeps getting distracted and missing her solo part, a triple spin dive.

Books About Competition and Social Themes

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Evie and the Strawberry Balloon Ride
Written & illustrated by Stefanie Dahle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Evie is a determined, ingenious and bright little Strawberry Fairy who lives in an old teapot. Join Evie and her friends, the flower fairies and creatures of Wildberry Acres, on their magical adventures in this second book in the Evie the Strawberry Fairy series.

Evie is determined to win first prize at the Strawberry Fair with her amazing hot-air balloon! But on the way to the competition the creatures of Wildberry Acres need her help. What is most important to Evie: winning or helping others?

Through Evie’s adventures young readers will learn about the natural world - how plants grow and how all living things are connected. This is a story about creativity, putting others first and helping out. Stefanie Dahle’s illustrations are charming, detailed and full of character and fun.

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Ada Lace Sees Red
Written by Emily Calandrelli and Tamson Weston & illustrated by Renee Kurilla
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Ada Lace is building a new robot! She’s determined to beat Milton in the upcoming robotics competition. But she’s distracted—Ada finds her dad’s art class impossible, while Nina is the star of the class, basking in the glory of being Mr. Lace’s star pupil.

When Mr. Lace suggests that Nina put on an art show, Ada becomes jealous and loses her temper. Now Ada isn’t speaking to her dad, she’s falling behind in art class, and she still doesn’t know how to fix her robot. As the competition looms closer, Ada starts to wonder if there might be a way to use both science and art to solve her problems.

Will Ada make up with her father in time to test her hypothesis? Or will her hurt feelings leave her seeing red and without a medal at the end of the day?

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Payback on Poplar Lane
Written by Margaret Mincks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski prides himself on being a professional businessman. Tired of the cliched lemonade stands that line his block, he decides to start a better business with the help of an intern. But his intern of choice, the quiet and writerly Rachel Chambers, turns out to be more than he bargained for. Rachel is innovative, resourceful, driven–and when she’s had enough of Peter’s overbearing management style, she decides to start a competing empire next door. As their rivalry and sabotage tactics become more outrageous–Slander! Espionage! Lemonade threats!–Peter and Rachel ultimately learn the hard way that “nothing gold can stay” and that friendship is more important than money. Alternating perspectives reveal what really motivates each character to win. And Peter’s memos and “business tips” as well as excerpts from Rachel’s melodramatic novel-in-progress generate fresh hilarity and tension at every page turn. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy with heart, reminiscent of your favorite classic middle-grade series.

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  1. Shutout - Alex Paterson is the number-one goalie on his high-school hockey team. And he’s thrilled that his team has made the playoffs. But when graffiti that apparently can be traced back to Alex is found on the walls of the school, and a photo of Alex at a party with a beer in his hand starts making the rounds, he is suspended from the team, and his reputation as a good kid is put in doubt. Alex knows he’s innocent. The problem is, he cannot figure out who would want to frame him. Or why. Is it the other goalie who wants all the glory for himself? Or someone from a rival team looking for an advantage? With everyone assuming the worst about him, it’s up to Alex to find out who is behind it all, not only to clear his name, but to save the season.

  2. The Glassmaker's Daughter - Daniela the glassmaker’s daughter is grumpy and never smiles. Her father promises a beautiful glass palace to anyone who can make her laugh. People come from far and wide to try their luck in amusing Daniela. But mask makers, lion tamers and magicians cannot raise a smile from the princess. It is only when a young apprentice makes the first looking glass that Daniela learns to smile – at her own grumpy reflection! This beautiful fable set in sixteenth-century Venice features stunning illustrations from award-winning artist Jane Ray alongside a poetic text.

Books About Competition and Vehicles

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Number One Sam
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

They’re off!

Sam is the best race-car driver in history-he is number one at every race!

But when his best friend, Maggie, shows that she has racing talent of her own, Sam doesn’t know how to handle coming in second place. Will he learn what it truly means to be a winner?

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Trojan Horse Power
Written by Blake Hoena & illustrated by Fernando Cano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Nobody told Odysseus about the monster truck competition in Troy, but when he tries to join the fun he finds that hero ThunderTrucks are not allowed in–but Odysseus comes up with a clever plan to get past the dump truck cards and enter the contest.

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Freestyle Fun
Written by Blake Hoena & illustrated by Fernando Cano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Jason is ready to win the famous golden fenders, but it’s not going to be easy. He has to take on the likes of Perseus and The Hydra in a freestyle event. While he is doing wheelies and donuts, one evil official is trying to make sure Jason gets crushed by his completion. ThunderTrucks combines Greek mythology and monster trucks, using action-packed text in the early chapter book format to keep young readers racing to finish. A glossary, author and illustrator bios, and additional Greek myth information round out these exciting early chapter books.

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  1. Speed Dash - Atalanta believes herself to be the fastest hero truck in the world, as her record of winning races indicates–and now she must also defeat the MonsterTrucks that challenge her to ever more demanding obstacle courses, but with a little help from the other hero trucks she will prevail.

  2. Cars 3 Little Golden Book (Disney/Pixar Cars 3) - A Little Golden Book based on Disney/Pixar Cars 3--cruising into theaters June 16, 2017!

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