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Competition: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about competition is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From I Can Play to Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about competition? Let us know!

I Can Play book
#1
I Can Play
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
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!

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!

Goodnight Football book
#2
Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl and 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.

G Is for Golazo book
#3
G Is for Golazo
Written by James Littlejohn and 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.

Epic Athletes: Serena Williams book
#4
Epic Athletes: Serena Williams
Written by Dan Wetzel and illustrated by Sloane Leong
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

I Can Dance book
#5
I Can Dance
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Izzy Barr, Running Star - Izzy Barr is the star athlete of the third grade: she hits homeruns on her softball team and is one of the fastest runners in her class. But at home, her half-brother, Dustin, seems to be her father's favorite athlete—why else would her dad go to all of his games and miss so many of hers? Izzy pretends that she doesn't care, but as she, her friends Annika Riz and Kelsey Green, and the rest of their class are gearing up for class field day, she can't help but hope her dad will be there to cheer her on in the big race against her rival, Skipper Tipton. Dad doesn't make it to field day, but when he realizes how important it is to Izzy, he and all of her friends and family are there to watch her participate in the citywide 10K run.

  3. Soccer Star - An inspiring story of a Brazilian boy who dreams of being a soccer star -- and the sister who steps in to help his team win a game. When Paulo Marcelo Feliciano becomes a soccer star, crowds will cheer his famous name! Then his mother won't have to work long hours, and he won't have to work all day on a fishing boat. For now, Paulo takes care of his little sister Maria (she teaches him reading, he teaches her soccer moves) and walks her to school, stopping to give his teammates cheese buns as they set out to shine people's shoes or perform for the tourist crowd. At day's end, it's time to plan the game, where Givo will bounce, Carlos will kick, and Jose will fly! But when Jose falls on his wrist, will the team finally break the rules and let a girl show her stuff? Set in a country whose resilient soccer stars are often shaped by poverty, this uplifting tale of transcending the expected scores a big win for all.

  4. Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams - 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.

Girls with Guts! book
#10
Girls with Guts!
Written by Debbie Gonzales and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

No chasing! No stretching or straining! And never, ever sweat. These were the rules girls were forced to play by until Title IX passed in 1972. And it was a game-changer. A celebration of the strength, endurance, and athleticism of women and girls throughout the ages, Play Like a Girl keeps score with examples of women athletes from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, sharing how women refused to take no for an answer, and how finally, they pushed for a law to protect their right to play, compete, and be athletes.

Curveball book
#11
Curveball
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the fifth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, Derek spends the summer with his grandparents in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. Sometimes, you were looking for role models. And sometimes, you were being one yourself. Derek is having the best summer yet! Fun on the lake with his cousins, baseball, and a visit from his best friend, Dave: what more could he ask for? It gets even better when Derek gets to go to a Yankees game and meets a bunch of kids who play ball near the stadium, and they’re good. Awesome, actually, especially Jumbo and Tiny. Derek can’t wait to introduce them to Dave, but Grandma says if he wants to go to another Yankees game, he’ll have to earn some of the money for tickets himself. This means spending quality time with Grandpa mowing lawns and learning the meaning of hard work. Derek brings Dave to meet Tiny and Jumbo, whom Derek admires. But when Jumbo tries to convince Derek to do something he’s sure will get him in trouble, Derek has to rethink who his role models are.

Bats at the Ballgame book
#12
Bats at the Ballgame
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

On deck and ready for the spring lineup, New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies's ode to "batty" baseball fans. Hurry up! Come one--come all! We're off to watch the bats play ball! You think humans are the only ones who enjoy America's national pastime? Grab your bat--the other kind--and your mitt, because it's a whole new ballgame when evening falls and bats come fluttering from the rafters to watch their all-stars compete. Get set to be transported to the right-side-up and upside-down world of bats at play, as imagined and illustrated by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Lies.

Martina & Chrissie book
#13
Martina & Chrissie
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Brett Helquist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title -- and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.

Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan book
#14
Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan
Written by Dan Wetzel and illustrated by Cory Thomas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Kicking off his new series of sports biographies for young readers, journalist Dan Wetzel pens a page-turning book about the life of US Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan! Fierce competitor. World Cup winner. Role model. U.S. Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan has earned each of these impressive titles throughout her incredible career. As a young girl growing up in Southern California, she dreamed of being a professional soccer player, fighting to compete on the international stage against the world's greatest athletes. Flash forward to the present and Alex Morgan has emerged as the face of U.S. Women's soccer, famous for her clutch, late-game goals, and an inspiration to kids across the country. Just in time for the 2019 Women's World Cup, bestselling author Dan Wetzel details the rise of an American champion in this uplifting biography for young readers, complete with dynamic comic-style illustrations.

  1. Caught Offside - Rejoin the Soccer Sisters in this latest installment - full of friendship, teamwork, and soccer fun! As the youngest member of the elite Brookville Breakers, Val Flores is feeling out of place. She just doesn't understand why suddenly her teammates can't talk about anything except boys.So when the Breakers play a match against El Fuego, she wonders if she should switch teams. Is Val's time with the Breakers up?

  2. 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.

  3. Charlie Takes His Shot - Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.

  4. Yogi - 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.

Ellie Steps Up to the Plate book
#19
Ellie Steps Up to the Plate
Written by Callie Barkley and illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

When Ellie joins a softball team, she quickly realizes that the sport is harder than it looks! Is she meant only for the stage, not the field? And what happens when Ellie goes in search of a stray ball in the nearby and finds an injured baby deer? Illustrations.

I Am Billie Jean King book
#20
I Am Billie Jean King
Written and illustrated by Brad Meltzer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Billie Jean King is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Read about this amazing woman athlete in the seventeenth picture book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Billie Jean King, the world champion tennis player who fought successfully for women's rights.

The Donut Chef book
#21
The Donut Chef
Written and 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.

Fox and the Jumping Contest book
#22
Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written and 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.

Paige the Pony book
#23
Paige the Pony
Written and 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.

  1. Mira and the Big Story - 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.

  2. Chamelia and the New Kid in Class - 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!

  3. The Major Eights 4: Starstruck - 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?

  4. Dylan the Villain - 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…

Recess Rebels (Miranda and Maude #3) book
#28
Recess Rebels (Miranda and Maude #3)
Written by Emma Wunsch and 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.

Ta-Da! book
#29
Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis and 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.

Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance book
#30
Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance
Written by Stacy Davidowitz and 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.

Super Happy Party Bears: Cruising for a Snoozing book
#31
Super Happy Party Bears: Cruising for a Snoozing
Written by Marcie Colleen and 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.

High Five book
#32
High Five
Written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

  1. Officer Katz and Houndini - It’s all paws on deck in this hilarious picture book that explores the age-old debate of which four-legged friends are best: cats versus dogs? Officer Katz is looking forward to a nice retirement, complete with all the treats he could want, until his arch-nemesis, Houndini, reappears one final time to challenge Katz to a showdown. If Katz manages to catch Houndini after three tries, Houndini will stay out of Kitty City forever. But if Houndini manages to escape, the town will be renamed...Houndiniville. And Katz isn’t about to let his town go to the dogs. All the claws are out as Katz chases Houndini up, down and around town. With the help of their two assistants—Deputy Catbird and Squirrel—can Katz and Houndini call a truce? Or will this challenge have them both chasing their tails out of town?

  2. 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.

  3. Books Vs. Looks - 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?

  4. Settle the Score - 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.

Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! book
#37
Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench!
Written by Henry Winkler and 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.

Rot, the Cutest in the World! book
#38
Rot, the Cutest in the World!
Written and 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.

Robot on the Loose book
#39
Robot on the Loose
Written by Henry Winkler and 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!

Go BIG Or Go Gnome! book
#40
Go BIG Or Go Gnome!
Written by Kirsten Mayer and 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.

Ready, Set, Blast Off! book
#41
Ready, Set, Blast Off!
Written by Ray O’Ryan and illustrated by Jason Kraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

"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?"--

  1. Wizardmatch - 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.

  2. Battle of the Pirate Bands - Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee book
#46
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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…

Springtime Crime book
#47
Springtime Crime
Written by Carolyn Keene and illustrated by Peter Francis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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!

The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee book
#48
The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela and illustrated by Aleksie Bitskoff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"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?"

The Winner Is . . . book
#49
The Winner Is . . .
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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!

Steeds of the Gods book
#50
Steeds of the Gods
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Demon is getting used to his role as the official Beast Keeper to the gods on Mount Olympus. The gods are getting used to him, too--until Helios and Poseidon decide to involve him in a feud! The two gods are planning a race to see which of their steeds are the fastest. Both vengeful gods have requested Demon's help, but he can choose only one.

  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. 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.

  3. The Adventures of Robin Hood - Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style. Robin Hood, champion of the poor and opponent of the Sheriff of Nottingham, takes refuge in the Sherwood Forest and outwits his enemies with daring and panache.

  4. Ada Lace Sees Red - 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?

Judy Moody Saves the World! book
#55
Judy Moody Saves the World!
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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!

Payback on Poplar Lane book
#56
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.

Freestyle Fun book
#57
Freestyle Fun
Written by Blake Hoena and 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.

American Pharoah book
#58
American Pharoah
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of Barbaro comes the triumphant story of the 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders Cup winner, American Pharoah. When American Pharoah won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015 he became the first horse to win the “Grand Slam” of American horse racing, by winning all four races. His story captured American’s imagination, and this inspired account will also feature the handlers who saw his promise: owner, Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, trainer Bob Baffert, and jockey Victor Espinoza. With American Pharoah, Shelley Mickle tells the story of this beloved horse’s life from birth to his historic achievement of becoming the twelfth Triple Crown winner.

Trojan Horse Power book
#59
Trojan Horse Power
Written by Blake Hoena and 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.

  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. 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. Number One Sam - 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?

  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.

Recess Warriors 2: Bad Guy Is a Two-Word Word book
#64
Recess Warriors 2: Bad Guy Is a Two-Word Word
Written and illustrated by Marcus Emerson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Princess Snowbelle and the Snow Games book
#65
Princess Snowbelle and the Snow Games
Written and illustrated by Libby Frost
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Return to the enchanting, icy world of Frostovia with Princess Snowbelle in this continuation of a series that combines sparkly magic and the fun girl power of Fancy Nancy. It's time for the annual Snow Games! Princess Snowbelle and her brothers can't wait to compete against the neighboring kingdom of Snowland in contests ranging from sled racing to sculpture building--and they especially can't wait to win the big ice trophy. But when the games don't go quite as planned, Snowbelle realizes there's more to competing than winning. With the help of her friends and family--and just a little bit of magic--can she make sure the Snow Games are fun for everyone? Frostovia's glittering world is the perfect place to meet Princess Snowbelle and experience the magic of friendship and family.

The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize book
#66
The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize
Written by Nicole C. Kear and illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Because paying attention can be tricky. Veronica Conti’s on a mission. She wants a trophy. She needs a trophy. She will not rest until a glorious golden trophy is in her hands! So when her school’s 100 Day Contest is announced, Veronica vows to take home the grand prize. But when Veronica gets teamed up with none other than Matthew Sawyer, her biggest enemy, she thinks all hope is lost. Matt gets distracted and has a history of losing stuff, not to mention that he and Veronica can’t stop arguing. To win the prize, Matt needs to organize. And to do that, he needs the Fix It Friends! Together, the friends help Matt and Veronica discover that unexpected friendship is the best prize of all.

Original Recipe book
#67
Original Recipe
Written by Jessica Young and illustrated by Jessica Secheret
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

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.

Shutout book
#68
Shutout
Written and illustrated by Jeff Ross
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

  1. Bear and Turtle and the Great Lake Race - When Turtle challenges Bear to a race along the river, Bear is confident that he can beat Turtle, but Turtle is smarter than Bear can imagine.

  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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff book
#73
The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff
Written by Nate Evans, Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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.

Recess Warriors: Hero Is a Four-Letter Word book
#74
Recess Warriors: Hero Is a Four-Letter Word
Written and illustrated by Marcus Emerson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Recess is ready to rumble in this exciting graphic novel, where heroes and villains face off in epic battles on the playground!

Momo and Snap Are Not Friends! book
#75
Momo and Snap Are Not Friends!
Written and illustrated by Airlie Anderson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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.

Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! book
#76
Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants!
Written by Nancy Ohlin, Quvenzhané Wallis and illustrated by Sharee Miller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

From Academy Award–nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis comes the second story in a brand-new series about best friends Shai and Emmie, two third-graders destined for superstardom. Shai Williams—third-grader and superstar in the making—loves to act, sing, and dance. So when her teacher, Ms. Englert, signs their class up for a major dance competition, Shai’s fancy moves are put to the test. Paired up with her best friend Emmie and classmate Rio, Shai plans to settle her competition jitters by just having fun. That is until her rival, Gabby Supreme, challenges her to a bet: whoever loses the dance competition has to bring the winner one cupcake every day for a month. Now Shai has to win.

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