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Sports And Recreation: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about sports and recreation?

Sports are a fun way to keep your child active. Whether they currently love sports (or you want them to) these sports books are sure to please the busiest of children.

Top 10 Books About Sports And Recreation

Goodnight Football book
#1
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.

I Can Play book
#2
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!

G Is for Golazo book
#3
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.

Epic Athletes: Serena Williams book
#4
Epic Athletes: Serena Williams
Written by Dan Wetzel & 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 & 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.

Fast Break book
#6
Fast Break
Written by Paul Mantell and Derek Jeter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Soccer Star book
#7
Soccer Star
Written by Mina Javaherbin & illustrated by Renato Alarcao
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Izzy Barr, Running Star book
#8
Izzy Barr, Running Star
Written by Claudia Mills & illustrated by Rob Shepperson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams book
#9
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Betty Bunny Wants a Goal book
#10
Betty Bunny Wants a Goal
Written by Michael Kaplan & illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is a fun story from the Betty Bunny series that is sure to please young soccer fans. While the specific sport is soccer, the story shares some fun messages about practice and supporting family members in their goals that apply across many sports and areas of life. It has some witty sibling interactions that add some humor to the story, too.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young rabbit quits soccer after a disappointing first game, her family encourages her to keep trying.

Table of Contents
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Books About Sports And Recreation and Football

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.

Football with Dad
Written by Frank Berrios & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Every Sunday, a boy and his dad watch the big football game on TV, and then go outside to play it. In this simple introduction to the game, the emphasis is on playing safely and having fun.

Football Genius
Written by Tim Green
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Troy White can predict any football play before it happens. And when his single mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons, Troy knows it’s his big chance to help them out of their slump—and finally prove his football genius. But unless Troy can convince star linebacker Seth Halloway that he’s telling the truth, the Falcons’ championship—and Troy’s mom’s job—are in serious jeopardy.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Football - Riddles in rhyme and illustrations invite readers to identify types of objects and people connected with football.

  2. Epic Athletes: Tom Brady - Bestselling author Dan Wetzel delivers an action-packed biography of legendary quarterback and Super Bowl champ, Tom Brady! Throughout eighteen incredible seasons, Tom Brady has led his team to five Super Bowl championships and earned three Most Valuable Player Awards, cementing his status as one of the best quarterbacks ever. Only one question remains unanswered—is he THE greatest of all time? From the moment Tom Brady stepped on the gridiron wearing a New England Patriots jersey, the National Football League was forever changed. A star, a legend, a future hall-of-famer was born. Over the years, he’s mounted comeback after comeback win, finding the open man for a touchdown just when victory seemed out of reach. In this inspirational biography of a living legend, acclaimed sports writer and bestselling author Dan Wetzel chronicles Tom Brady’s rise from a backup quarterback at the University of Michigan to an MVP on the biggest stage in sports—the Super Bowl. This fantastic biography also includes vibrant comic-style interior illustrations.

  3. Let's Play Football - Touchdown! Learn all about football with this shaped board book that looks and feels like a football! Perfect for anyone who wants to get their child started early, Let’s Play Football teaches little ones the basic terms of the game. Shaped like a football, the book also features a textured, padded cover that feels like the real thing! Photographic interiors feature simple text that focuses on the joy of the game for kids and parents alike. Because having fun is the most important part!

  4. The Big Game - New York Times bestselling author and former NFL defensive end Tim Green encourages readers to fight for their dreams in this heartfelt story about a young football star grappling with the stress of living up to his father’s name. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica! Danny Owens is dedicating his seventh-grade season to his Super Bowl champion father, who recently passed away. Danny promises everyone that, just like his dad, he’ll dominate the big game at the end of the season and earn a spot on the high school varsity team. Then his English teacher catches him cheating on a test. Even though Danny can retake it, he knows there’s no point. He can’t read. And if Danny can’t pass this class, he won’t be eligible to play in the championship game that could unlock his future. While his resentment rises against the only person willing to help him win off the field, the pressure to succeed begins to weigh heavily on Danny’s shoulders. Danny is being tested on every level now, and to pass, he may very well have to choose a different path from his father’s.

Want to see books about football?

Books About Sports And Recreation and 21st Century

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

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

Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan
Written by Dan Wetzel & 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.

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

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. Epic Athletes: Stephen Curry - Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Dan Wetzel tells the electric story of NBA superstar Steph Curry, beginning a new series of sports biographies for young readers! When you think of Stephen Curry, one word comes to mind: greatness. From shooting three-pointers with laser precision to his clutch ability to hit buzzer-beaters time and again, he has established himself as one of the best players in the pro basketball. But greatness was never a guarantee for Steph. The son of a talented NBA player, he dreamed of one day playing professionally just like his dad. Yet Steph, who was always smaller and weaker than the competition, was told over and over that he would never be talented enough to be a college star or NBA player—let alone the MVP of the entire league. Through tenacity and hard work, he proved them all wrong and went on to dismantle the record books. With the high energy of a TV commentator, and featuring dynamic comic-style illustrations, this engaging biography tells the story of an NBA All-Star and the path he took to achieve his dreams.

  2. Abraham Lincoln, Pro Wrestler - WARNING: DO NOT BELIEVE THE STORY YOU’RE ABOUT TO READ. Well, you can believe some of it. There is some real history. But also hijinks. Time travel. And famous figures setting off on adventures that definitely never happened—till now. Time is getting twisted, and it’s up to two kids to straighten things out. When Abraham Lincoln overhears a classroom of kids say “history is boring,” he decides to teach them a lesson. Lincoln escapes from 1860—to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler! Now siblings Doc and Abby have to convince Lincoln to go back to Springfield, Illinois, and accept the presidency . . . before everything spins out of control!

  3. Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True - Just in time for the 2018 World Cup; a non-fiction picture book about the best soccer player in the world—Neymar.

  4. Sisters - Celebrated picture book biographer Jeanette Winter shares the story of champion tennis players—and sisters—Venus and Serena Williams. Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Books About Sports And Recreation and Performing Arts

I Can Dance
Written & 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.

Fast Break
Written by Paul Mantell and Derek Jeter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

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

Max Patkin was pitching in the minor leagues when he was injured and had to leave his dreams behind. He joined the Navy and eventually was able to play again while in the military . . . and this time he got to pitch against superstar Joe DiMaggio. When Joe hit one of Max’s throws out of the park, Max threw down his glove, left the mound, and chased Joe around the bases, making faces and imitating his every move. The crowd loved it! And a baseball clown was born.

This inspiring and comical biography carries an important message: Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you hope . . . but moving in a new direction can sometimes bring happy surprises.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My First Ballet Class - Young readers can learn all about what happens at ballet class in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read with sweet text and photographs of ballerinas-in-training! It’s the first day of ballet class in this early reader by Biscuit creator Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Put on your dancing shoes! What will it be like? Ballerinas wear ballet slippers, learn different foot positions, and twirl across the dance floor. Young readers will love seeing kids their age practicing ballet, learning words like sashay, and more in this adorable introduction to the sport! Includes a special section of step-by-step instructions for basic ballet moves—to be done with a parent or guardian’s supervision.

  2. Duck & Goose, Let's Dance! - “Duck and Goose have fun dancing together as friends”—

Books About Sports And Recreation and Teamwork

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!

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.

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?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Max and Marla - Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories! With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

  2. Out of Bounds - Fans of Alex Morgan’s The Kicks will love this new series by former soccer player, coach, and motivational speaker, about a group of friends and the lessons they learn through their love of the world’s most popular sport. Makena James absolutely loves soccer. She knows it’s the best sport around and she feels lucky that the teammates on her super competitive and super skilled team, the Brookville Breakers, feel the same way. The girls always have and always will be Soccer Sisters. But when a new person joins the Breakers, everything changes. Skylar is a great player and really cool-but she also doesn’t always play by the rules. Makena, hoping to impress Skylar, starts acting out and running wild, off and on the field. But with a huge tournament looming, Mac’s got tough choices ahead. Choices that will affect her family, her friends, and the game she loves. Can she staytrue to what the Soccer Sisters believe in and win the big game?

  3. Basketball Break - Lucas likes basketball, but he is a ball hog. Can Lucas learn to pass the ball? This Starting Line Reader showcases how to be a team player.

  4. Maisy's Field Day - 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!

Want to see books about teamwork?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Courage

Soccer Star
Written by Mina Javaherbin & illustrated by Renato Alarcao
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Charlie Takes His Shot
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by John Joven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Karate Kid
Written & illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When The Karate Kid appeared in theaters in 1984, its heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a bullied boy and his karate teacher won over audiences and inspired children across America to take up martial arts. Now this beloved film is reimagined as a Pop Classics picture book, with Kim Smith’s bright and kid-friendly illustrations capturing all of the story’s iconic moments. Young Daniel moves to a new town and becomes the target of bullies from the local karate dojo Cobra Kai. Hoping to win the upcoming karate tournament, Daniel begs his neighbor Mr. Miyagi to help him train. Mr. Miyagi reluctantly agrees. But he becomes more than just Daniel’s sensei by teaching him lessons about patience, balance, and hard work along the way. This timeless story about finding inner strength will enchant children, their parents, and anyone who has ever had that one special teacher.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Got It! - David Wiesner brings his trademark artistry and rich imagination to the iconic American game of baseball. The few seconds after the ball leaves the bat can be infinitely long. For this eager young outfielder, there’s plenty of time to envision the increasingly fantastic and funny situations that might interfere with making the catch. Summoning determination and courage, he overcomes the imaginary obstacles and turns them into a springboard for success. I Got It! reveals the extraordinary within the ordinary, taking readers on an amazing journey in a few seconds on a baseball field.

  2. A Picture Book of Jesse Owens - A comprehensive look at the life of the man who has often been called the World’s Fastest Human. Jesse Owens was born on a farm to a large family with many siblings. His grandparents had been slaves, and his sharecropper parents were poor. But against all odds, Jesse went on to become one of the greatest athletes in history. He learned to run with such grace that people said he was a “floating wonder.” After setting multiple world records as a college athlete, Jesse competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Adolf Hitler intended for the games to display Aryan superiority, but Jesse disrupted that plan. He became the first American track-and-field athlete to receive four gold medals, and established his legacy as a hero in the face of prejudice. This child friendly entry in David A. Adler’s well-known series contains an accessible mix of biography, facts, and history supported with lifelike illustrations. Back matter includes an author’s note and a timeline.

  3. Skateboard Sibby - Super skateboarder Sibby Henry won’t let the loss of her board defeat her. Eleven-year-old Sibby Henry liked her old life. Now she’s living in a new town with her nan and pops, and mad at her dad for messing everything up. On her first day of school, she sees a dope skateboard park, but she’s lost her precious board. To make things worse, Freddie, a super skater and a super jerk, dominates the park. Sibby tries to stay chill, but when Freddie gets in the face of her only new friend, Charlie Parker Drysdale, things get too hot for chill. Never one to back down, Sibby accepts when Freddie challenges her to a competition on the half pipe. She won’t let anything stop her from proving herself.

Want to see books about courage?

Books About Sports And Recreation and First Concepts

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.

Z Is for Zamboni
Written by Matt Napier & illustrated by Melanie Rose
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

If you’re a hockey fan or wanting to raise a hockey fan, this is your book. Take a stroll through the ABC’s while introducing hockey topics and famous hockey players.

board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Each letter of the alphabet introduces a fact about the game of hockey, in a board-book version of a popular title by the creators of Hat Tricks Count: A Hockey Number Book.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Written & illustrated by Jack Norworth
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and get ready for fun with America’s national sport!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Let's Play Soccer - Learn all about soccer with this shaped board book that looks and feels like a real soccer ball! Goooal! Perfect for anyone who wants to get their child started early, Let’s Play Soccer teaches little ones the basic terms of the game. Shaped like a soccer ball, the book also features a textured, padded cover that feels like the real thing! Photographic interiors feature simple text that focuses on the joy of the game for kids and parents alike. Because having fun is the most important part!

  2. Ballet Slippers - Get ready to dance with this photographic board book that looks and feels like real ballet slippers! Perfect for all aspiring dancers, Ballet Slippers teaches little ones the basic terms of ballet. Shaped like a pair of ballet slippers, the book also features a textured, padded cover that feels like satin shoes! With photographic interiors and simple text, this novelty book focuses on the joy of dancing and twirling around. Now step out and dance! It’s time to take center stage!

  3. L Is for London - Discover the best of London from A to Z with award-winning illustrator Paul Thurlby! From A for Abbey Road, K for Kew Gardens, L for London Eye, T for Tower Bridge, to Z for London Zoo and more, this striking book is bursting with the sights, sounds, and energy of London! See familiar landmarks and discover the lesser known charms of the city. London has never been more spectacular!

  4. All Aboard! Pacific Northwest - Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

Books About Sports And Recreation and Multicultural

Most Valuable Players
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

With their fifth grade graduation only weeks away, Rip, Red, and the rest of their classmates must decide if boycotting a test is worth forfeiting their graduation gala and the opportunity to play with Hoops Machine, a Harlem Globetrotters-like team.

Tournament of Champions
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It’s spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn’t like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn’t seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he’s never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He’s supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert’s cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert’s energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children’s Book Council

One on One
Written & illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Chloe Gordon is so excited to attend summer soccer camp with her Soccer Sisters Makena James and Val Flores— even though she worries she’s not as skilled as her friends. It’s even worth having to promise her parents she’ll attend ballet camp afterward as a trade. But when Chloe arrives at camp and discovers that the Breakers’ archrival, Skylar Wilson, is rooming down the hall, she worries that her camp experience will be more stressful than fun. Can the Soccer Sisters band together and shut out Skylar’s bullying, and can Chloe overcome her fear of not being good enough?

Honorable Mentions
  1. New Kid - Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft. Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

  2. Come and Play with Us! - Pages with flaps take the reader to different countries and show how children play there.

  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. At the Boardwalk - From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.

Books About Sports And Recreation and Hockey

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

A young fan cheers on his hometown hockey team, and then returns home to snuggle into bed.

Lucy Tries Hockey
Written by Lisa Bowes & illustrated by James Hearne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lucy and her family are skating on an outdoor rink when she sees a game of hockey going on. It looks like fun, but maybe too challenging. Supported by her parents, Lucy enrolls in an introductory-hockey clinic, and thanks to an encouraging instructor, she and her friends learn basic hockey skills, have fun on the ice and decide to add hockey to their list of favorite sports! This title is also available in French. The Lucy Tries Sports series encourages children to get active and participate in sports and recreation.To find out what Lucy will try next, visit www.lucytriessports.com.

Little Hockey
Written by Matt Napier & illustrated by Renne Benoit
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Riddles in rhyme and illustrations invite readers to identify types of objects and people connected with hockey. On board pages.

Honorable Mentions
  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. My First Hockey Book - A child’s first introduction to sports Game on! Perfect for parents to share with their toddlers, this simple board book introduces kids to very basic vocabulary associated with a favorite sport. The contemporary design features one word per page, a nice big photo, and a diverse selection of children in the pictures. Plus, the cover is appealingly tactile, with deep embossing and eye-catching spot gloss. Kids will grab hold of it again and again. From “hockey stick” to “GOAL!” this fun board book introduces toddlers to one of the most popular winter sports. Twenty words associated with the game—including “helmet,” “puck,” “goalie,” and “slapshot”— are paired with colorful photographs, and a bright, cheery design. Kids will feel all the excitement that takes place on the rink.

  3. Kate's Really Good at Hockey - Young Kate Kazmaier discovers her own skills and family legacy while at an elite girl’s summer hockey campBest. Summer. Ever. That’s what Kate Kazmaier thinks when she receives an invitation to an elite girl’s summer hockey camp. Some of the best 9 - 12 year old hockey players, from around the world, will be there and Kate who lives hockey 24-7, can’t wait to go. Everything would be perfect except for one thing, she has to stay with her grandmother who she barely knows. Little does she know that her grandmother, Abby, was a female hockey pioneer. Forced to cut her hair and say that her name was Abe because there were no girls teams when she was young, she schooled the boys back then and became one of the best goalies in Canada. That is until her true identity was found out.She never let any hurdle stop her and Kate learns from Abby that there is more to playing hockey than simply being the best player on the ice, it’s about being the best person off the ice. Kate teaches Abby a thing or two as well. Mainly how ones relationship with the past ultimately shapes their future. Together they form an unlikely yet strong bond that gets tested in ways they never could have imagined.

Want to see books about hockey?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Games

Anybody's Game
Written by Heather Lang & illustrated by Cecilia Puglesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname “Tubby.” She made the team—and inspired future generations. An inspiring and suspenseful story about what it means to want to do something so badly you’re willing to break the rules—and how, sometimes, breaking the rules can lead to change.

Let's Play Baseball
Written & illustrated by Nancy Hall
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Let’s play ball! Learn all about baseball with this shaped board book that looks and feels like a real baseball! Perfect for anyone who wants to get their child started early, Let’s Play Baseball teaches little ones the basic terms of the game. Shaped like a baseball, the book also features a textured, padded cover with stitching that feels like the real thing! Photographic interiors feature simple text that focuses on the joy of the game for kids and parents alike. Because having fun is the most important part!

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

From the opening kickoff to the final goal, a young girl says goodnight to her most beloved sport: soccer. With delightful, rhyming text and energetic art, this bedtime book captures the thrill and excitement of the world’s most popular sport. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goodnight Baseball - Lemony Snickers - Goodnight baseball is a cute rhyming book the captures some of the best parts of baseball. As a baseball fan myself, I enjoyed many days and nights at the ballpark, and this book is a fun way to reminisce about those moments.

  2. The William Hoy Story - All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William “Dummy” Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!

  3. 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.

  4. The Pocket Guide to Games - A bestselling compendium of more than 100 active and quiet physical games that can be played by youngsters, oldsters, and anyone in between. The tradition of game playing without computers, joysticks, boards, or game pieces is celebrated in this collection of games that can be played by all ages. With tools such as balls, beanbags, broomsticks, and ropes, parents and teachers can organize dozens of hours of fun and challenging activities for parties, summer camps, neighborhood gatherings, and school groups. Includes active games and quiet games in a range of variations including: Bull in the Ring Cross Tag Do This, Do That Kaleidoscope Lady of the Land Old Buzzard Potato Race Shadow Tag, and more! Bart King taught middle school for many years. He’s written 28 books, including The Big Book of Girl Stuff, The Big Book of Boy Stuff, The Big Book of Superheroes, The Big Book of Gross Stuff, and Bart’s King-Sized Book of Fun. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Books About Sports And Recreation and Action And Adventure

Bats at the Ballgame
Written & 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.

Ready, Set, Goal!
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

Blown Away
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Come on an unexpected journey with a fearless blue penguin in Rob Biddulph’s debut picture book, Blown Away. In this brilliantly captivating and gloriously illustrated story, a brave young penguin takes a kite flight to a tropical paradise. But in the end, he realizes that home is where his igloo is.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ninja Bunny - How to be a SUPER AWESOME NINJA: · Rule #1. You must always work alone. · Rule #2. You must be super sneaky, especially in the most dangerous of situations. · Rule #3. A super awesome ninja must: possess incredible strength, achieve invisibility, master the skill of climbing, gain the ability to fly. . . . Our little bunny is ready to embark on his path to becoming a ninja. But is he cut out for the ninja life? Especially if it means leaving his friends behind?

  2. TURBO Racers: Trailblazer - In Turbo Racers: Trailblazer, twelve-year-old Mace Blazer gets the chance to pilot a state-of-the-art vehicle that transforms at the touch of a button from race car to jet plane to single-person sub, in the biggest race in the world. The roar of the crowd, the glow of the spotlight, the thrill of the race—Mace Blazer dreams of going TURBO. TURBOnaunts thrive on the thrum of trimorphers’s rocket engines as the vehicles morph from super-powered race cars to speeding jet aircrafts to torpedo-fast submarines, while they race full-throttle around every bend. And Mace believes he’s got what it takes to join their ranks—he only needs the chance to prove it. So when a reclusive retired racer chooses Mace to try out to be part of the next generation of TURBOnauts, Mace knows that this is his moment to show what he can do. But the path to his big shot means facing down the best and the brightest from around the world. Mace will have to live more fearlessly, hone quicker reflexes, be revolutionary—but will it be enough? Mace quickly realizes that everything he’s ever hoped for comes at a price. He’ll have to decide between what is right and what is easy. Every morph counts in the first book in this exhilarating new adventure series by the acclaimed author of The Islands at the End of the World, Austin Aslan. This is the first title in a high-stakes middle-grade two-book series!

  3. Luciana: Braving the Deep (American Girl: Girl of the Year 2018, Book 2) - In her second novel, Luciana is off to youth astronaut training camp! She hopes to be chosen to dive to an underwater habitat where real astronauts train for life in space. But when Luci accuses her diving partner of sabotage, no one believes her and her chances of making the diving team sink fast. Things hit rock bottom when Luci has an underwater crisis. Suddenly, making the dive team isn’t her biggest worry. She’ll have to conquer her fears if she ever wants to make it to Mars. If she can’t, will she have to kiss her dreams of becoming an astronaut good-bye?

  4. Soccer: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #24: Soccer on Sunday - After preparing well for a first soccer match, Pinkalicious is angered by a rival team’s jokes about the Pinksters’ pink soccer ball which they kick off the field, forcing Pinkalicious to chase after it, but as luck would have it, Pinklalicious’ unicorn, Goldilicious, is waiting and sweeps up her up on an imaginative journey that offers just the encouragement Pinkalicious needs to return to the game. Simultaneous.

Books About Sports And Recreation and Track And Field

Touch the Sky
Written by Ann Malaspina & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A biography of the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, from her childhood in segregated Albany, Georgia, in the 1930s, through her recognition at the 1996 Olympics as one of the hundred best athletes in Olympic history. Includes bibliographical references.

This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might.

Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Wilma Unlimited
Written by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by David Diaz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Back on Track - Twelve-year-old Addison Jones would love to try out for the track team, and she knows that she is faster than the other girls, but her single mom is working two jobs and every day after school Addison has to take care of her little brother—without telling her mom Addison and her best friend, Sofia, work out a plan that will allow her to run, but soon the strain and guilt of lying to her mother begins to take its toll.

  2. Who Was Jesse Owens? - Describes the life of the sharecroppers’ son who became an Olympic legend and challenged Hitler’s dream of Aryan superiority.

  3. Sidetracked - If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn’t even be in last place—he’d be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So, he spends most of his time avoiding school bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else. With a new friend and a new team, Joseph finds himself off the sidelines and in the race (quite literally) for the first time. Is he a good runner? Well, no, he’s terrible. But the funny thing about running is, once you’re in the race, anything can happen.

  4. My Year in the Middle - Miss Garrett’s classroom is like every other at our school. White kids sit on one side and black kids on the other. I’m one of the few middle-rowers who split the difference. In a racially polarized classroom in 1970 Alabama, Lu’s talent for running track makes her a new best friend—and tests her mettle as she navigates the school’s social cliques. Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately—acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state—and in the classroom—mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Black History

Epic Athletes: Serena Williams
Written by Dan Wetzel & 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.

Twice As Good- William Powell
Written by Richard Michelson & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Willie Powell had been told, “If you are going to get ahead in this world, you can’t be as good as the white children; you have to be twice as good.” He took this advice to heart.

Willie dreamed of becoming a professional golfer, but his accomplishments went far beyond playing the game of golf. Willie was often denied the opportunity to play golf because he was African American. Determined, he decided to build his own course, and welcome people of all color to play golf.

Ice Breaker
Written by Rose Viña & illustrated by Claire Almon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In the 1930s, only white figure skaters were allowed in public ice rinks and to compete for gold medals, but Mabel Fairbanks wouldn’t let that stop her. With skates two sizes too big and a heart full of dreams, Mabel beat the odds and broke down color barriers through sheer determination and athletic skill. After skating in ice shows across the nation and helping coach and develop the talents of several Olympic champions, Mabel became the first African-American woman to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl - A spirited picture book biography about Althea Gibson, the first black Wimbledon, French, and U.S. Open tennis champion, from debut author Megan Reid and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning illustrator Laura Freeman. Althea Gibson was the quickest, tallest, most fearless athlete in 1940s Harlem. She couldn’t sit still! When she put her mind to it, the fleet-of-foot girl reigned supreme at every sport—stickball with the boys, basketball with the girls, paddle tennis with anyone who would hit with her. But being the quickest, tallest, most fearless player in Harlem wasn’t enough for Althea. She knew she could be a tennis champion. Because of segregation, black people weren’t allowed to compete against white people in sports. Althea didn’t care. She just wanted to play tennis against the best athletes in the world. And with skill and determination, she did just that, eventually becoming the first black person—man or woman—to win a trophy at Wimbledon. Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl chronicles this trailblazing athlete’s journey—and the talent, force of spirit, and energy that made it possible for her to break barriers and ascend to the top of the tennis world.

  2. Twelve Rounds to Glory - A brief biography in verse of boxer Muhammad Ali.

Books About Sports And Recreation and School

Caught Offside
Written & illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

Rookie of the Year
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Combining fast-paced action for young readers and fresh, humorous takes on school issues for teachers, this installment in the Rip and Red series is an illustrated chapter book that both audiences will love.

Just when they think they’ve got the hang of things, Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in head-spinning ways. Tiki, a new girl whose Egyptian dad is an animal-rights activist, has just joined their class. She’s charismatic, funny—and she’s got game! Rip has his world turned upside down as Tiki proves to be tough competition on the Clifton United basketball team and leads a rebellion against the lousy new food service in the school cafeteria. Red—a kid on the autism spectrum—is struggling with the upheavals as well. But as these two funky and funny best friends discover, sometimes radical change is the right move, on the court and off.

Phil Bildner and Tim Probert return to the Rip and Red series that started with A Whole New Ballgame in a sequel that is just as fun and entertaining as the first book, Rookie of the Year.

David Jumps in
Written by Alan Woo & illustrated by Katty Maurey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This lyrical tale, written in simple free verse, tells how a game with roots in ancient China —- called elastic skip in this story —- helps a boy find his footing on his first day at a new school.

It is David’s first day at his brand-new school. He doesn’t know anyone. At recess, he stands alone and watches the other children enjoying their activities on the playground, from practicing soccer moves and climbing monkey bars to playing hopscotch and daydreaming in the grass. Bundled deep inside David’s pocket is a string of rubber bands, knotted and ready for a game of elastic skip. But will anyone want to try that game? he wonders. Will anyone want to play with him?

With simple, lyrical free verse, Alan Woo echoes the singsong of schoolyard games to draw readers into the deeper levels of this lovely and poignant picture book story. Exploring the themes of friendship, diversity, belonging and inclusion, the book also celebrates David’s self-acceptance and comfort with his own unique identity. With roots in ancient China, David’s jump-rope game —- called elastic skip in the story, but known by many different names —- is a symbol for multicultural connections, linking David and his new schoolmates through the sharing of his background. Katty Maurey’s colorful screen print-style illustrations evoke the seemingly endless space, energy, brightness and noise of recess. And through changing perspective, readers see David’s evolution from a small figure lost in the crowd to a larger, central one at the story’s close. This book would make an excellent choice for social studies discussions on community or cultures. It also could launch discussions on courage or individuality.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! - 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.

  2. Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly) - Dreams of rock stardom take the edge off embarrassing family activities in Tom’s fourth “homework diary” crammed with doodles and stories. After receiving the shock of a lifetime — seeing his big sister, Delia, without her sunglasses on — Tom is trying to gear himself up for sports day at school. It does not help that his dad is training for the parents’ race on that day — and plans to wear bizarre cycling shorts! Meanwhile, Tom’s band, DogZombies, is supposed to play in the school talent show, meaning they’d better start practicing — a lot. It might all be worth it, though, if the absolutely brilliant band DUDE3 appears as special guests!

  3. Bounce Back - From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the third book in an exciting chapter book series about a scrawny fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Zayd has a plan. He’s ready to take the reins as team captain of the Gold Team. But when an injury leaves him on the sidelines, his plans get derailed. Can Zayd learn what it means to be a leader if he’s not the one calling the shots?

  4. The Eleventh Trade - From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

Want to see books about school?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Swimming

Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.

Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.

Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Maisy's Pool - Maisy’s fun and familiar world reflects the lively adventures young children have every day. In Maisy’s Pool, Maisy and her friends splash in a wading pool. As always, toddlers, preschoolers, and parents will find the ordinary extraordinary with Maisy!

  2. Fruits in Suits - Have you ever seen a banana in a bikini? Or a tangerine in trunks? What about grapes in goggles? In this uproarious follow-up to Vegetables in Underwear, kids will learn that there are many kinds of suits—including suits for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and scuba diving. But can you wear a business suit to the beach? Fruits in Suitshas the same irreverent silliness as Vegetables in Underwearand shows just how much fun swimsuits can be—and how important it is to hold on to them when you jump into the water!

  3. Splish, Splash, Splat! - Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He’s sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

  4. Splashdance - Ursula, a bear, and Ricardo, a human, are preparing for the water ballet competition, where the prize is a million dollars! But a new regulation at the community pool - no bears - leaves Ursula cut from the contest. Luckily, she encounters a group of undaunted animal swimmers at a local pond, and Ursula and her new team figure out a way to participate in the competition and make sure everyone is welcome at the pool once and for all. Filled with deadpan humor, adorable animals, and big themes about social justice and inclusion, Splashdance is a fun and splashy summer story with a lot of heart.

Want to see books about swimming?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Perseverance

Gymnastics Jump
Written by C. C. Joven & illustrated by Ed Shems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

It’s Lily’s first gymnastics meet, and she is nervous. Will she be able to complete all of her events without falling? This Starting Line Reader showcases the importance of perseverance.

Dream Big
Written by Deloris Jordan & illustrated by Barry Root
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Olympic dreams come true in this inspiring picture book from Michael Jordan’s mother, author of the New York Times bestselling Salt in His Shoes. Long before he became a professional All-Star basketball player, Michael Jordan had dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal—and with dedication and perseverance, that’s exactly what he did. This heartwarming picture book, written by Michael’s mother and illustrated by Barry Root, gives a rare glimpse into a sports hero’s childhood and emphasizes the role that good values play in success. An ideal companion to the New York Times bestselling Salt in His Shoes and releasing in time for the 2012 Olympics, Dream Big is an inspiration to all.

Me and McGee
Written by Myron Uhlberg & illustrated by Daniela Sosa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

McGee is a batter to be reckoned with; he wallops every ball that’s pitched to him. Last year, he took the Catbirds to number one. But the pitcher he beat practices through the whole long winter, and the championship is once again up for grabs, with bases loaded. It’s McGee’s turn to bat. The pitcher lets go a fast ball, but is it enough to strike out McGee?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Unbeatable Betty - An inspiring picture book biography of the first woman to win a gold medal in track and field. Young readers intrigued by the Summer 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be inspired by this story. With Joanie Stone’s colorful illustrations and Allison Crotzer Kimmel’s inspirational text, this biography is a reminder of how it takes more than sheer talent to be a champion; an unbeatable spirit of determination and hard work is also needed. At only sixteen years old, Betty Robinson became the first female gold medalist in track and field in the 1928 Olympics and an overnight sensation. She was set for gold again and had her eyes on the 1932 Olympics. Her plans changed forever when a horrible plane crash left her in a wheelchair, with one leg shorter than the other. But Betty didn’t let that stop her. In less than five years, she relearned how to stand, to walk, and finally to run again and try to taste gold once more in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Perfect for Women’s History units, as well as for reports on lesser-known sports heroes, Unbeatable Betty includes an author’s note narrating Betty’s later life after her win, as well as a bibliography.

  2. Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail - “Emma Gatewood’s life was far from easy. In rural Ohio, she managed a household of eleven kids alongside a less-than-supportive husband. One day, at age 67, she decided to go for a nice long walk. . . and ended up at the other end of the Appalachain Trail. With just the clothes on her back and a pair of thin canvas sneakers on her feet, Grandma Gatewood hiked up ridges and down ravines. She braved angry storms and witnessed breathtaking sunrises. When things got particulary tough, she relied on the kindness of strangers or sheer dumb luck to get her through the night. When the newpapers got wind of her amazing adventure, the whole country cheered her on to the end of her trek, which came just a few months after she set out. A story of real resilience and hardcore lady power, Grandma Gatewood proves that no peak is insurmountable. After all, at age 83, she hiked the whole trail again (sneakers and all)”—

Books About Sports And Recreation and Snow

Pigloo
Written by Anne Marie Pace & illustrated by Lorna Hussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pigloo is an explorer. His destination? The North Pole. Big sister Paisley has doubts about Pigloo’s plan, but Pigloo knows that explorers have to be patient as well as brave. When Pigloo takes his sled to the top of a hill, he sets off on his expedition—with a little unexpected help.

This sweet, expressively illustrated story shows that sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones that happen in your own backyard.

Bunny Slopes
Written & illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Rocket Shoes
Written by Sharon Skinner & illustrated by Ward Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Jose dreams of flying. So he buys some rocket shoes and jets into the atmosphere. But all those spins, kicks, and airborne tricks cause such a ruckus that the mayor bans the shoes. Then, during a terrible snowstorm, Jose hears a cry: his neighbor’s in danger—and he can only help her if he flies. Will Jose dare to break the rules and save the day?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Snow Song - An enchanting story told in rhythmic free verse of a young girl exploring the world on a wintry, snow-filled day.This beautiful picture book uses rhythmic and sensory free verse to tell the story of a young girl exploring the outdoors on a wintry day. Everywhere she goes, the snow fills her with wonder and delight. There are fine pearls of snow, a twirl of snow, a curl of snow. The sky unravels into snow, the pond lathers up with snow, the hills are knitted caps of snow. All she encounters is framed by the snow. It captivates her, swaddles her world, and makes everything snug —- from first light, to the darkness of bedtime. A. K. Riley has crafted an evocative and playful ode to the winter snow that perfectly captures the magic of a winter’s day for a child. The verse alternates from slow to fast, deftly playing with pace and sure to keep readers engaged. Dawn Lo’s fresh illustrations create a charming visual narrative of snow-filled scenes filled with joy. With a simultaneously classic and contemporary feel, this enchanting read-aloud is perfect for a winter-themed story time, a discussion of poetry, or a classroom unit on the seasons. It also touchingly explores ideas of how communities and friendships are enhanced through shared experiences.

  2. First Snow - Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.

  3. The Itsy Bitsy Snowman - A fun and playful seasonal twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes this favorite nursery rhyme perfect for wintertime! The itsy bitsy snowman went sledding into town, looking at the snowflakes softly falling down. Out came his friends to lend a happy hand. And everything was perfect in his winter wonderland. Little ones will love this fresh winter spin on a classic nursery rhyme, as one little snowman sleds through a winter wonderland.

  4. The Meltdown - When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson. It’s a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day?

Want to see books about snow?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Bears

The Berenstain Bears Get Their Kicks
Written & illustrated by Jan Berenstain and Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When Brother and Sister try out for soccer teams, Papa is at first disappointed that they do not want to play baseball, but he changes his mind when he sees them practice.

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race
Written & illustrated by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Papa Bear and his family watch as the little red car competes in a race against the big orange, yellow, green, and blue cars.

Chu's Day at the Beach
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Adam Rex
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A new adventure for everyone’s favorite sneezing panda, from New York Times bestselling team Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex. Now available as a board book for Neil Gaiman’s youngest fans!

Chu and his family are going to the beach! Chu is excited. He will get to play in the sand and wade in the water. But what will happen if Chu sneezes at the beach? And what will happen if he doesn’t?

A perfect read-aloud story about a summertime adventure!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bears in the Snow - Shrieks of joy ensue when Big Brown Bear devises a clever sled that can carry four bears in this quintessential winter adventure. Here’s a bright red sled On a snowy day. Where are the bears To come out and play? The little bears are ready to play in the snow. But — oh, no! Their sled is too small! It’s not as much fun to go sledding only two at a time, but what can they use to carry them all? Luckily, Big Brown Bear has an idea — and it starts with a belly flop!

  2. The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game - When a fight breaks out during Brother and Sister Bear’s soccer game, Missus Ursula reminds everyone about fair play and sportsmanship.

Want to see books about bears?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Gymnastics

My First Gymnastics Class
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Laura Hanifin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young readers can learn all about what happens at gymnastics class in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read featuring simple text and photographs of gymnasts-in-training!

It’s the first day of gymnastics class: What will it be like? Find out in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read with sweet text by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Gymnasts wear leotards, stretch, do somersaults and cartwheels, and even walk on a balance beam! Beginning readers getting ready to tumble will love seeing photographs of kids their age practicing each move, learning words like pike, straddle, and more in this adorable introduction to the sport!

Includes a special section of step-by-step instructions for basic gymnastics stretches—to be done with a parent or guardian’s supervision!

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still
Written by Karlin Gray & illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. But as readers will see in this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia’s journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to world-class athlete was full of many imperfect moments. Expert illustrations that capture the energy and fluidity of Nadia’s exuberant gymnastic routines and referential back matter round out this inspirational story of determination and overcoming adversity. A perfect 10.

Gabby Douglas
Written & illustrated by Tori Kosara
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

“Gabby Douglas made history at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when she became the first ever African American gymnast to win gold in the all-around competition. But the road to winning Olympic gold was not an easy one. Being the best meant Gabby had towork hard and never give up - no matter what” — Cover verso.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Flying High - A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard. When she was six years old, Simone’s family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family. From her athletic early childhood to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, Flying High is the story of the world’s greatest gymnast from author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Ebony Glenn.

  2. Peanut Goes for the Gold - Jonathan Van Ness, the star of Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, brings his signature humor and positivity to his empowering first picture book, inspiring readers of all ages to love being exactly who they are. Peanut Goes for the Gold is a charming, funny, and heartfelt picture book that follows the adventures of Peanut, a gender nonbinary guinea pig who does everything with their own personal flare. Peanut just has their own unique way of doing things. Whether it’s cartwheeling during basketball practice or cutting their own hair, this little guinea pig puts their own special twist on life. So when Peanut decides to be a rhythmic gymnast, they come up with a routine that they know is absolutely perfect, because it is absolutely, one hundred percent Peanut. This upbeat and hilarious picture book, inspired by Jonathan’s own childhood guinea pig, encourages children to not just be themselves—but to boldly and unapologetically love being themselves. Jonathan Van Ness brings his signature message of warmth, positivity, and self-love to this boldly original picture book that celebrates the joys of being true to yourself and the magic that comes from following your dreams.

  3. Cartwheel Katie - Katie is enrolled in a gymnastics class, but when she has trouble doing some of the moves she gets discouraged and considers dropping out.

Want to see books about gymnastics?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Confidence

Snowboard Sham
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

Out of Step
Written & illustrated by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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?

Home Base: A Mother-Daughter Story
Written by Nikki Tate & illustrated by Katie Kath
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this empowering picture book perfect for young feminists, a gutsy baseball-playing girl and her bricklaying mom celebrate when love and hard work triumph over nerves.

A young pitcher steps up to the plate.

A hardworking mom interviews for her biggest job yet.

Girls and women aren’t always welcome in the worlds of baseball and bricklaying. But with practice, the right gear, and a whole lot of determination, this intrepid mom and daughter thrive under pressure. Readers get to see their parallel narratives unfold in tandem, coming together at the end for a sweet reward: ice cream!

With fun, punchy writing and radiant illustrations, this touching story will be a hit for budding activists, kids who love sports, and the moms who cheer them on.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Unstoppable Me - This lyrical picture book about a little boy with boundless energy celebrates the exuberance of an active child. I am movement Heat Static electricity Fueled by food And powered by PLAY! Unstoppable Me is about the sort of energetic child we all know and love—full of fun and play and a bit exhausting! In this book, we see an unstoppable little boy run, jump, and soar through his day. He takes a little time to refuel, then he’s back at it—zooming and zipping around. This poetic, joyful book—filled with illustrations as bright and energetic as the boy himself— is a celebration of the active child.

  2. She's Got This - A New York Times bestseller! From gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast and bestselling author Laurie Hernandez comes a picture book about chasing your dreams and never giving up. Even Olympians have to start somewhere. And in this charming illustrated book, Laurie Hernandez tells the story of Zoe, a little girl who dreams of flying—and becoming a gymnast. When Zoe sees a gymnast on TV, she realizes that gymnastics is just like flying. But when she first goes to class and falls off the balance beam, she discovers that following her dreams is harder and scarier than she thought. Through this heartwarming and inspirational story, featuring vibrant art from Nina Mata, Laurie imparts important lessons she learned on her way to Olympic glory: You always have to get back up and try again, and you always have to believe in yourself.

  3. Olympig! - Pursued by Mr. Hamstring, a reporter who is sure he will fail, Boomer becomes the first pig ever to compete in the Animal Olympics and demonstrates that attitude can be more important than winning.

  4. Maria Finds Courage: A Team Dungy Story about Soccer - Find the Courage to Try Something New When Maria’s family moves to a new town, her parents sign her up for the summer soccer team to help her meet new friends. But Maria has never tried soccer before. She would rather be back on her old swim team. Maria is afraid she will be the worst player and no one will like her. Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Maria everything is new at first. Maria will have to give soccer a try to see if she likes it. What have you wanted to try but were afraid to? Like Maria, you can have the courage to try something new, because who knows? That new thing you try might just become your next favorite thing! *** Join the Team! The Team Dungy series of picture books for young readers, ages 6-9, teaches character-building lessons through the familiar world of sports.

Want to see books about confidence?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Culture

Two Bicycles in Beijing
Written by Teresa Robeson & illustrated by Junyi Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One, two; yi, er. Side by side, two bicycles, Lunzi and Huangche, come out of the factory. Side by side, they watch the city of Beijing from their shop window. Then a young girl comes in and buys Huangche, rolling him away from Lunzi! With the help of a delivery boy, Lunzi begins an epic race to find her friend that introduces readers to all the sights and sounds of Beijing.

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

The first illustrated telling of the Everest story that equally features Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

On the morning of May 29, 1953, the sun was shining brightly and a gentle breeze was blowing on the highest elevation of the world—and for the first time ever, people were there to witness it. Their names were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, and they had ascended Everest. This is the breathtaking story of how these two men battled frost- biting temperatures, tumbling ice rocks, powerful winds, and death-defying ridges to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.

Combining fresh and contemporary illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton with Alexandra Stewart’s action-packed text, this unique narrative tells the complete stories of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay—from their births right up through their final days—and the lasting impact they’ve had on the world.

When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Tiger
Written by Amy Hammond & illustrated by Charr Floyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a young Tiger around the campus of Louisiana State University as he dreams about becoming a student at LSU. A book for LSU fans of all ages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Titan and the Wild Boars - Don’t miss the breathtaking true story of the international rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand! One afternoon, eleven-year-old Titan, his friends from the Wild Boars soccer team, and their coach rode their bikes to explore local caves. They crawled through the narrow tunnels in the dark to reach the center of the cave. When they turned to go home, heavy rains had flooded the tunnel. They were trapped! With rising waters and monsoon season upon them, time and oxygen were running out. The world watched with bated breath as rescuers from around the globe joined forces to try to free the boys. After eighteen harrowing days, in an unprecedented effort of international teamwork, they were finally saved. Award-winning author Susan Hood and journalist Pathana Sornhiran based this picture book on Sornhiran’s first-hand reporting of the event, and Dow Phumiruk’s beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. The book also includes a timeline and back matter with additional resources.

  2. Evonne Goolagong - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Evonne Goolagong, the inspiring indigenous Australian tennis player. Evonne grew up on a hot, dusty farm in Australia. She was the third of eight children, and descendant of the Wirundjuri people, who have lived on the land for more than 60,000 years. Her talent for tennis was discovered at a local tennis club, and before she knew it, the girl dreaming about the place called “Wimbledon” was playing on center court. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant tennis player’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  3. Junko Tabei Masters the Mountains - From the world of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes the historical novel based on the life of Junko Tabei, the first female climber to summit Mount Everest. Junko is bad at athletics. Really bad. Other students laugh because they think she is small and weak. Then her teacher takes the class on a trip to a mountain. It’s bigger than any Junko’s ever seen, but she is determined to make it to the top. Ganbatte, her teacher tells her. Do your best After that first trip, Junko becomes a mountaineer in body and spirit. She climbs snowy mountains, rocky mountains, and even faraway mountains outside of her home country of Japan. She joins clubs and befriends fellow climbers who love the mountains as much as she does. Then, Junko does something that’s never been done before… she becomes the first woman to climb the tallest mountain in the world.

  4. Take Me Out to the Yakyu - You may know that baseball is the Great American Pastime, but did you know that it is also a beloved sport in Japan? Come along with one little boy and his grandfathers, one in America and one in Japan, as he learns about baseball and its rich, varying cultural traditions. This debut picture book from Aaron Meshon is a home run—don’t be surprised if the vivid illustrations and energetic text leave you shouting, “LET’S PLAY YAKYU!”

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Ninjas

Ninja Red Riding Hood
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Companion to the hit The Three Ninja Pigs, this fractured fairy tale is a sure-fire storytime hit.

Wolf just can’t catch a break! Ever since the three little pigs started teaching everyone Ninja skills, huffing and puffing just hasn’t been enough to scare up a good meal.

His craving for meat sends Wolf to classes at the dojo, and soon he’s ready to try out his new moves. A little girl and her tiny granny should be easy targets—right?

Not if Little Red has anything to say about it! Kiya!

Ninja Baby
Written by David Zeltser & illustrated by Diane Goode
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From the day she was born, Nina was a ninja baby. She obliterated her applesauce. She concealed herself at bath time. And she was training herself in advanced infiltration (of movie night). Nina wants to do everything by herself, until the day her parents bring home a Kung Fu Master (a baby brother). Now with a sibling, Nina will face the one thing she cannot do alone: be part of a family. With verve and humor, David Zeltser and Diane Goode tell the story of an unusually gifted child, and the family that is more than a match for her.

The Three Ninja Pigs
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Practice makes perfect in this kick-butt fractured fairy tale.

Why does this wolf think he can come to town and blow all the houses down? These three little pigs just aren’t going to take it from that bully anymore! The first starts aikido lessons—he’ll make mincemeat out of that wolf! His brother learns a little jujitsu–he’ll chop that guy to pieces!

But when the wolf actually appears, it turs out these two pigs aren’t quite ready after all. Good thing their sister has been training every day to master some serious karate moves that save the day. KIYA!

Corey Rosen Schwartz serves up a fun combination of smart-aleck dialogue and tongue-in-cheek rhymes that’ll have kids howling, and rising star Dan Santat’s spunky illustrations are sure to pack a punch!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bunjitsu Bunny Jumps to the Moon - Isabel is the best bunjitsu artist in her class. She can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anybunny else. But her strongest weapon is her mind! This third Bunjitsu Bunny book follows Isabel as she makes friends, faces her fears, and more!

  2. My Life as a Ninja - Book 6 in the bestselling My Life series! Derek Fallon has expanded his taste in cartoons to the world of manga and anime. Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek has fun learning about all the cool aspects of ninja culture. When someone starts vandalizing their school with graffiti of a mischievous troll-like figure, these ninjas-in-training are convinced they’ll be able to crack the case. But it turns out that being a ninja is a lot more work than they thought, and this adventure brings about new opportunities for Derek to embarrass himself. For once, can he be the hero that saves the day? A Christy Ottaviano Book

  3. Samurai Scarecrow - It is Halloween, and Yukio is excited to celebrate! But whatever Yukio does, his younger sister Kashi follows. When Yukio carves a pumpkin, Kashi carves a similar one. When Yukio maps out his trick-or-treat route, Kashi maps the same one. But when Kashi goes too far, Yukio says some things he doesn’t really mean.

Want to see books about ninjas?

Books About Sports And Recreation and Winter Sports

Tacky and the Winter Games
Written by Helen Lester & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Tacky and his fellow penguins on Team Nice Icy Land train hard for the Winter Games, but Tacky’s antics make their chances of winning a medal seem slim.

Snowy Sports: Ready, Set, Play!
Written & illustrated by Per-Henrik Gürth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3--51

It’s a bright winter’s day bursting with activity as this adorable cast of animal characters bundles up to skate, slide, sled, ski and more. The day begins with the friends dressing warmly for all the fun ahead. Over the course of an exhilarating day the friends take a twirl on the ice, pass the puck, slip and slide and zippity-zip down hills, half-pipes and tracks - ending up back home warming themselves by the fire with hot chocolate.

With a mix of competitive and non-competitive sports, the book highlights winter activity at any level of play. Snowy sports featured include bobsleigh, curling, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, freestyle skiing, hockey, ice skating, luge, skeleton, ski jumping, sledge hockey, snowboarding and speed skating.

Each page has an illustration of a piece of winter clothing that makes up a complete cold-weather outfit by book’s end. The bold and cheerful illustrations are perfect for encouraging youngsters to embrace the chilly weather with their friends. Dress warmly and let’s go play!

A Day for Skating
Written by Sarah Sullivan & illustrated by Madeline Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a sweet rhyming tale, a young child’s first skating adventure on a frozen pond ends with a cozy bedtime story. Tap and step, then slide and turn. Whoops! Fall down. That’s how we learn. On a brisk winter’s day, the frozen pond is crisscrossed by figure skaters, hockey players, new skaters, and old pros, all gliding across the ice. It’s time to bundle up, lace your skates, and give it a try — then head inside for cocoa and snacks when your cheeks grow rosy and your toes are cold. Back at home, warm bedtime rituals make for the end of a perfect day. But when darkness falls at the pond, who will come out to skate?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Winter Cats - Willy’s an indoor cat who dreams of becoming an outdoor cat, but his parents tell him that indoor cats and outdoor cats are different. When he sees the outdoor cats having tons of wintery fun, he decides to sneak out and join in! Willy and his new outdoor friends soon learn that labels are meaningless in the face of friendship.

  2. I Am a Zamboni Machine - Young hockey and ice sports fans will love seeing this big machine in action! Featuring simple facts and colorful illustrations, the text follows a Zamboni machine as it does its honest job of clearing and resurfacing the rink. Readers will cheer along with the fans when the hockey players can jump back on the smooth, shiny ice. Bright artwork and clear text will help all little truck and ice enthusiasts see what a Zamboni machine does! I Am a Zamboni Machine is a perfect, compelling new addition to the bestselling I Am a Truck series. A book and truck in one!

  3. Snow Place Like Home - There’s snow place like home in this seventeenth Galaxy Zack adventure! The Nelsons are ready for a galactic winter vacation on a great new planet! And Zack’s best friend, Drake, is coming too! From solar-snowboarding, hydro-freeze fishing, supreme snowball fights, and epic ice forts, the boys can’t wait to dive into the winter games. But at the resort, Zack realizes there are a bunch of hurdles he wasn’t prepared for. Will Zack find a way to beat out the winter blues before it’s time to snow home? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  4. Teach Your Giraffe to Ski - When the snow begins to fall and your giraffe takes to the slopes, a rollicking adventure ensues! Your giraffe wants to learn how to ski—but not on the bunny hill. She wants to go down the big scary slope! Enjoy this riotous journey as the narrator tries to rein their giraffe in—and learns something about courage along the way.

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our sports and recreation list.
  1. Froggy Plays Soccer - Mom of Boys - This is a cute book about a soccer team. They play together to win a city cup. It teaches about some rules of soccer in a fun way for children who may not know much or for those little soccer players that need a reminder that hands are not allowed. Froggy is a fun character to follow who learns quickly that he needs to pay attention and be a team player.

  2. Winners Never Quit! - The Goodfather - This is an inspiring short story from soccer star Mia Hamm. I think it’s always inspiring to learn about how accomplished people learned to overcome opposition. This story, which seems to be autobiographical in nature and based on Mia’s own experience, teaches important lessons about being a team member and choosing to enjoy the game no matter the outcome.

  3. What's a Little Noogie Between Friends? - Big Nate is in a class by himself. This feisty 11-year-old holds the school record for detentions, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming big! It’s not easy being Nate Wright. No one recognizes his innate genius superiority and, in fact, he is foiled at every turn by the onerous Mrs. Godfrey. And if that weren’t bad enough, his star soccer team loses to a team that had lost sixty games in a row. Adding insult to injury is when he gets up the courage to go to the movies alone while his friends all have dates, and the only seat left is next to the dreaded Gina! Can it get any worse? Oh, no, his long-time crush Jenny is moving to Seattle!

  4. Girls with Guts! - 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.

  1. Curveball - 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.

  2. Martina & Chrissie - 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.

  3. Angelina Ice Skates - The Goodfather - Angelina Ice Skates has lots of text and covers numerous ideas as it moves through the storyline: friendship, bullying, overcoming obstacles, working together. It also presents a tale full of ice skating that will be enjoyed by any young reader who enjoys skating or perhaps even dreams of being an Olympic figure skater.

  4. Hope for Haiti - B is for Bookworm - This story talks about how some children use soccer as a method of finding joy amidst the grief and suffering that occurred after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. I appreciated that this book showed some of the heartache these people may have felt and also showed how a unifying, fun activity can help people in a time of sadness.

  1. Happy like soccer - Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer. Her shoes have flames as she spins the ball down the spread-out sea of grass. But nothing makes her sad like soccer, too, because the restaurant where her auntie works is busy on game days and she can’t take time off to watch Sierra play. On game days, her auntie helps Sierra get ready and tells her, “Play hard and have fun.” And Sierra does, but she can’t help wishing she had someone there to root for her by name, and not just by the number on her uniform. With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines.

  2. Maisy Plays Soccer - Wow, look at the crowd! Maisy and friends play a rousing game of soccer in a read-aloud sure to have aspiring little players cheering. Maisy and her friends can’t wait to play soccer! Maisy puts on her uniform, laces up her sneakers, and heads to the field. Charlie, Tallulah, and Dotty are on the blue team, while Maisy, Cyril, and Eddie are on the red. Let’s play! Soon enough the game heats up, with plenty of action, excitement, and suspense. Who will be the first team to make a goal? Whatever the score, it’s all in good fun, and everyone is still the best of friends at the end!

  3. Hat Trick - The Kicks are dedicated to soccer and to friendship—but can they balance all their goals? Find out in book four in the fun and empowering New York Times bestselling middle grade series from star soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup champion, Alex Morgan. Now that playoffs are over, the Kicks won’t be playing together again until the spring. But soccer-crazy Devin can’t imagine a life without soccer! She and her friends decide to try out for a travel team in a very competitive local league, but not everyone makes the cut. Meanwhile, Devin’s little sister, Maisie, wants to try out for her elementary school’s soccer program. But due to budget cuts, the program has been eliminated! The Kicks rally together to help raise money—and volunteer to help with four different projects on the same day! Things get hectic as the girls deal with the challenges of being on the competitive, tougher team; figuring out how to keep their friendships together as they all go in different directions; and trying to save the elementary school’s soccer program. If they can pull off all three, it will be a true hat trick!

  4. Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics - Snowman Paul is a big dreamer and now he dreams of becoming a Winter Olympics champion! He does very well in competition, but is he competing fairly?

  1. Ellie Steps Up to the Plate - 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.

  2. I Am Billie Jean King - 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.

  3. Sean Wants to Be Messi - Sean, a whimsical 2nd grader, wants to be the great Leo Messi, and he’s working hard for his cause. He battles fears, bullies, nagging parents, and tiresome teachers in pursuit of his dream to become the best soccer player in the world. A children’s book about soccer, math, and practice. Not necessarily in this order. Beautiful illustrations by Elettra Cudignotto.

  4. Captain Awesome, soccer star - It’s soccer season in Sunnyview and Captain Awesome and Nacho Cheese Man are ready to play! All superheroes are spectacular at sports…right? Eugene McGillicudy and Charlie Thomas Jones can’t wait to join Sunnyview’s eight-year-old soccer team. These superhero pals have no doubt that they will lead the team to victory. MI-TEE!

  1. Kerri Strug and and the Magnificent Seven - “Team USA had never won Olympic gold. Until now. In 1996, seven U.S. gymnasts are ready to change everything. Kerri Strug and her teammates are called the Magnificent Seven. Together, they are America’s best chance to win its first team gold medal. After years of training, Kerri wants to do her best for the team. But the competition is tough—and full of surprises! Can Kerri help Team USA make history? After you’ve read the story, don’t miss the bonus content that emphasizes Common Core and today’s renewed interest in nonfiction. Perfect for home, school, and library bookshelves!”

  2. Soccer on Sunday - Next stop for the New York Times bestselling Magic Tree House series? The World Cup in Mexico City! Goal! Jack and Annie have tickets to one of the most exciting soccer games ever—the 1970 World Cup! They are sure the famous soccer player Pelé will tell them a “secret of greatness.” The game is nonstop action and the stands are packed. But how will they find Pelé in a crowd of 100,000 soccer fans? Have they failed their mission? Or will the answer come when they least expect it? Have more fun with Jack and Annie on the Magic Tree House® website at MagicTreeHouse.com. From the Hardcover edition.

  3. Knockout - Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He’s fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he’s found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?

  4. Booked - In this middle grade novel-in-verseby the Newbery Medal-winning and Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winningauthor of”The Crossover, “a””twelve-year-old, soccer-loving boy namedNick, absolutely hates books. In Kwame Alexander’s latest poetictour de force, it’sbooks versus soccer balls ina match-upyou won’t want to miss! “

  1. Babe Ruth Saves Baseball! - All across the country in 1919, people are throwing down their bats, and giving up America’s national pastime, so it is up to Babe Ruth to win back fans and save baseball. Simultaneous.

  2. The Rhino in Right Field - A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

  3. The Fenway Foul-Up - Cousins Mike and Kate are at Boston’s Fenway Park when the Red Sox’s star hitter discovers that his lucky baseball bat has been stolen.

  4. The Alien Next Door 5: Baseball Blues - In the fifth book of the Alien Next Door series, Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all try out for the baseball team, but Zeke can’t resist using his powers to help him play better than everyone else. It’s baseball season, and Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all decide to try out for the team. Zeke doesn’t quite know how to play baseball, but his powers allow him to pitch and hit better than anyone else! But Harris thinks that what Zeke is doing is cheating, since none of the other players have his powers, and he’s also concerned that someone might discover Zeke’s an alien. But Zeke doesn’t see a problem with this, causing tension in their friendship. Can Zeke and Harris save their friendship, or will they strike out?

  1. I Look Up To... Serena Williams - If you can see it, you can be it! Introduce your child to powerful feminist role models with this series of inspirational board books. It’s never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire! This board book distills tennis superstar Serena Williams’s excellent qualities into an eminently sharable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations. Each spread highlights an important trait, and is enhanced by a quote from Serena herself. Kids will grow up hearing the words of this powerful, determined woman and will learn what YOU value in a person! The I LOOK UP TO… series aims to shed a spotlight on women making a difference in the world today, and to encourage young kids to follow in their footsteps! Look for other books in the series about Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Malala Yousafzai!

  2. My First Book of Soccer - The fourth book in the fan-favorite Rookie Book series, Sports Illustrated Kids explains the most popular sport in the world to its youngest fans. The ref blows the whistle, the striker approaches for kickoff, feet fly—a soccer match is underway! With a fun mix of Sports Illustrated action photography, simple text, a full glossary of terms, and awesome graphics, My First Book of Soccerintroduces readers to the world’s favorite game. Kids (and probably a few adults, too) will learn how the clock counts “up” and never stops, what an offside means, what’s up with those yellow cards, and how kicks become a gooooaaaallll! Illustrated “rookie” characters appears on every page, guiding the reader moment by moment, and helping to make My First Book of Soccer an ideal shared reading experience between parents and their little rookies before, during, and after the game.

  3. 42 Is Not Just a Number The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero - Jackie Robinson’s athletic talents would have easily landed another man a career in pro sports, but such opportunities were closed to athletes like Jackie for one reason: his skin was the wrong color. Jackie settled for playing baseball in the Negro Leagues until 1946, when the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers recruited him for a position that would cause him to face cruel and sometimes violent hatred and discrimination: Jackie Robinson was going to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. In this compelling biography, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport chronicles the extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson and how his achievements won over—and changed—a segregated nation.

  4. Hour of the Olympics - Their magic tree house takes Jack and Annie back to retrieve a lost story in ancient Greece, where they witness the original Olympic games and are surprised to find what girls of the time were not allowed to do.

  1. The Million Dollar Kick - Thirteen-year-old Whisper Nelson, who hates sports, is torn when she gets a chance to win a million dollars by kicking a goal against a local soccer hero, in the companion story to The Million Dollar Shot.

  2. The Soccer Fence - As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true.

  3. Lola Levine Is Not Mean! - Lola Levine likes writing in her diario, sipping her mom’s cafe con leche, eating her dad’s matzo ball soup, and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. So what if she doesn’t always fit in? Lola is fierce on the field, but when a soccer game during recess gets too competitive, she accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine! Lola feels terrible, but with the help of her family, her super best friend, Josh Blot, and a little “pencil power,” she just might be able to turn it all around. In this first book in a series, young readers will be inspired by Lola’s big heart and creative spirit as she learns to navigate the second grade in true Lola style!

  4. A is for Axel - Illustrates the letters of the alphabet through a discussion of ice skating skills, the history of the sport, and past champions.

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