The Olympics are so inspiring. Athletes devote all they have to develop talents and to reach their dreams. These books will show your children this dedication and inspire them to reach their own goals.
What an amazing story! Stories like this are very inspiring. I am very awe struck at her determination to persevere amidst her disease. Many would have succumbed to it and perhaps tried to rest until it healed. Not Wilma. She proved others wrong as she braved the pain and exercised her leg until she could use it as she wanted to. Not only could she walk again, but went to the Olympics!
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.
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.
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.
This is a cute little story of one who doesn’t give up. He takes his little bird friend along with him and keeps trying to reach his goal of the Olympics. I love his enthusiasm and ability solve problems when one thing doesn’t work. He tries many different approaches without discouragement.
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!
With his record-breaking eight gold medals won for swimming in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Phelps became an international sensation. In this picture book, Phelps explains the mind-boggling statistics of his years of training in terms young kids can understand. Full color.
Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still - 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.
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.
Caillou: Backyard Olympics - Clementine arrives at Caillou’s house wearing a blue ribbon. Caillou wonders how he could ever win such a prize. This gives Grandma an idea. She decides to organize backyard Olympic games with competitions like the heel-to-toe walk, the biggest smile or the silliest walk. In the end, everyone gets a ribbon — even Gilbert,for having the best purr. Caillou will learn that winning is not as important as having fun with his friends.
Angelina Ice Skates - - 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.
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.
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?
‘On your marks, get set, Go!’ The race begins and Eric Liddell thunders down the track. The crowd cheers him on. Eric Liddell has spent months preparing himself for the Olympics. But he has also spent years getting ready to serve God. Which is more important - winning a gold medal or honouring Jesus Christ? Can Eric do both?
Describes the life of the sharecroppers’ son who became an Olympic legend and challenged Hitler’s dream of Aryan superiority.
“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.
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!”
Touch the Sky - 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.
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.
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.
The letters of the alphabet introduce facts about the Olympic movement and Olympic sports.
A girl who wants to be the best figure skater in the world. She takes lessons and practices hard, but when she’s not chosen for a leading role in the play she struggles to accept her role as a skating tree. Not sure this book conveys the right message, but maybe I missed it.
Determined to become the best figure skater ever, Lizzy practices and practices, but when she is cast as a lowly tree in her skating class’s presentation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the winter carnival, she decides to gallantly accept her role and make her performance a spectacular one! Reprint.
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.
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.
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this “compassionate, timely novel” (Booklist, starred review) from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns. Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani-American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.
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.
40 Inspiring Icons: Amazing Athletes - Records smashed… incredible athletic feats… Medals won… The top 40 Olympic athletes of all time are here!**In this fun, fact-packed book from the 40 Inspiring Icons series, learn how these athletic stars became the best in the world.**
Relive Usain Bolt’s astonishing record-breaking runs, learn about Charlotte Cooper, the first ever female Olympic champion, meet the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, Michael Phelps, and see some of the most impressive wins in history. From Nawal El Moutawakel, the first female Muslim born on the continent of Africa to become an Olympic champion, to gymnastic prodigy Simone Biles, whose skills on the vault and the floor are admired all over the world, these are the 40 Olympic Athletes to be learned about by all:
Spyrídon Loúis; Charlotte Cooper; Madge Syers; Jim Thorp; Paavo Nuurmi; Johnny Weissmuller; Mildred Didrickson; Jesse Owens; Marjorie Gestring; Francina Blankers-Koen; Micheline Ostermeyer; Emil Zatopek; Betty Cuthbert; Wilma Rudolph; Abebe Bikila; Tommie Smith; Bob Beamon; Mark Spitz; Nadia Comaneci; Sebastian Coe; Birgit Fisher; Daley Thompson; Nawal El Moutawakil; Carl Lewis; Steve Redgrave; Marie-Jo Pérec; Valentina Vezzali; Michael Johnson; Maria Mutola; Cathy Freeman; Yelena Isinbayeva; Michael Phelps; Tony Estanguet; Usain Bolt; Teddy Riner; Mo Farah; Isabell Werth; Simone Biles; Trisha Zorn; Michael Edgson; Ellie Simmonds; Jonas Jacobsson
Each spread presents a single athlete, highlighting key facts about their careers, honors, stats and legendary performances, along with a fun, illustrated depiction of them.
Every athlete is a winner in their own way, but who will you choose as your hero? Each book in the 40 Inspiring Icons series introduces readers to a fascinating non-fiction subject through its 40 most famous people or groups. Explore these other great topics through their most interesting icons: People of Peace, Super Scientists, Soccer Stars, Music Legends, Black Music Greats_ and _Greek Gods and Heroes.
Rhinos Who Snowboard - Summer is over and our rhino friends have hung up their surfboards, grabbed their snowboards, and taken to the slopes. colorful watercolors from Julie Mammano capture an epic day of snowboarding for these totally aggro rhinos. They catch air, take insane gaps and charge the steeps until it’s time to head home and chill in the cabin, dreaming of their next ride. Snowboarders and those who dream of boarding will love these adorably extreme rhinos and a glossary of snowboarding speak is included to boost anyone’s boarding know-how.
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.