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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
The following titles have been selected from those reviewed in Booklist between the September 1, 1998, and August 1999 issues as representing top choices in recreational sports reading for middle and older readers. Picture books for the young and how-to-play books have been omitted.
Buckley, James. America’s Greatest Game: The Real Story of Football and the NFL. 1998. illus. Hyperion; dist. by Little, Brown, $16.95 (0-7668-0433-5). Gr. 4–7.
This profusely illustrated album, which looks much like a family scrapbook, follows the course of football from its tenuous beginnings in 1869 through the great players, game action, and wannabes of the modern day. Great for browsing.
Christopher, Matt. Mountain Bike Mania. 1998. Little, Brown, paper, $3.95 (0-316-14292-1). Gr. 5–7.
In a solid sports novel featuring all-terrain cycling, a sixth-grade couch potato joins a mountain bike club, which nearly costs him his best friend. As usual for the perennially popular Christopher, the thrills and the responsibilities have equal weight.
Ewing, Patrick Aloysius and Louis, Linda L. In the Paint. 1999. illus. Abbeville, $15.95 (0-7892-0542-4). Gr. 2–5.
Basketball fans will get a kick out of NBA superstar Patrick Ewing’s accessible, first-person introduction to his favorite pastime, painting, in which, with the help of an art educator, kids are encouraged to paint.
Play like a Girl: A Celebration of Women in Sports. Ed. by Sue Macy and Jane Gottesman. 1999. illus. Holt, $15.95 (0-8050-6071-5). Gr. 5–9.
In this exuberant picture-book paean to female athletes, crystal-clear, full-color photos catch the grace, sweat, disappointment, and dedication of women pushing athletic limits; brief, accessible, often thought-provoking excerpts put the poetry of motion into words.
Ripken, Cal and Bryan, Mike. Cal Ripken Jr.: My Story. Adapted by Dan Gutman. 1999. illus. Dial, $15.99 (0-8037-2348-2). Gr. 3–7.
Gutman’s adaptation of Ripken’s autobiography remains true to the content and style of the original as Ripken, who comes across as a decent human being, recounts events from his childhood through his playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
Savage, Jeff. Home Run Kings. 1999. illus. Raintree/Steck-Vaughn, $22.83 (0-7398-0216-X). Gr. 4–6.
This engaging, informative overview of the century’s home run record setters and record breakers profiles the likes of Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa, focusing on their playing careers and including little-known facts and some intriguing anecdotes.
Smith, Charles R. Rimshots: Basketball Pix, Rolls, and Rhythms. 1999. illus. Dutton, $15.99 (0-525-46099-3). Gr. 4–7.
Smith sweeps readers into the excitement of a basketball game through rhythmical prose with the flavor of rap, inspirational musings, and concrete poetry, all complemented by sepia-tone photos that catch the frenzied energy of African American players on a court on an inner-city street.
Tallarico, Tony. Drawing and Cartooning All-Star Sports: A Step by Step Guide for the Aspiring Sports Artist. 1998. illus. Putnam/Perigee, paper, $9.95 (0-399-52417-7). Gr. 4–7.
Great fun for sports fans, even those who don’t have much artistic talent, this uses simple step-by step instructions and illustrations to show novices how to draw sports figures—football and baseball players, speed skaters, weight lifters, and more.
Tessitore, John. Muhammad Ali: The World’s Champion. 1998. illus. Watts, lib. ed., $24 (0-531-11437-6). Gr. 7–12.
Tessitore takes readers beyond Ali’s histrionics to reveal the genuine man behind the ego in this insightful biography of “The Greatest.”
Winter, Jonah. Fair Ball! 14 Great Stars from Baseball’s Negro Leagues. 1999. illus. Scholastic, $15.95 (0-590-39464-9). Gr. 3–5.
Winter’s distinctive, painterly illustrations make the strongest statements in this guide to the Negro Leagues, conveying a powerful sense of the presence and personality of each of the 18 men portrayed and profiled in a colloquial style.
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