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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Whether set in the forefront or employed as a metaphor, the battle of wills and overcoming of adversity that exemplify sports are on full display in all of the following books, chosen from titles reviewed in Booklist in the past 12 months.
At Gleason’s Gym. By Ted Lewin. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.95 (9781596432314). Gr. 4–7.
This glorious tribute highlights both the thrilling action of a fight and the deep, intimate history of the Brooklyn gym where “the world works out.”
Hottest Race Cars. By Erin Egan. illus. Enslow, $17.95 (9780766028715). Gr. 4–6.
This title in the Wild Wheels! series showcases the allure that has made racing one of the most popular sports on the planet in an informative and anecdotal fashion, complete with stunning photos of some of the world’s fastest machines.
Jabberwocky. By Lewis Carroll. Illus. by Christopher Myers. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $15.99 (9781423103721). Gr. 3–5.
Carroll’s classic nonsense poem is brought to life on an urban basketball court, with intensely colored, energetic art in which a lighter-than-air young man challenges the menacing, 20-foot-tall Jabberwock.
Keeping Score. By Linda Sue Park. Clarion, $16 (9780618927999). Gr. 4–7.
Park skillfully melds die-hard fandom with life’s larger struggles in this memorable novel of Maggie, a young Brooklyn Dodgers fan, who knows all too well the familiar mantra “Wait till next year.”
Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. By James Sturm. Illus. by Rich Tommaso. Hyperion, $16.99 (9780786839001). Gr. 6–12.
This graphic novel follows a fictional ex–Negro Leaguer, Emmet Wilson, whose brief encounter with Satchel Paige, an iconic force against Jim Crow laws, inspires him as he battles racism in the 1940s South.
Shift. By Jennifer Bradbury. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416962199). Gr. 7–12.
A cross-country bicycle trek serves as the background of this resonant coming-of-age story of best friends testing the bounds of their friendship and learning how to let go.
Six Innings. By James Preller. Feiwel and Friends, $16.95 (9780312367633). Gr. 5–8.
The strategies and surprises of a championship Little League game form the backbone of this action-packed story marked by well-rounded characterizations, from bench clown to slugger to game announcer.
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. By Charles R. Smith. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Candlewick, $19.99 (9780763616922). Gr. 5–8.
Collier’s explosive artwork is coupled with 12 rhyming poems that capture the larger-than-life personality of Muhammad Ali and echo those peculiar, taunting rhymes so powerfully ingrained in our boxing, and cultural, lore.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. By Kadir Nelson. Illus. by the author. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $18.99 (9780786808328). Gr. 5–8.
Told from an insider’s point of view and featuring unforgettable portraits of Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and many more, Nelson’s tribute to the men whose determination and skill paved the way to breaking the color barrier in baseball is a towering achievement.
Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James Ransome. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375835995). K–Gr. 3.
Just as exciting as the on-the-field exploits of soccer’s greatest star learning to master the game is the story of his poverty-stricken childhood in Brazil.
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