Daredevil Reading: Sports | Series Made Simple Fall 2013

There are so many great stories in athletics that it’s not surprising that young readers never seem to get their fill of sports books.

There are so many great stories in athletics that it’s not surprising that young readers never seem to get their fill of sports books. Teachers and librarians can use their students’ interest in sports to connect to lessons in math, history, and science among other topics. Record-shattering athletic feats lend themselves to being the subjects of math lessons, and international competitions, such as the Olympics, fit into history units.

Preschool-Grade 4

COSSON, M. J. Superstars of the Green Bay Packers. ISBN 978-1-60753-525-6; ISBN 978-1-60753-555-3. LC 2013006855.

––––. Superstars of the Pittsburgh Steelers. ISBN 978-1-60753-529-4; ISBN 978-1-60753-559-1. LC 2013006507.

SCHEFF, Matt. Superstars of the Chicago Bears. ISBN 978-1-60753-522-5; ISBN 978-1-60753-552-2. LC 2013006830.

––––. Superstars of the Dallas Cowboys. ISBN 978-1-60753-523-2; ISBN 978-1-60753-553-9. LC 2013006857.

––––. Superstars of the Denver Broncos. ISBN 978-1-60753-524-9; ISBN 978-1-60753-554-6. LC 2013006831.

––––. Superstars of the Indianapolis Colts. ISBN 978-1-60753-526-3; ISBN 978-1-60753-556-0. LC 2013006839.

––––. Superstars of the New England Patriots. ISBN 978-1-60753-527-0; ISBN 978-1-60753-557-7. LC 2013010398.

––––. Superstars of the New York Giants. ISBN 978-1-60753-528-7; ISBN 978-1-60753-558-4. LC 2013010600.

ea vol: 24p. (Pro Sports Superstars Series). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Amicus. 2013. lib. ed. $27.10; ebk. $27.10.

Gr 1-4–Football fans will be drawn to these colorful titles. Each book introduces eight current and former players, many of whom are in football’s Hall of Fame. Athletes are described using simple language: “Walter Payton had speed and power. He was one of the best running backs ever.” A brief glossary explains football terms such as “tackler” and other positions, though technical terms are mostly avoided. Easy-to-read text on white pages faces a single-page photo, most in color. Attractive design elements include the use of team colors in backgrounds and borders, large-type font, and captions. All include a few helpful facts about each team, such as nicknames and championships won. Some fans may be disappointed at the volumes’ brevity and lack of perspective. However, most will relish these accessible, well-crafted books on a perennially popular topic.

ETINGOFF, Kim. All Around Good Habits. ISBN 978-1-4222-2732-9; ISBN 978-1-4222-9065-1. LC 2013004745.

––––. Concentration. ISBN 978-1-4222-2733-6; ISBN 978-1-4222-9066-8. LC 2013004746.

––––. Confidence. ISBN 978-1-4222-2734-3; ISBN 978-1-4222-9067-5. LC 2013004748.

––––. Hand-Eye Coordination. ISBN 978-1-4222-2735-0; ISBN 978-1-4222-9068-2. LC 2013004747.

JAMES, Sara. Self-Discipline. ISBN 978-1-4222-2739-8; ISBN 978-1-4222-9072-9. LC 2013004761.

ea vol: 32p. (Junior Martial Arts Series). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Mason Crest. 2013. lib. ed. $19.95; ebk. $24.95.

Gr 2-5–Though some information is scatted throughout these books, readers expecting to learn about martial arts may be disappointed to find that their focus is on good habits martial arts practitioners may develop, such as concentration and self-discipline. Generalizations abound and the circular arguments turn back on each other repeatedly. For example, Good Habits preaches, “Martial arts can help you get rid of bad habits and start good ones”; “Martial arts can help you make good habits”; and “Martial arts class is one place where you’ll learn a lot of good habits.” The didactic focus and repetitive text make for slow going, though large colorful photos add some appeal. Fact boxes briefly describe various martial arts, including a few less well-known forms such as Brazilian capoeira and eskrima from the Philippines. There’s a commendable focus on inclusiveness; mention is made of Paralympic judo champion Ian Rose.

HARDYMAN, Robyn. Camping. ISBN 978-1-61533-747-7; ISBN 978-1-61533-858-0. LC 2012049835.

––––. Fishing. ISBN 978-1-61533-749-1; ISBN 978-1-61533-860-3. LC 2013004076.

––––. Hunting. ISBN 978-1-61533-748-4; ISBN 978-1-61533-859-7. LC 2013003811.

––––. Kayaking and Canoeing. ISBN 978-1-61533-750-7; ISBN 978-1-61533-861-0. LC 2013003372.

ea vol: 32p. (Adventures in the Great Outdoors Series). further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. websites. Windmill. 2013. lib. ed. $26.50; ebk. $26.50.

Gr 3-5–Inside this attractive set, readers will find well-organized overviews of outdoor activities. The design utilizes text boxes and colorful captions to present fact-filled, concise introductions. Lots of lively photos supplement the texts, and there are a number of “Explore This!” activity suggestions (such as marshmallow cooking, stargazing, and collecting rainwater) scattered throughout every title. Each book emphasizes safety and careful planning, the positive benefits of getting outdoors, and respect for the environment. Hunting is presented as “a chance to learn about the animals and their environment.” The texts are clear and easy-to-read. For example, instructions in Kayaking for launching a kayak use simple enumerated text, captions, and photos. With helpful glossaries, these volumes can be useful for browsers or report writers.

NELSON, Robin. Baseball Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1101-2; ISBN 978-1-4677-1743-4. LC 2012033862.

––––. Basketball Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1102-9; ISBN 978-1-4677-1744-1. LC 2012041523.

––––. Dance Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1104-3; ISBN 978-1-4677-1745-8. LC 2012046922.

––––. Football Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1103-6; ISBN 978-1-4677-1746-5. LC 2012037503.

––––. Soccer Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1105-0; ISBN 978-1-4677-1747-2. LC 2012033863.

––––. Swimming Is Fun! ISBN 978-1-4677-1106-7; ISBN 978-1-4677-1748-9. LC 2012044594.

ea vol: 24p. (First Step Nonfiction: Sports Are Fun! Series). diag. glossary. index. photos. Lerner. 2013. lib. ed. $22.60; ebk. $16.95.

K-Gr 2–Clean, crisp design supports the easy-reader format of this set, as does the repetitive, simple texts. The titles’ focus, except for Dance, is on team competition; this includes Swimming, which considers its sport solely as a team undertaking and not as an individual activity. Dance briefly introduces ballet, jazz, and tap, and observes, “There are so many ways to dance!” Each book begins with a question. For example, Baseball asks, “Do you like to throw or hit a ball?” The pages go on to describe the aims of each sport and any necessary gear such as a glove, bat, and ball. Color photos of diverse children (including a girl in Football) illustrate each point and enhance the basic information.

Grades 5 & Up

BAILER, Darice. Ski Slopestyle. ISBN 978-1-4677-0756-5; ISBN 978-1-4677-1731-1. LC 2012048749.

––––. Ski Superpipe. ISBN 978-1-4677-0757-2; ISBN 978-1-4677-1732-8. LC 2013001739.

––––. Snowboard Cross. ISBN 978-1-4677-0755-8; ISBN 978-1-4677-1733-5. LC 2013003025.

––––. Snowboard Superpipe. ISBN 978-1-4677-0754-1; ISBN 978-1-4677-1734-2. LC 2012048753.

––––. Snowmobile Snocross. ISBN 978-1-4677-0758-9; ISBN 978-1-4677-1736-6. LC 2012049698.

CARPENTER, Jake. Snowmobile Best Trick. ISBN 978-1-4677-0759-6; ISBN 978-1-4677-1735-9. LC 2013005252.

ea vol: 32p. (Extreme Winter Sports Zone Series). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Lerner. 2013. lib. ed. $26.60; ebk. $19.95.

Gr 4-6–Each book begins with an exciting account of a medal-winning race at a recent Winter X Games or Winter Olympics. Ensuing chapters cover the history of the featured activity and how it has evolved into top level, international competition. The well-chosen photos are eye-catching action shots, such as images of skiers doing back flips or snowmobile riders going airborne. Most of these sports can be dangerous, and the volumes mention stars such as ski superpipe athlete Sarah Burke, who died in 2012 as a result of a fall during a practice run. Overall, this set uses a positive tone and conveys enthusiasm for these athletics, emphasizing that readers can practice them while keeping as safe as possible. Thumbnail sketches of innovators and youthful superstars will keep young readers engaged.

CATEL, Patrick. Skiing. ISBN 978-1-4109-5452-7; ISBN 978-1-4109-5458-9. LC 2012042739.

MASON, Paul. Snowboarding. ISBN 978-1-4109-5453-4; ISBN 978-1-4109-5459-6. LC 2012042740.

SIEMASZ, Greg. Hockey. ISBN 978-1-4109-5451-0; ISBN 978-1-4109-5457-2. LC 2012042736.

THROP, Claire. Curling. ISBN 978-1-4109-5449-7; ISBN 978-1-4109-5455-8. LC 2012042734.

––––. Figure Skating. ISBN 978-1-4109-5450-3; ISBN 978-1-4109-5456-5. LC 2012042735.

ea vol: 48p. (Winter Sports Series). chart. diag. further reading. glossary. index. photos. reprods. websites. Raintree. 2013. lib. ed. $32; pap. $8.99.

Gr 4-6–The colorful, appealing design will draw students to these fact-filled titles about popular winter sports. (Actually, curling’s still gaining fans: though enjoyed by 1.2 million Canadians, only 16,000 people in the U.S. play). The books’ tiny font is offset by attractive design elements, including the use of captions, highlighted information, and sidebars in bright colors. Dramatic color photos and a readable text cover important athletes, rules and gear, and instructions for both watching and/or participating in these sports. One noteworthy feature is mention of differently abled athletes and the ways in which they may participate in athletics such as sled hockey and the Paralympic games. All the volumes include a quiz, and Curling and Figure Skating offer topics for further research. Fact-filled and readable, these titles will be a hit with both sports browsers and research writers.

With the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, books on winter sports will be much in demand. Raintree’s “Winter Sports” will appeal to both browsers and report writers. Each book in Lerner’s exciting “Extreme Winter Sports Zone” presents an enthusiastic view of daredevil competitions. This series emphasizes that readers should try such activities while following steps to stay as safe as possible. The titles in Windmill’s fine “Adventures in the Great Outdoors” are well-crafted overviews that capably use design elements to encourage readers to give outdoor activities a try. Finally, Amicus’s “Pro Sports Superstars” and Lerner’s “First Step Nonfiction: Sports Are Fun!” earn honorable mentions for being attractively packaged with the needs of beginning readers in mind.

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