With the onset of September comes the roar of the crowd—the football crowd. From Pop Warner leagues to professional sports, there are plenty of games to attend or watch. Whether on the bleachers, in the field, or cheering from the living room couch, here are some new titles to fill in the gap during half-time.
WHEELER, Lisa. Dino-Football. illus. by Barry Gott. Carolrhoda. 2012. ISBN 978076136394. JLG Level: SE: Sports Elementary (Grades 2-6)
For a fun look at sports for the younger set, try Dino-Football. This rhyming tale of the plant-eating Greenblade Snackers (appropriately dressed in green and gold) versus the carnivorous Redscales pulls readers straight onto the field of action. Full of sports terms and nail-biting plays, one can only guess the outcome of the big game. Pair this with this team’s Dino-Soccer (Carolrhoda, 2009) for a solid double header.
BOELTS, Maribeth. Happy Like Soccer. illus. by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick. 2012. ISBN 9780763646165. JLG Level: SE: Sports Elementary (Grades 2-6)
“Nothing makes me happy like soccer- picked for this new team, with these shiny girls…But nothing makes me sad like soccer, too, because the restaurant where my auntie works is busy on Saturdays and she can’t take time off for something like a soccer game.” Sierra never complains that she is the only girl who has no one watching her play. Though she usually keeps her sadness to herself, a postponed game causes Sierra to speak up with a solution. Her courage will remind even adults to think outside the box- even when they feel “low around the edges.” A must-read.
Readers may also enjoy Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sis.
HOLM, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. Squish: Captain Disaster. Random. Sept. 2012. ISBN 9780375937866. SE: Sports Elementary (Grades 2-6)
The team that brought us “Babymouse” (Random) is back with the fourth book in the “Squish” graphic novel series. Squish is the new captain of the soccer team. While playing soccer is supposed to be fun, losing is not. When Squish finds the key to winning, he forgets that it’s supposed to be fun. Fans of graphic novels and sports fans alike will be satisfied with the amoeba’s latest adventures.
Kids may also like Soccer Sabotage: A Graphic Guide Adventure by Liam O’Donnell or Goal!: The Fire and Fury of Soccer’s Greatest Moment by Mark Stewart.
SANDLER, Michael. Eli Manning and the New York Giants: Super Bowl XLVI. Bearport. 2012. ISBN 9781617725784. JLG Level: SE: Sports Elementary (Grades 2-6)
For your nonfiction sports fans, Bearport releases a new biography in their “Super Bowl Superstars” series. Down two points with less than four minutes in the game, Manning needs to lead his team down the field to score a win. Knowing the outcome takes away some of the suspense, but readers will enjoy the large photographs sprinkled with informative caption boxes. Additional chapters give the Manning family’s background history and illuminate Eli’s path to professional football.
STOUT, Glenn. Against All Odds. (Good Sports Series). Houghton Harcourt/Sandpiper. 2012. ISBN 9780544051201. JLG Level: E: Sports Elementary (Grades 2-6)
Stout tells the story of five comeback events from 1929 to 2011. These sports heroes were on the brink of defeat, but didn’t give up and led their teams to victory. Illustrated with black and white photographs, these short stories will be just the ticket for your sports readers. Interestingly enough, Glenn Stout is the author of 39 sports biographies- under the name of Matt Christopher.
Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com.
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