October 21, 2017

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The Playbook by Kwame Alexander | SLJ Audio Review

ALEXANDER, Kwame. The Playbook: 52 Rules To Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. 1 CD. 1 hr. Recorded Bks. Feb. 2017. $15.75. ISBN 9781501949180. digital download.

Gr 5-8 –Alexander delivers 52 inspiring rules and motivational life lessons using notable sports figures, terminology, and stories. Sections include “Warm-Up: The Rules,” in which Alexander reminisces about his childhood involvement in sports and the lessons he learned. Four “Quarters,” with a “Half Time” and an “Overtime,” comprise the rest of the book. Each section […]

The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World

The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World Written by Katie Smith Milway and Illustrated by Shane W. Evans Published by Kids Can Press in 2017 Grades 2 – 6 Book Review Fleeing from violence that separates him from his family, Deo arrives at Lukole, a refugee camp in Tanzania, emaciated, scared, and alone. […]

The Name of the Game: Sports | Series Nonfiction

Amateurs and professional sports enthusiasts alike will devour these series on basketball, pro-wrestling, fishing, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Champ is Here | SLJ Spotlight

A mix of picture book and YA biographies that focus on well-known athletes who not only excelled in their respective leagues but also created lasting cultural change.

Graphic Novels Xpress Reviews | December 2016

A manga selection about volleyball, perseverance, and sportsmanship.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Game On!: Sports | Series Nonfiction

Sports readers of all ages, from rookies to junior varsity stars, will be signing up for a chance to checkout these titles.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Graphic Novels Xpress Reviews | November 2016

A treat for manga lovers: an action-filled sports tale and fantastical historical fiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Olympics Are Coming! Great Sports Reads for Teens

Percolating with athletic action, these titles also include smartly treated coming-of-age themes that will captivate sports fanatics and couch potatoes alike.

Book Review: Jerkbait by Mia Siegert

Publisher’s description Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself. Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a […]

For the Win: Sports | Series Nonfiction

Sports books are akin to the Trojan horse. What begins as a look at volleyball can quickly become a STEM, social studies, or Common Core Standards-friendly lesson. Read on to learn about Althea Gibson’s groundbreaking legacy, the science behind gymnastics, and the amazing stats, stories, and upsets of sports history.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

March Madness Manga

The month of March has a lot going on. The first day of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and sometimes, like this year, Easter, all occur within its 31 days. For sports fans, the big event is March Madness, a basketball tournament held to determine the finalists in the NCAA […]

Football Season Arrives: A Quick Look at “Don’t Throw It to Mo!”

I’m two-timing you, SLJ.  Yes, the ugly truth had to come out sometime.  I admit all.  You see, I’ve been blogging elsewhere. Crazy but true?  It is, but this is a kind of blogging I’ve never really done before.  Because while my specialty is children’s literature, my new job here in Evanston, IL requires that […]

Game On: Sports | Series Nonfiction

These latest sports series go beyond simple primers of different games and activities, providing, instead, noteworthy ways that teachers and librarians can simultaneously stoke young readers’ athletic passions while connecting their interests to other fields of study.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Sign Language Primers, Graphic Guide to Science, and Selections on the Civil Rights Movement | Nonfiction Series Update

SLJ presents Nonfiction Series Update, continuations in ongoing series that are not to be missed. This installment, check out the latest on animals, sign language, cell division, civil rights, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Beyond the All-American Athlete: Sports | Series Made Simple Fall 2014

Though these titles do tackle the basics (basketball, football, and baseball, oh my!), there are tons of lesser-known sports (kayaking, anybody?), as well as a far more inclusive focus in this season’s collections, from an emphasis on women and girls to a look at international superstars

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Pressure to Succeed

Today I’m combining two books about pursuing competitive, pressure-filled fields — dance and basketball. One is nonfiction, one fiction. Both are full of struggle, family difficulties, and the stress of expectations. Misty Copeland is a phenomenon, and her book is a gift to the many young people obsessed with ballet (or dance of any kind). […]

Bats, Balls, Bikes…and Bruises? Sports | Series Made Simple

From the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl to the Final Four and the World Cup, sports inspire us and capture our imaginations. There’s plenty offered in these series to motivate readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

In Honor of Baseball’s All-Star Game, A Book to Pre-Order

Student sports fans (in this case, baseball fans specifically) can leverage their outside-of-school literacies to comprehend and appreciate the sophisticated cartoons and high-level text.

With ‘42’ in Theaters, Here’s a Free Movie Starring Jackie Robinson

Alfred Green’s 1950 film, made at the height of Robinson’s career, is in the public domain…

Keep It Moving: Sports | Series Made Simple Spring 2013

In the spirit of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, these sports and exercise-related books encourage children to keep active and avoid obesity. Students will find inspiration in titles about their favorite teams, players, competitions, or forms of exercise.