15 Best Children’s Books About Sports Update 05/2022

Children's Books About Sports

Over time, books about sports for young people have come a long way. Biographies of superstars and simple stories about just a few of the most popular team sports were once the only types of books you could find. Now, you can find fiction and nonfiction books about everything from figure skating to mountain climbing. A better thing, though, is that the stories are now more diverse, and they go beyond what happens on the field to things that affect the lives of kids.

A librarian at the Denver Public Library says that “intersectional characters” are being used in books and movies to show many different parts of the world that we live in. “Seeing yourself and what you do in a book is exciting.”

These books are all about sports, but they also talk about a lot of important things that kids will be able to relate to, like how to fight against the odds or how to find out who you are. Those who are just learning to read to young adults who are learning how to live in the world all make this list.

“Don’t Throw It to Mo!” by David A. Adler

Don't Throw It to Mo

People on the team are bigger than Mo Jackson. He has a hard time getting the ball. That doesn’t mean, however, that he isn’t excited and wants to help them win. After a lot of practice, his coach comes up with a play just for him that wins the game. This is the first book in a fun series that takes Mo through a lot of different sports. Kids who are learning to read will be excited to see how Mo does well.

It’s best if you’re between 4 and 7.

“On the Ball” by Brian J. Pinkney

It turns out Owen can’t keep his eyes on the ball, and he soon finds himself on the bench, discouraged. But when the ball goes outside the fence, he goes on a quest to find it, led by his imagination. In Pinkney’s story, watercolor illustrations make it clear that imagination and ability are not separate things.

3 to 5 years old are the best age range.

“Saturday Is Swimming Day” by Hyewon Yum

There is always a little bit of a risk when we try something new, no matter how old we are. It’s important that we learn how to start slowly. Is how the little girl in this story feels. She can’t swim because she has a stomachache at the last minute. Finally, with the help of her swimming instructor, she sees her confidence grow until she can’t wait for swimming day.

4 to 6 years old is the ideal age range.

“Dino-Hockey” by Lisa Wheeler

It’s between the carnivores and the veggiesaurs in a high-stakes hockey game, and the illustrations make the match even more exciting. To read this book with kids who love dinosaurs is a lot of fun. They’ll also learn a little about the game’s rules. You can read about other sports in the same book.

4 to 9 years old are the best age range.

“When Jackie and Hank Met” by Cathy Goldberg Fishman

When Jackie and Hank Met

It tells the stories of two baseball legends, one Black and one Jewish, who overcame racism and discrimination to make it to the top of the game and make a living. In 1947, they met for the first time when they collided at first base. The author shows how their lives have changed since then. It’s one of the best things about this biography that it doesn’t try to be too sweet or gloss over the discrimination both icons had to deal with on their way to success.

A good age range is 6 to 8.

“The Quickest Kid in Clarksville” by Pat Zietlow Miller

Runner Alta is the fastest person in Clarksville. It’s Wilma Rudolph’s home town, so when she comes back for a parade to celebrate her success, Alta decides to make a huge banner to welcome her home hero! As soon as she can’t carry it herself, her rival helps figure out a way to get it there. The book is a tribute to teamwork and hard work, and it features an athlete who inspired a whole new group of Black and female runners.

5 to 8 years old is a good age range.

“Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army” by Art Coulson

Jim Thorpe was born on a reservation in Oklahoma and sent to a boarding school in Lawrence, Kansas, where native children were forced to become more American, sometimes harshly. He overcame a lot of challenges to become one of the best athletes in the United States. Coulson’s book tells the story of Thorpe’s life, with the game between the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and the U.S. Military Academy in 1912 as the main point. A package of outside-the-box moves helped Thorpe’s team beat the best football teams in the country.

6 to 10 years old is a good age range.

“Hoops: Elle of the Ball” by Elle Delle Donne

Elle Deluca, a suddenly 6-foot-tall seventh-grader, is the subject of the first book in a five-book series by the former WBNA MVP and Olympic gold medalist. She’s trying to balance her coach’s high expectations with learning to be comfortable with her body. She also has to learn how to dance the ballroom for the school’s cotillion, which is a big event. Elle’s story will be very helpful to kids who are having a hard time in middle school.

It’s best if you’re between 8 and 12.

“Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!” by Sarah Kapit

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen

When Vivy Cohen was 11, she has autism and wants to play in the major leagues. She can throw a knuckleball, which is one of the most difficult skills in baseball to learn, and she can do it. Because of the bullying and disbelief that she can play on a real team, she has to fight through these things. With the help of her pen pal, a professional ball player, she does. Vivy’s story is a great way to show kids that no problem is too big if you work hard and have a supportive group around you.

It’s best if you’re between 8 and 12.

“Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang

For fun when he was a child, Gene read comic books while his friends were playing sports. People at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland can’t talk about anything else but the basketball team’s run to the state championship. Gene is now a computer science teacher at the high school. Seeing that the team’s story isn’t very different from a comic book, he thinks it’s a good example of a good story. Yang’s book is both a memoir of his own experience and a documentary about the history of the game. It includes important lessons about race and ethnicity, and it’s a great book for teens to read.

A good age range is from 13 to 18.

“A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games” by Lori Alexander

During World War I, Guttman was in a hospital where he saw doctors send paralyzed patients off to a dark future. His story began there. During World War II, he fled the Nazis and set up a clinic for people with spinal injuries in England. There, he saw how playing sports could help his patients. Rich illustrations and old photos are used to tell a heartwarming story about a young girl who lost her mother and father.

It’s best if you’re between 8 and 12.

“The Field” by Baptiste Paul

During a soccer match, the whole village comes together because a young girl loves the game. After getting rid of some cows, teams form and the game starts. Love for sports is shown on every page thanks to the beautiful illustrations in this book. The author adds Creole words and phrases to show that sport is a language that is spoken all over the world.

4 to 8 years old are the best age range.

“Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl

It’s a Newbery Honor book and a best-seller, and it tells the story of 12-year-old Astrid who’s going to roller derby camp this summer. It’s a lot of work for the fearless skater to make new friends while she’s away from her best friend and starts middle school next fall. It was written by a real roller derby player, and it’s a classic story about friendship and growing up set in a great sport that doesn’t get enough attention.

It’s best if you’re 9 to 12 years old.

“Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber” by Sue Macy

When Mary Garber started writing about sports, she found that she wasn’t welcome in the press box or the locker room. She kept going, though, and now she has a book out. Garber also broke new ground by telling important stories that weren’t getting the attention they deserved in a segregated world. It’s a serious book that also has a lot of humor in it. It’s a story about how important the game is even if the box score doesn’t show it.

5 to 8 years old is a good age range.

“Ana on the Edge” by A.J. Sass

A 12-year-old figure skater called Ana-Marie Jin isn’t happy that her next competition is going to be about princesses, because she doesn’t like that. During the process of working on her routine for the event, she starts working with a transgender skater who helps her think about gender identity and a sport that’s usually seen as a binary one. Anna’s story is one of self-discovery that kids will be able to relate to, especially when they start to learn about gender.

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