Confession: I'm not much of a basketball fan. I'm from Louisiana, where football is king (although LSU men's basketball and the New Orleans Hornets has its ardent fans). Like most non-basketball fans, the only time I really pay attention to basketball scores is during March Madness, and that's because I love it when a "Cinderella" team emerges, like VCU and George Mason several seasons ago and Florida Gulf Coast University this year (admittedly, I love it because I don't root for a specific team). Whether you're rooting for an established team like the Indiana Hoosiers or cheering for an underdog like the FGCU Eagles, we have plenty of books for you and your children to read while you're waiting for the next game:
We have a number of nonfiction books about basketball rules and techniques; How Basketball Works is a great find for young fans. Everything you want to know about the dynamics of the ball (including changes to its design), handling techniques, how to execute jump shots, and so much more is included in this facts-packed and attractively designed handbook.
If your favorite team is professional rather than collegiate, pick up Sports Illustrated Kids' The Ultimate Guide to Pro Basketball Teams. Published in 2011, this browse-worthy guide features the history and key stats for every NBA team, including the Washington Wizards.
Girl detective Cam Jansen uses her famed photographic memory to recover an autographed basketball in Cam Jansen and the Basketball Mystery. The Cam Jansen series (David A. Adler has written both easy reader and easy chapter book Cam Jansen stories) appeals to both boy and girl beginning readers.
National Poetry Month is just around the corner, so it's a perfect time to combine basketball and poetry. The poems in Short Takes evoke the sounds and excitement of spinning, dribbling, passing, and throwing basketballs, as well as heart-pumping runs around the court. Photographs of players from many ethnicities bring the action to life.
The international appeal of basketball is brought to life in Around the World. Starting with a pickup game in New York City, readers will travel around the world to spy on games being played in Australia, Serbia, Nigeria, Canada, Puerto Rico, and other places in between, before finally returning to the game in New York.
DK's Eyewitness series are genius; each volume draws you in, regardless of your initial interest in the topic. The Basketball volume is no exception; untold amounts of intriguing little details are strewn throughout the book, including tidbits on referees, defense tactics, historical facts from each decade, the international appeal of the game, and the formation of the WNBA. Perfect for browsing during commercials.
The long-suffering fans of the Washington Wizards will want to take a look at this soup-to-nuts account published in 2009. Mark Stewart chronicles the team's origin as the Chicago Packers and its eventual move to DC in 1973 (as the Bullets). Key players in the franchise's history are examined, including Gilbert Arenas; a timeline, player quotes, and records are also included.
It's almost time to break out the baseball books again! Anyone else ready for the season to start?