Monday, November 28, 2016

Pretty Chill: Books About Winter Sports

When you think about winter sports, what comes to mind? Strapping on skis or ice skates? Or rooting for your favorite football or basketball team? Whether cold winter days keep you inside watching your favorite team or bracing the chill for fun and exercise, these books will definitely be great choices when you're ready to take a break from your favorite sports activity:

A Whole New Ballgame is not just a fun basketball story; it's also a funny, realistic, and honest portrayal of two friends who have to deal with their unconventional teacher's class projects, a new basketball coach, and the challenges that autism can bring (Red is autistic). This is the start of a promising series.

Hoop Genius: How A Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball  explores the fascinating creation of basketball. James Naismith was tasked with keeping a rambunctious bunch of young men entertained at the YMCA. Seeking a way to encourage exercise and teamwork during the harsh Massachusetts winter, he created a fast-moving game with a ball and peach baskets. His game was a hit, of course, and also attracted the interest of young girls attending the YMCA (the illustration of the young ladies playing basketball in their long skirts is a highlight).

As a LSU alumnus, I'm super proud that Shaquille O'Neal's Little Shaq series is such a sweet and engaging series perfect for readers new to chapter books. Little Shaq learns life lessons in each story, but never in a pat or condescending way.

Kate and Jim McMullan continue their adorable anthropomorphic vehicles series with I'm Cool, which is the story of a hardworking Zamboni machine. It's a big job to fix the cuts and scrapes on the ice during the periods in a hockey game, and there's not a lot of time to make sure the ice is ready! This little Zamboni, however, is definitely up to the challenge. Older readers might be interested in Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni's Ice Machine.

Are you ready for some football? With the football season well underway, young football fans will want to consult 1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything Football to get the latest info on the greatest players of all time.

It's hard being the youngest player on the football team, especially when you're not the best catcher on the team. Luckily, Mo's coach has a plan to make Mo a valuable player. Don't Throw it to Mo is the start of an endearing story about a young player with a lot of determination.

Little Red Gliding Hood is ready to compete in the ice skating competition, but she needs a partner. The Dish and the Spoon are already partnered, as are Hansel and Gretel. When a strange wolf shows up, will she take a chance with him? Young readers and listeners familiar with the name droppings in the story will love this.

Claire doesn't really imagine a skating future beyond the annual Maple Show competition, but when a world-renowned skating coach observes her and offers her a chance to train with top talent and staff in Lake Placid, she enters an unfamiliar world of cutthroat competition. Sugar and Ice  is an appealing story of hard work, sacrifice, and dealing with unkind people.

For more nonfiction sports titles, check out the J796 section.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library 

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