Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Books for your Sports collections - 3.31.21

One section of nonfiction that kids flock to is anything about sports.  Whether it's a how-to book, biography, or history of, if it's sports related, kids will want to read it.  Here are some new books you'll want to add to collections for your young readers!


Flying High by Michelle Meadows
Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles
written by Michelle Meadows
illustrated by Ebony Glenn
This picture book biography told in rhyme, gives readers a quick introduction to Biles' early years.  Readers learn how Biles and her younger sister were adopted by her grandfather and his wife.  They raised her and helped her entry into the world of gymnastics.  It was a chance encounter that introduced her to classes, even though she had been practicing for it for a long time by constantly moving and tumbling throughout her day!  We also see the dedication to the sport, which older readers are already well aware of!  With gorgeous illustrations from Ebony Glenn, and as we enter into an Olympics summer, I am sure we'll have a lot of readers asking for books about the gymnastics GOAT, Simone Biles.

Breaking the Ice by Angie Bullaro
Breaking the Ice: The True Story of teh First Woman to Play in the National Hockey League
written by Angie Bullaro
illustrated by C.F. Payne
This is the story of Manon Rheaume who broke many barriers as the first female to ever play in the National Hockey League.  At a very young age, her father needed a goalie to play in a game for a team he coached.  Manon's older brothers and Manon convinced their father she was the goalie who could get it done.  When she was younger, it was easier to not give her gender away as she went on an played in more leagues.  She continued to practice and play, but eventually it became more widely known that there was a girl goalie.  That girl goalie also was successfully saving and stopping so many goals, that bigger league coaches took notice of her.  As she continued playing, she eventually caught the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who let her have a chance at the team camp.  She survived cut after cut, eventually playing in a preseason game - the first NHL game a female ever played in.
Lots of great information in the backmatter, including a letter from Manon.

Swish! by Suzanne Slade
Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters
written by Suzanne Slade
illustrated by Don Tate
I think at one point, when I was in elementary school, we went and saw the Globetrotters live.  Their skills and showboating, while different than straight up basketball, was electric and made the sport fun and different to watch.
This story follows the start of the Globetrotters.  Trying to play basketball during a time when black players weren't allowed was tricky.  They had to have something a little extra to get the attention of the people in charge.  It took awhile, but they finally did.  But along the way, the Globetrotters showed that basketball can be played in many different places with a lot of showmanship and heart.
Don't miss the backmatter which connects these earlier days of the team, to the one that is more commonly known today.

I also took a look at a couple of books in the series "Game Day".

Dive In       Match Point
The books are written by David Sabino and illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey.  
The books are written in a narrative form of writing with a person explaining how another character is getting ready to play a specific sport.  Rules of the game are explained and some technical information may be given.  Each book has a glossary at the start of the book and additional facts at the end.
Unfortunately, I started with the book that I have a lot of knowledge about, which is swimming.  The first thing I noticed was in the glossary.  One of the terms is a "tumble turn" which after the description says it is also referred to as a "flip turn".  This is the second time I've seen the phrase "tumble turn".  The first time was in another sporting book, but the author was from a different country.  I've watched a lot of world championships and the Olympics.  I've been a swimmer and am currently a swim parent.  And I've never heard it referred to as a tumble turn.  I checked to see if the author lived in another country and no, Sabino lives in the USA.  So not sure where he got wind of that term.  But then, the major inaccuracy is when he goes on to write about a character doing a 200 fly event.  He explains that when the swimmer reached the wall, she did a tumble turn.  Well.  If you do that in a swim meet, it will get your promptly disqualified.  Butterfly and breaststroke event turns are completed with an open turn - meaning both hands must reach the wall simultaneously and on the same plane.  Every swimmer knows this, so this is an inaccuracy that is hard to excuse.  There were some other descriptions of the people who work a meet that I found surprising.  Sabino talks about a timekeeper.  We usually call them timers, but ok, we'll go with timekeeper.   But then he talks about how one of the jobs as a timekeeper is to check the records and see if a swim breaks a record.  Definitely not something a timer would do.  
So knowing how many things that were inaccurate in that book, I would take the other books in the series with a grain of salt.  When I read Match Point after, while it sounded good, since I don't play the game of tennis, I am not sure what is correct and what isn't.
I think this is a series that should be a bit more fact-checked by experts in that field.

No comments:

Post a Comment