Monday, August 07, 2017

Nonfiction Monday- Sports!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

My father's running joke is that he hasn't missed a football game in fifty years-- he hasn't watched a football game, but he hasn't missed them! This pretty much sums up my own relationship with sports. The fact that I am moderating a panel discussion on sports at Kidlitcon is nothing short of miraculous.

33232263Gramling, Gary. The Football Book
August 8th 2017 by Sports Illustrated
Copy provided by Blue Slip Media

The tag line on this is "Everything you need to become a gridion know-it-all: Lingo, trivia, stats, skills". The stats part of this covers a whole lot. I appreciated most that there were overviews of all of the teams, including the year they were founded, notable players and coaches, and highlights of different seasons. There are also lots of pages about different players that include their statistics as well. This makes me wonder why no one talks about Morten Anderson, who had most career points and seems very impressive, but I've never heard of him. The other important thing I learned was that the Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl. Now, I want this to happen! (I grew up equidistant between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, although my brother was a Steelers fan.)

In addition to the various statistics, there is a lot of information on how to perform different plays. My favorite was how to "dress appropriately when you're going to a game"-- as someone who once went to a football game in November wearing tennis shoes with no socks, it would have been useful. There's even a page on how to make a queso dip!

This is a great book for dipping into during study halls, on car trips, or even during lunch. I'd rather see kids reading from something like this at lunch than playing games on their phones! This will be a popular book with my readers who are fond of both sports at Guinness Book of World Records type compilations of facts.

My only objection to the book is some of the formatting-- the paper-over-board cover didn't even hold up well to being mailed in a padded envelope, so a lot of tape will be involved in processing it for library use. The full color illustrations give the book the same sort of odd smell that graphic novels have. Also, the pages are designed so that some of them look like the corner is folded over or someone has spilled something on the page, which made me a little twitchy! Readers will not even notice these things, except for the excessive amount of tape on my library copy!

33785413Sports Illustrated Kids. Hockey Then to Wow!
September 26th 2017 by Sports Illustrated
Copy provided by Blue Slip Media

Like it's predecessors about baseball and footballHockey Then to Wow! provides a great overview about the sport. Considering that I knew absolutely nothing about hockey, it really did cover all of the bases. I always love the random facts (for years, helmets were not required, and when they finally were, players who started playing without them didn't have to wear them. That's just weird!), but I know my readers are more interested in the statistics and team overviews. I'm not usually fond of oversized books, but in this case, the extra wide layouts are essential for showing the evolution of uniforms (pictured on the cover), teams, masks, and a variety of other interesting specifics.

The photo illustrations are fantastic, and the page layouts are a lot of fun. The range of information presented is impressive, and there is even a brief section about women in hockey.

Not only is this book fun to read, but it would be a great resource for a student researching hockey at a specific period of time. It would be a good starting point for a History Day project, and I know we've used the other volumes when the 7th grade researches the 1960s in preparation for reading The Outsiders. There are some books Sports Illustrated could work on--- football in the 1960s, 1970s, etc. Or Sports in the 1960s. These books work; they just require a bit more sifting!


  1. Thanks for posting about sports! I especially enjoy those that give overviews because they are full of interesting facts and fascinating stories. BTW, I wan't always a sports fan--my wife converted me! I married into a Carolina basketball family (although my brother-in-law became a Duke fan) so I learned to love college b-ball. Then when Charlotte got the Hornets and then the Panthers, I was all in. And I love it!

  2. My students love sports books, so I love learning about them. I have the Football book to share, but I will have to get the Hockey book as well.

    Happy reading this week :)

  3. These sports books are great! I am going to save this post to share with my students later. :)