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Children's LiteratureDid you know that footballs are called pigskins because originally the bladder of a pig was sewn inside the cowhide covering? Or that ball games resembling soccer have been around for 3,000 years? The Mayans and Aztecs played a scary version of the game in which the head of a player from the losing side was wrapped in rubber and became the ball for the next game. Ten chapters filled with quotes from sports greats, riddles, odd facts (Jacek Guzowski of Poland juggled a tennis ball with his feet for almost five and a half hours in 1999!), the inside scoop on how balls are made, vocabulary (otherwise known as "Ball Talk") and so much more. Every chapter begins with a full-page actual-size illustration of the ball being discussed; other pages are filled with photographs and humorous drawings. Who knew that there was so much to learn about balls? By the end of this book you should know all the ins and outs, but if not, the final pages list interesting books and websites where you can learn even more. Written for kids but a book that is fun for all ages. 2006, Darby Creek Publishing, Ages 9 to 12.
—Anita Barnes Lowen