Overview

This anthology of short, autobiographical stories has kids' book authors telling tales of their own real-life athletic incidents. Some are funny, some are serious, and some put their own twist on the whole "sports" concept. Eight stories from both "boys" and "girls" include tales of dodgeball, wrestling, track, softball, and even ballet-as-a-sport. Kids will relate to the struggling non-jocks as well as the athletes who take the trophy home.
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Sports Shorts

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Overview

This anthology of short, autobiographical stories has kids' book authors telling tales of their own real-life athletic incidents. Some are funny, some are serious, and some put their own twist on the whole "sports" concept. Eight stories from both "boys" and "girls" include tales of dodgeball, wrestling, track, softball, and even ballet-as-a-sport. Kids will relate to the struggling non-jocks as well as the athletes who take the trophy home.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sports Shorts gathers eight "semi-autobiographical" tales in an eye-catching paper-over-board book, including Joseph Bruchac's "Bombardment," which describes a kind of dodgeball game that, "with its simple, violent, semi-controlled chaos, was my only release," and which wins Bruchac the approval of his peers; and "First Position" by Marilyn Singer-not to be confused with playing first base, but rather a position at the barre. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
All the kids of the world who have ever felt inadequate as a sports star, this is their book. Information about sports attempts or blunders is told in a straightforward manner by several children's authors. Tales of Bombardment (dodge ball), ballet, tag football, baseball, track, etc. play out in short stories told from the perspective of the author's bungling childhood experiences. Most tales tell about the attempt at guts and glory; all the tales allow the reader to understand it is okay to not be the perfect athlete. This is what gives the book value. Even star athletes will enjoy the tales as they recognize friends who are not athletically gifted. It is nice to see that the casual presentation of experiences allows people with all kinds of different talents to be deemed okay. Following each story, the author takes a look back and expresses how he or she felt when they realized they were not gifted in athletics. The publisher has tagged the book for ages 11 up. However, younger good readers will also benefit from reading this title. Place it in libraries or classrooms from middle grade on up and encourage bunglers and stars alike to read it. 2005, Darby Creek Publishing, Ages 11 up.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
KLIATT - Janet Julian
Eight autobiographical stories by children's book authors focus on athletics. The stories are breezy and honest, exposing some ineptitude but celebrating victories big and small. Joseph Bruchac recalls his painful experiences with dodge ball, ending with one glorious day when he is chosen captain and grows in "spirit and self-confidence, if not in body." For David Lubar, touch football, basketball and kickball are a disaster—then he discovers karate and earns a black belt. Skinny and clumsy, Marilyn Singer discovers the joy of ballet but not of volleyball. Terry Trueman, the second-fastest kid at Hillwood Elementary School, comes in last in the Junior Olympics and then loses his cred on the basketball court as well. In the sixth grade, Dorian Cirrone tries to live up to her younger brother's high jump record but splits her shorts in the attempt. Tanya West's mom is a baseball phenom who teaches her children how to play the game, but girls are not allowed on Little League teams. Tanya proves her worth in a backyard game by hitting a pitch from the "loudest, mouthiest eleven-year-old" on the team. Alexandra Siy's mother is also influential, encouraging her daughter to join her in riding the Century, 100 miles in 12 hours or less. They succeed with two minutes to spare. Jamie McEwan has to live up to his Scottish family's history of toughness: his older brother Tommy had earned a varsity letter in wrestling and was never pinned; Jamie makes it to the Nationals and wins—he is a McEwan, after all. Each story is followed by a brief bio of the author. Although the authors were mostly in elementary school during their stories, junior high students can identify with the experiences.The simple style will appeal to challenged readers. Reviewer: Janet Julian
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Well-known YA authors provide clever, "semi-autobiographical" snapshots that most people would love to forget. While many of the stories are about failed physical efforts, others celebrate athletic achievement. Many are endearingly and identifiably familiar, either from a nostalgically bittersweet perspective, or from the point of view of a young and hopeful athlete. The element of humor counters the trip-ups, bruised egos, and foiled attempts that accompany organized play. The revelation, especially for students, is that everybody (even successful authors) has had pitfalls. Sometimes the failures are more interesting and laughable than the triumphs. The sports theme will make this book a hit with kids, and the well-crafted prose will assure its repeated use by teachers. Laughter, action, and personal anecdotes are a perfect fit for middle-schoolers wrestling with the pressures to conform to unrealistic social and physical norms.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Eight sports short stories cover the bases, from kickball to ballet, bombardment to running. Typical here is the geek or nerd who sometimes, somehow, finds a moment of greatness. Since several pieces are first or early sports memories, they are semi-autobiographical, allowing for some invention to round out authors' recollections. Ultimately, sports are simply the vehicle for story, for reflections on life's lessons and personal journeys. David Lubar, for example, went from middle-school sports washout to karate black belt. Tanya West contests the notion that sports are just for jocks and appreciates the value of backyard baseball and games of P-I-G. Baseball didn't quite work out for Alexandra Siy as a kid, but as an adult, she planned to ride the unpaved Denali Highway with her daughter. Each story is followed by a brief author's note. The stories are simply written and chatty and make good models for young writers with sports memories to embellish. Accessible to a wide range of sports enthusiasts, and appealing to older, struggling readers. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467730990
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,082,181
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

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