Winning Words: Sports Stories and Photographs

Overview

With their fast-paced narration and dynamic, dramatic photos, these stories are guaranteed to pump up confidence, no matter your sport of choice.

Brian can’t get a hit at bat until Coach reminds him to turn off his brain and get into the zone. Gillian loses her nerve on the high beam after hearing the crunch of another gymnast’s fall, until the girls cheer her on, and she handsprings away from the sound in her head. From saving a disastrous football season to sharing the glory ...

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Overview

With their fast-paced narration and dynamic, dramatic photos, these stories are guaranteed to pump up confidence, no matter your sport of choice.

Brian can’t get a hit at bat until Coach reminds him to turn off his brain and get into the zone. Gillian loses her nerve on the high beam after hearing the crunch of another gymnast’s fall, until the girls cheer her on, and she handsprings away from the sound in her head. From saving a disastrous football season to sharing the glory on the girls’ soccer field, from a solo punch in karate to thrilling teamwork on the basketball court, these riveting stories and inspirational quotes capture a striving for personal best — and the exhilaration of mastering your fears.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up

This outstanding collection consists of six readable and engaging stories. In "Don't Say It," Brian attempts to break out of a batting slump. "Stuffed Eagles" is a humorous account of a football team's last-gasp effort to keep from being scoreless for an entire season. A soccer player notes her team's lack of teamwork in "I'm Open." A gymnast overcomes her fear on the balance beam in "Crack-Crack-Crunch." In "A Mountain of Wood," Candace focuses her energy on breaking a wood board with her fist as she completes the test to earn her brown belt in karate. A teen gains the confidence he needs to perform well in a pick-up basketball game in "Makes Me Wanna Holla." Each story illustrates a particular quality and is paired with an apt quote, such as this one from Bruce Lee following "A Mountain of Wood": "In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail." Throughout, Smith does a fine job of evoking the action and character of the games, in words and in close-up photos. Here, he captures the staccato pace of infield play: "Crack! React. Here it comes. Lunge left. Leap. Stop. Off the dirt. Onto your feet. Throw to first. Got him!" An excellent choice for reading aloud, this book should win over a wide audience, including reluctant readers.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Six sports stories center on inspirational quotations. A football team's third- and fourth-stringers battle to score in the last game of the season. A third baseman struggles with his confidence at the plate. A soccer goalie must leave her place of safety to sub for an injured teammate on the field. A gymnast conquers her fear of injury. Lessons about teamwork, pride, taking chances and risking failure will be familiar to sports enthusiasts everywhere. The format is bright and busy, with captions in a range of font sizes and full-page photographs that vary according to the unique energy and rhythm of each sport. Smith emphasizes interior monologue, dialogue and reportage over characterization and plot, putting readers directly into the minds of athletes and leaving reflection and insight for other works. The immediacy of the storytelling and the lively format will attract young sports buffs looking for something different. (author's note) (Short stories. 9 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763614454
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2008
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles R. Smith Jr. is the author of HOOP QUEENS, HOOP KINGS, and TWELVE ROUNDS TO GLORY: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD ALI, illustrated by Bryan Collier. He also wrote and illustrated RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, among other titles. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

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