Just because your kid is athletic or a sports fanatic (or both!), doesn’t mean they can’t also be a devoted bookworm. After all, watching sports and playing sports are fun, but when you need a little downtime, it’s also nice to read…about sports! Here are ten books that combine the best of both worlds for sports fans, trivia fans, and those who love them. On your mark. Get set. Read!
Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars, by Gregory Zuckerman, Elijah Zuckerman, and Gabriel Zuckerman
This book takes an inspiring look at some of the more challenging personal stories our favorite athletes faced early on in their lives—like soccer star Tim Howard’s Tourette Syndrome diagnosis. It’s important to show your kids that evens a great like Stephen Curry was once told he wasn’t good/strong/tall enough to play college basketball—but he didn’t let that discourage him. Instead of giving up, he worked twice as hard.
Weird but True Sports: 300 Wacky Facts About Awesome Athletics, by National Geographic Kids
If your child has entered the Trivia Phase, this is the book for them! They’ll be able to head back to school with a whole mess of fun sports facts (300, to be exact!) that will wow their classmates. A cool sporty take on the irresistible Weird but True series.
Hardcover $12.56 | $13.95
Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends, by David Stabler and Doogie Horner
Even the most famous professional athlete was once a child (talk about weird, but true!), and this book is a poignant reminder of that. You might be surprised to learn which baseball legend was sent to reform school, or which football superstar had to do the tango in his school play. These personal and touching tales are wonderfully entertaining reading, even for those who are not obsessed with sports.
Sports Illustrated Kids Slam Dunk!: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Basketball, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
This book is the perfect gift for young basketball fans! Written in list format, it’s jam-packed with a ton of trivia about the game, leagues, and players. Plus there are gorgeous full-color photographs from Sports Illustrated, for an added bonus.
Baseball: Then to WOW!, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
History buffs especially will be wowed by this book, which traces baseball’s history over the past century. Kids will learn about the evolution of the game, the equipment, and even the story behind baseball frankfurters. This book uses a multifaceted approach, with pictures, fun facts, and text, and will have you humming “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” before you know it.
Scholastic Year in Sports 2016, by James Buckley Jr.
If your child is a multi-talented athlete who bounces between baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey (or at least shows a fan’s interest in each of them), then this comprehensive book is right up their alley. It offers an extensive recap on the year in sports—every sport—so you can catch up on those you may have missed, from lacrosse, to MMA.
Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who Basketball, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
This is a book any basketball aficionado will have trouble putting down! From Michael Jordan, to Shaq, to Magic Johnson, all the greats are accounted for. Young fans can learn facts, pore over stats, and check out pictures of all these legendary players!
Sports Illustrated Kids The TOP 10 of Everything in SPORTS, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
You’ve got to love a good top 10 list. This book takes that fun format and uses it, along with Sports Illustrated pictures, to tell fans anything and everything about all things sports-related. A detailed and fun look at the world of professional sports, perfect for any athlete, benchwarmer, or fan!
Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: ALL-STARS: The 101 Stars Every Fan Needs To Know, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
This book was written for kids, but it’s also a book many adults could definitely use! No more pretending like you know what team LeBron James plays for; this book will make sure you have stats on all of the stars, past and present. A good primer to study before going to a Superbowl party, or for your kids to use to wow their friends with their sports trivia knowledge.
Big Book of Who: Football Revised & Updated, by Editors of Sports Illustrated for Kids
No matter how in-depth their knowledge of football, young football aficionados will learn a thing or two from this book, which is arranged in a fun question and answer format, and contains 101 football stars that every sports fan needs to know. Who’s John Elway, you say? Don’t ask us, read the book!
My Weird School Fast Facts: Sports, by Dan Gutman and Jim Paillot
Most sports fans love weird trivia, and luckily so does My Weirdest School Series author Dan Gutman! This book is full of random facts that are sure to make you think, and laugh. Did you know that Babe Ruth stayed cool by putting a wet cabbage leaf under his baseball cap? It’s a whole new way of playing with your food! Gutman includes this and so many more giggle-inducing facts, along with cool cartoon illustrations by Jim Paillot.
My First Book of Baseball: A Rookie Book, by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
Before your child joins their first baseball team, put this how-to book in their mitts. The experts (i.e. the editors of Sports Illustrated) will show them how a real game of baseball is played, from the first swing to the final home run. Your rookie players will feel more comfortable and prepared when they show up for practice. Batter up!
Do you have young sports fans in your life?