Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Best Baseball Books Your Kids Haven't Read

Your kid is sports obsessed.  The only way to get him to read a book is to put a sports book in his hands.  You have gone through all Mike Lupica has to offer but even those are nearing their end, what is a mom to do?

Perhaps your child is just getting into chapter books and you want ones that capture his love of sports to get him excited about reading.  You have heard time and time again that children are drawn to books based on subjects that interest them and not necessarily books that are simply interesting.  You have scoured the library shelves for books by Matt Christopher, but you need something else!

Well baseball moms, fear no longer!  Today I have a selection that will take their love of the game and translate that into a great story.  A love of baseball and a love of reading do not have to cancel each other out.  Rejoice and have a hot dog!

Don't forget to follow one great book on Facebook and twitter for the latest information on great books for you kids.

Title:          Two Hot Dogs with Everything
Author:      Paul Haven
Target:       Grades 3-6
Series:        No
What this book is about:
Danny Gurkin is the biggest Sluggers fan....ever!  That is quite an accomplishment when the Sluggers are the worst team in baseball, and have been the worst team for over 100 years.   Danny truly believes that he can control the outcome of the games.  This involves eating two hots with everything before every game (extra goop when the rookie Canova is pitching,) all windows closed when the count is full, caps backwards when there is a chance of a double play, standing on one foot, holding your breath and crossing your fingers to get a rally get the idea.  However a chance encounter with the caretaker at the home of the first Sluggers owner leads Danny to find the ultimate good luck charm.  Will it be good enough to take the Sluggers to the World Series?
Why I love this book:
First, if you love baseball, this book will strike a chord.  The games had me on the edge of my seat, the history of the team gave this story substance and Danny’s superstitions are right in line with any baseball fan.  My son has actually stopped watching games because he thought he was bringing bad luck to the team.
Also, both my sons loved this book!  Neither one of them could put it down and both of them wanted to talk to me about the story afterwards.  It really is suspenseful for a baseball book, and it has just enough details that the baseball feels very authentic without being too technical.  
Who this book is for:
Any kid who has crossed his fingers, left the room or followed a superstition to help his team win a game.
Final thoughts:
Sometimes believing in yourself is the first step to success!

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click her to connect to Amazon: Two Hot Dogs With Everything A portion of your purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          Top of the Order
Author:       John Coy
Target:        Grades 3-5
Series:         Yes, in a way.  The author uses the same group of four friends and writes about each sports season: baseball, basketball, soccer and football.
What this book is about:
This book focuses on the baseball season.  Jackson is at the end of fifth grade and looking forward to his team, the Panthers, being good this year. The problem is that they are lacking a good second base player.  When Jackson’s best friend, Gig, has a sister who turns out to be their best bet, tensions run high.  Can Gig forgive his sister for coming out for the team and invading his turf? Will Diego, their power hitter be able to save their season?  Will they be able to stay focused with Gig’s father about to deploy to Afghanistan?  At the end of the day Jackson really just want to play well and win ball games, but it isn’t as easy as he first thought!
Why I love this book: This book is engaging, with plenty of baseball.  The kids all face challenges but they don’t overwhelm the overall story or the baseball.  The characters are realistic and funny and the story is fast paced.  
While I thought the baseball sequences were well done, with enough tension and the right amount of baseball knowledge, I was also completely impressed with the classroom sequences.  The boys get a new writing teacher who engages them in a way their old teacher never could, and the author made that story line appealing and educational!  A book that makes school work as interesting as baseball, that was one I never saw coming!
Who this book is for:
Kids who liked Mat Christopher will enjoy these books.  They are a level up and more updated than their predecessor.
Final thoughts:
Top of the Order is just that!

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Top of the Order (4 for 4)  A portion of your purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          Mudville
Author:      Kurtis Scaletta
Target:       Grades 4-6
Series:        No
What this book is about: Roy McGuire lives in Moundville, nicknamed Mudville because it hasn’t stopped raining for the last twenty two years.  It started one fateful day when a baseball game between Moundville and a rival neighboring town got too heated.  They rain started, postponing the game, but then it never stopped.  Fast forward twenty two years, Roy’s father takes in a foster kid, who seems to have some baseball talent, and the rain mysteriously abates. Baseball can be played again in Moundville, and that reignites the old rivalry, with a rematch to determine who the rightful winner should be.  There is nothing like a twenty two year old rain delay to get excitement and expectations going!
Why I love this book: Ok, I have to be upfront here.  The first half of the book is fairly slow, with a lot of background info and character development.  I know I shouldn’t poo poo those things, but it doesn’t make for a riveting story.  The last half of the book is where this story really lights up.  If your child really likes baseball this is where the meat of the book resides and why you need to encourage them to keep going with this story.
I loved the baseball sequences!  Roy is a catcher and his insights on how players need to be positioned and what pitches to throw, gave me a new appreciation of how the game is played.  I also loved the way Roy seamlessly weaved percentages and statistics into the story, an essential element of baseball.  This kid knows baseball, and any child who loves the game will get new insights on how to play.  The games were also so well done that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew the outcome of each scrimmage!
Who this book is for:
Kids who love baseball will love this book.  Reminds me more of Mike Lupica so if your children enjoy his books, this one should be a good fit.
Final thoughts:
Any kid/parent will enjoy the game more after reading this story.

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Mudville  A portion of your purchase goes back to support this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment