As much as I would have wanted, not all of our kids are readers. It was a struggle to get Oldest to read books and it wasn't something he really enjoyed so, as a teacher I decided to getting him to read what he was really interested in - sports.
When my kids were little, we read books ALL the time. Their favorite place to go was Books A Million or the library. I remember when I finally splurged and bought a library card from our nearby town. They had read most of the books from our small local library, we attended their weekly kids reading time, but they wanted something more. When I took them to the new big library, I don't think I'll ever forget when I led him to the Juvenile Sports section. He just stood there - turning in a slow spin taking in ALL the books. "Oh Mom, this is a dream come true!" That just about broke my heart, but it also gave me hope. Soon after that we got him a subscription for SIK (Sports Illus. for Kids) and he devoured that each month. If fact we still get it and he's 17!
Because of this, I decided to review some books, for Feed-Me-Books Friday, about baseball, particularly of the older sports leagues that set precedence for the sport that many love today.
One of the first books he read was Finding Buck McHenry. It's about a Little League catcher who believes the school janitor is a famous pitcher from the Negro Leagues and the journey he takes that revealed the truth.
Oldest quickly found another series about real life baseball heroes written by Dan Gutman called the Baseball Card Adventures. Gutman does a fantastic job researching each baseball legend and there are even lesson plans out there to help draw the reader in with some deeper cognitive thinking. Each book explores a little of their history on how they got started in baseball, their struggles of playing in the early leagues, the scandals they may have lived through, and the amazing thing it happens through the eyes of 13-year-old Joe Stoshack who time travels and to meet baseball greats of the past.
What I really love about these books is that it not only gives us insight into the world of early baseball and the hardships the men endured, but it also interjects struggles that Joe went through, making adult choices to either turn the cards in for possible a lot of money to help his struggling single family or to think of others and what moral choices he needs to make. He also has knowledge of the players lives and history, and he must decide how he will use that information as he meets each one to possibly change or not change history as we know it. Here are just a few that we've read and loved!
I love these books so much that I began having the boy I tutor read these books and he absolutely loves them! Youngest has enjoyed listening to the books again and it has lead to all kinds of discussions on baseball and black history. I hope that you'll be able to pick up one of these books for the young sports enthusiast in your life! For more great books that you might enjoy with your children, click on the button and head over for Feed Me Books Friday.