Take Me Out to the Ball Game These fun books are the next best thing to being on the field.

Spring sports are in full swing! Whether you’re a tried-and-true Orioles fan, a talented tennis player or a lacrosse lover, there’s nothing better than starting up a new season. Even if you’re not athletically inclined, sports can make for some seriously great stories. Suit up for these riveting reads, courtesy of The Ivy Bookshop’s Rona Sue London.

Board/Soft Books (newborn-toddler)

“Baltimore Orioles 101” by Brad M. Epstein
It’s never too early to back the Birds! In this adorable edition (part of the “my-first-team-board-book” series), budding fans will learn about famous players, Orioles lore and the classic black-and-orange mascot. (Michaelson Entertainment)

“Ball” by John Hutton
Often one of the first words that babies learn, “Ball” serves as a fabulous introduction to all things sports and play. From the classic (baseballs, footballs and more) to the unconventional (peas, oysters and other orbs), your little one is sure to love this charming choice. (blue manatee press)

Picture Books (ages 2-6)

“Who’s on First?” by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Parents are probably familiar with this silly skit from classic comedic duo Abbott and Costello, which gets new life in adorably illustrated picture book form. We promise, the routine is a little easier to follow when “Who” is a snake, “What” is a dog and “I Don’t Know” is a chicken! (Pop Classic Picture Books)

“Night at the Stadium” by Derek Jeter
Okay, we wouldn’t normally promote a Yankee here in Charm City, but Derek Jeter’s debut is a great pick for young fans. In the story, seven-year-old Gideon discovers a secret side of stadium life at his first-ever game…and to his surprise, it’s even better than baseball! (Jeter Publishing)

Early Readers (ages 6-8)

“Lacrosse Laser” by Jake Maddox
Enjoy this thrilling take on Maryland’s unofficial state sport! Player Jaylin really wants to make an on-field change, but something surprising is holding him back. Will he be able to make his midfielder dreams come true? (Jake Maddox Sports Stories)

“Miss Mary Reporting” by Sue Macy and C.F. Payne
Subtitled “The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber,” “Miss Mary Reporting” tells the inspiring story of groundbreaking sports journalist Mary Garber, one of the first females in her field. (Simon & Schuster)

Middle Readers (ages 8-12)

“The Playbook” by Kwame Alexander, Photographs by Mr. Thai Neave
Released early this year, this inspirational read offers “52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life” for middle schoolers. Even better? It’s couched in fun, relatable sports lingo and full of advice from celebrities, famous athletes and more. (HMH Books for Young Readers)

“Strong Inside” by Andrew Maraniss
Basketball may not be a spring sport, but the incredible story of Perry Wallace is worth reading any time of year. Wallace, a Black college basketball player, was the first to desegregate the Southeastern Conference in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. And while his journey was not easy, his legacy is long-lasting. (Philomel Books)

Young Adults (ages 13-18)

“Out of Nowhere” by Maria Padian
Popular kid and soccer captain Tom Bouchard’s life is turned upside down when a group of Somali refugees come to his small Maine hometown. Suddenly, he’s no longer the star of the squad…and what follows is a poignant lesson in prejudice and acceptance. (Ember)

 Fun For All Ages

“100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” by Dan Connelly and Jim Palmer
The title of the book speaks for itself—play ball!

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