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Bodies of Work 10 Titles about Sports, Athletes and Ourselves

Our bodies are things of wonder, whether they are growing a new tooth, riding a bike, becoming a  world-famous athlete or fighting off a disease. These books for a variety of ages celebrate all things physical.

Board/Toddler
‘Tooth’ by Leslie Patricelli

Baby is getting a new tooth — and there are soon to be more. Fun times lie ahead as Baby discovers good and bad things to bite and masters the art of the toothbrush.

 

 

 

 

‘Good Night Yoga’ by Lorena Pajalunga

Children will be relaxed and ready for bed after this calming yoga session. Step-by-step instructions and colorful illustrations make this book appealing and easy to follow.

Picture Books

‘The Field’ by Baptiste Paul; illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

GOOOOOAL!!! On a Caribbean island, a diverse group of children gather for an impromptu game of soccer. The colorful, energetic illustrations match the movement of the text, which is in English with some Creole words sprinkled throughout. For soccer lovers or the casual sports fan, this story is sure to please all.

‘Sisters & Champions: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams’ by Howard Bryant; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams are inspiring to young and old alike. They began their tennis careers at a young age with the help of their father. Through hard work and perseverance, they realized their father’s dream for them and became the top two ranked tennis players in the world.

Young Readers
‘I Like My Bike’ by AG Ferrari

All sorts of wheels are going round and round in this lively title perfect for new or struggling readers. Simple and repetitive text tells the story of a young girl and her helmeted dog riding a bright red bike through town. The vivid illustrations allow readers to really stretch their imaginations, as they meet all sorts of wacky characters, including a sea lion chauffeur and a cactus driving a pickup truck.

 

‘Yogi: The Life, Loves and Language of Baseball  Legend Yogi Berra’
by Barb Rosenstock; illustrated by Terry Widener

Opening Day is this month (hooray!), and this is a special tribute to a remarkable player and to America’s pastime. Yogi Berra was a catcher for the New York Yankees but will be remembered as one of baseball’s most flamboyant figures. The book’s energetic text and robust artwork combine to showcase the talent and passion of this American icon. Back matter includes career accomplishments, photographs and “A Note About Yogi-isms,” detailing some of Berra’s most famous malapropisms.

Middle Readers
‘No Slam Dunk’ by Mike Lupica

Seventh-grader Wes Davies has been selected to play basketball on the elite Annapolis Hawks team with some of the best players of his age group, including Dinero, his former rival from a competing team. Dinero is a bit of a ball hog and a showboat who only plays for himself. Wes struggles on the court with how to get everyone to work as a team, while off the court he deals with his father, who just returned from his final deployment in Afghanistan and has post-traumatic stress disorder and an alcohol problem. Contemporary family issues as well as themes of teamwork and communication are interwoven with a lot of realistic basketball action.

‘Elle of the Ball’ by Elena Delle Donne

WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s “Hoops” series opener is a story based on her own experiences playing basketball in middle school. As the season starts, Elle Deluca has just had a major growth spurt and is now 6 feet tall — she’s outgrown her clothes; she’s taller than all the boys, including her dance partner for the upcoming school dance; and to top it off, she’s having a hard time adjusting to her new body on the basketball court. A humorous and engaging story filled with lots of basketball play-by-play and friendship.

Young Adults
‘You Asked for Perfect’ by Laura Silverman

Ariel, a high school senior and valedictorian, is on the path to Harvard when his academic world suddenly shatters with a failed calculus quiz. Realizing that his obsessive personality may be to blame for his recent troubles, he decides he needs help. But will Ariel’s observant Jewish family accept his romantic relationship with a Pakistani Muslim tutor? The pressures that high-performing students face are acutely examined in this engaging novel.

‘I Want to Eat Your Pancreas: The Complete Manga Collection’ by Yoru Sumino

Haruki is an introvert who has limited his contact with other people. After learning of his high school classmate Sakura’s terminal illness diagnosis, he begins to understand the value of human connection. The bittersweet story tackles issues of life, death and identity in an appropriate manner for a teen audience.

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