Super Bowl Picks
It’s Super Bowl week, so why not have feature some books where sports and their players play a main role?
Addie Ramirez decides to search for her birth father, whom she doesn’t remember at all. In the process, she also finds her grandparents, who are retired professional wrestlers, her cousins, who want to be wrestlers, and her dad, who is staging a comeback as a wrestler. This is a touching but joyous middle grade novel about finding yourself (and how much fun wrestling in a ring in the backyard can be!).
If the book names didn’t clue you in (Intercepted, Fumbled, Blitzed, and Snapped), this book series features players from the NFL’s (fictional) Denver Mustangs and the women with whom they found love. Of course, there are always complications on and off the field. These books are spicy, so be warned!
This memoir evokes all of the joys and sorrows of high school football. Keanon had a plum job as an NFL coach when his childhood friend and former high school teammate died of an opioid overdose. He returned to his hometown to coach football at Parkrose High School, and changed lives along the way. His message of overcoming his demons to be a successful player and coach in the NFL, as well as his successes and failures as a high school coach, teacher and mentor will inspire you.
Kitoo and Nigosi are orphans in Kenya. They love playing soccer and other sports. When Kitoo reads a book about sports around the world, he is intrigued by ice hockey. He finds a pair of roller skates one day and decides to try this new sport. But can you play hockey in Kenya? This is an early chapter book that kids will love!
Emmie wants to compete in wheelchair motocross, and is saving up for her dream wheelchair. But her dreams must be delayed when there’s an incident with a poorly-designed ramp at school, and, instead of fixing it, the school gives her a full-time aide, and begins a fundraising campaign for her wheelchair. While this is what she wants, she feels she’s lost control of her own life, and must work to show her town that she wants to do this her way.
Jason Goodyear and the rest of the (fictional) Los Angeles Lions are in Arizona for spring training. The book’s narrator is a sports commentator, but we also hear from a batting coach, a woman looking for spring training romance, a sports agent, and other characters that make up the spring training ecosystem. Baseball lovers will enjoy this fictional look at a baseball player and the people who surround him.
We can’t finish this list without throwing in an ACC-centric book about basketball! Dan Collins went to UNC-Chapel Hill, and wrote about Wake Forest sports for more than 20 years. He’s compiled a list of greats from ACC basketball, and features both the known players and the unknown. This book was published in 2015, so it won’t include anyone in the past decade or so, but there are so many great players to choose from in the past of the ACC that you won’t miss reading about the more recent players.
Mary Beth Adams is the Community Engagement Librarian for Alamance County Public Libraries. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.