Books to boost your athlete’s reading skills, plus a giveaway!

As the parent of really active kids, my problem wasn’t getting them moving, but getting them to stop moving. Those idyllic photos of a mom cuddled up with a child reading a book together was not my reality. Our interludes lasted about 30 seconds. It wasn’t that they disliked books or had trouble reading, just that they hadn’t figured out a way to play hockey and read at the same time.

Knowing the importance of reading in brain development and school success, I kept at it. One of the things that really encourages an interest in reading is finding a topic that holds your child’s attention. Not surprisingly, for my kids that tended to be sports books, biographies of sports stars, the sports section of the newspaper, draft day previews, programs from sporting events and Sports Illustrated.

Kris Yankee author photo medSister hockey mom and author Kris Yankee understands this. As a freelance writer and mom to a couple boys, Kris  knows what appeals to kids, especially hockey crazed boys. Her brand new book Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors takes the lessons of hockey and applies it to the everyday life of middle schooler Toby Karlson. Here’s a summary of the story:

CrackingtheCode cover

When Toby Karlson, aka TK, is at the wrong place at the wrong time, he goes from cool kid to total outcast with just one hip check. Sixth-grade orientation was scary, but TK didn’t realize it would change his life. Now he has to hang out with the smartest and geekiest kid in school, while dodging the school bully and his posse. If TK were on the ice, he’d know exactly what to do. But this is life and not a hockey game. Can TK get his good-guy status back at fifth-grade camp?

I read Kris’ book, and while my kids have outgrown this age group, I think they would have liked it. It has elements that many tweens can relate to like trying to fit in, making good choices and being true to yourself. And it uses the lessons from athletics like sportsmanship and respect, along with some hockey analogies, to keep boys interested.

Book giveaway!
Kris is giving away a copy of her new book and you could be the lucky winner. Just leave a comment or tweet a link to this blog, tagging @TheTrophyMom so we make sure to see it, and we’ll enter you in a random draw. Entry deadline is midnight, February 8, 2013.

Sports titles to get your kids reading
If you are looking for some other sports titles (beyond the Matt Christopher stuff) to get your little athlete reading, here are some suggestions from my kids and trusted librarian friends.

For listeners and early readers:

yourdogYour Dog Plays Hockey by Charles M. Schulz

The Magic Hockey Stick by Maloney and Zekauskas

Sam the Zamboni Man by James Stevenson

The Field Beyond the Outfield by Mark Teague

Teammates by Peter Golenbock

For middle schoolers:

Summerland by Michael Chabon

The Big Field by Mike Lupica

lBoy21-cover-noborderFor Teens

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Hoops of Steel by John Foley

Open Ice by Pat Hughes

Boy21 by Matthew Quick

girloverboardFor Girls

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane

Yours Truly, Skye O’Shea by Megan Shull

Throwing Like a Girl by Weezie Kerr Mackey

MadCat by Kathy Mackel

Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Still struggling to get your little athlete reading? Here are some tips from RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) on how to get your child reading. What are your kids’ favorite books? I’m always on the lookout for suggestions.

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3 Comments on “Books to boost your athlete’s reading skills, plus a giveaway!”

  1. Thanks for your kind words, Trophy Mom! You’ve got a great list of book recommendations! I’m so lucky to have mine included with them.

  2. Sheri Larsen says:

    Eek!! Kris is fabulous! I just hopped over from her site. I’m a fellow hockey mom, too – four kiddos. It’s great to meet you.


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