Books to boost your athlete’s reading skills, plus a giveaway!Posted: January 30, 2013
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.
Sister 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:
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.
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:
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
Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
Hoops of Steel by John Foley
Open Ice by Pat Hughes
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
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.