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March Madness: Basketball Books

by Miriam Downey 25. March 2014 07:13

It is March Madness, and it is especially mad in Michigan where both major basketball teams (Michigan and Michigan State) have advanced to the Sweet 16. My 14-year-old grandson is a rabid Michigan State fan, and we have been speculating about the odds of both Michigan teams advancing to the final four. What if they played each other at the finals? Aah, the sweetness of that!

If you follow this blog, you know that my family is very large, and one of our best collective memories was the Final Four in 2010 when three of the four teams were important to our family. One son went to Butler; several had gone to Michigan State; and two were teaching at West Virginia. We all gathered on the night of the games, and the grandchildren had t-shirts for all three teams that they kept changing as the evening wore on. Our Butler son came out on top that night only to lose to Duke in the finals. So much fun!

Well, enough of my family stories. Here is a list of great basketball books for the sports fans in your family--both girls and boys. I have grouped them by picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction. All are available at the library or bookstore.

Picture Books

Hoops by Robert Burleigh. Captures the game with poetry and great illustrations. (K-6)

Swish! by bill Martin Jr. A girls' basketball tournament in words and pictures. (k-6)

Think Big by Nancy Carlson. Frog Vinny wants to be a basketball player. (k-2)

Cinder-Elly by Frances Minters. A rap fairy tale about a basketball game. (k-2)

Arthur and the Pen-Pal Playoff by Stephen Krensky. Arthur brags about his basketball ability. (k-2)

Around the World by John Coy. Street basketball around the world. (k-8)

Chapter Books and Novels

The Sabbath Garden by Patricia Greene. A young basketball star struggles to overcome her tough African-American neighborhood. (grades 7-12)

The Million-Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman. Eddie gets a chance to throw a basket at the NBA finals. (grades 4-6)

Jester at the Back Court by Tommy Hallowell. Part of the Alden All-Stars series of sports novels. (grades 4-6)

Angel Park Hoop Stars series by Dean Hughes. Basketball buffs will love this series. (grades 3-6)

Slam! by Walter Dean Myers. A star basketball player faces challenges at a new high school. (grades 7-12)

Non-fiction

The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. Everything you wanted to know about basketball. (grades 4-12)

Basketball: Startling Stories behind the Records by Jim Benagh.  Lots of basketball trivia. (grades 4-12)

Basketball: A Slammin' Jammin' Guide to Super Hoops! by Richard Brenner. A guide to playing basketball, with lots of basic skills for both girls and boys. (grades 4-6)

Fundamental Basketball by Jim Klingzing. Lots of photographs to explain basketball. (grades 2-6)

Michael Jordan by Sean Dolan. No list of basketball books is complete without a book about Michael Jordan. (grades 4-6)

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