If you’re missing the season, we got ya. Here are some great basketball books for kids & young adults, recommended by Bookfairs Manager and avid Spurs fan, Ellen!
Usually, the spring is a great time for a sports fan. NBA, NCAA basketball and baseball, MLB resumes, grand slam tennis, Stanley Cup, and the Masters. And this year, fans had a sports smorgasbord – the summer Olympics – to look forward to.
The pandemic unceremoniously put all sports on an immediate and indefinite halt. What is a fan to do? If they are like me, they might miss the competition, the drama, the highs & lows, the unknown & unexpected, the miracles.
Every team, every player, every sport has a story. And books are a great place to find them. Here are some basketball books, since I really miss my Spurs right now, I’ve read that might help a marooned fan.
I Got Next by Daria Peoples-Riley (picture book)
I love the illustrations in this book – he ducks, he swerves, he runs, he jumps, he shoots! Fun to read aloud, too.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (chapter book/graphic novel)
If you still haven’t checked out this modern classic, you now have two choices – the original novel in verse (also avail in Spanish) and the graphic novel version. A story about two brothers, family history, and expectation. Fantastic basketball onomatopoeia and kinetic verse that puts the reader on the court.
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (YA NF)
A gripping nonfiction graphic novel about an author & teacher (Yang) and his school’s elite basketball team. A completely unexpected story combining the creative balance and process of the author with the struggles and obstacles the team faces in their quest for a state championship. Highs, lows, competition, determination, an unknown ending, and everything else that makes sports – and stories – so great.
Sprawlball: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA by Kirk Goldsberry (YA & adult-interest)
Admittedly, I haven’t read every single word of this book. I have paged through it pretty thoroughly, and for me, it’s all about the data that is presented in a highly accessible and visual way. This is a book that has to be seen to be appreciated. Want to see Steph Curry’s shot location during his rookie year? Or the most common shot locations during the 2001-02 season vs 2016-17? A book that visualizes how game play has changed from in the paint to outside the arc. Fascinating.
-Ellen, BookPeople Bookfairs Manager