If you have a son or a daughter who loves sports, here is a list of 6 sports-themed books that your children will love.

Facing Fear: An Immigration Story

Written by Karen Lynn Williams
Illustrated by Sara Palacios

Enrique can’t believe his father won’t let him travel to his team’s big soccer tournament. Papi says going across the checkpoint is too risky. Even though Enrique is a U.S. citizen, the rest of the family isn’t—and if the border police stop them, the family might be split up. The next morning Enrique decides he’s going to his big game, no matter what. But the day ahead will change how he sees his dad and how he defines courage… 

This book is a powerful depiction of the everyday struggles faced by undocumented immigrants and their families. Sensitively told with expressive illustrations, Facing Fear explores the meaning of bravery and the strength of a community.

Get On Your Bike

Joukje Akveld
Philip HopmanHARDCOVER;ISBN: 978-0-8028-5489-632 PagesTrim Size, in inches: 10 x 13.5

Ages 4 to 8

An inviting book about resolving conflicts

Bobby and William aren’t quite sure how the argument started, but it escalates until William gets so frustrated he tells Bobby to leave. Bobby does just that, hopping on his bike and furiously riding away. As he travels through the city and into the country­side, though, he begins to calm down. Maybe William had a point after all? Bobby bikes back into town, hoping William will forgive him, and discovers that he’s not the only one who wants to apologize.

With mesmerizing illustrations reminiscent of Richard Scarry, this vibrant book offers a sensitive, realistic portrayal of a conflict. . .and a compromise.

Going for the Record

Julie A. Swanson
Ages 12 and upPAPERBACK; Coming Soon: 2/16/2021ISBN: 978-0-8028-5573-2224 PagesTrim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5

Seventeen-year-old Leah Weicynkowski is on the brink of realizing her dream—playing soccer for the under-eighteen national team, her gateway to the World Cup and the Olympics. Everything she’s worked for has been about this moment. She can’t wait to tell her dad, her biggest fan and her faithful chauffeur to games and practices.

Unfortunately, her dad has news of his own. News that will make Leah reconsider everything that matters most to her. He has pancreatic cancer, and maybe only a few months to live.

Loosely based on the author’s own experiences, this coming-of-age story portrays Leah’s passion for her sport, her love for her father, and her struggle to define herself in the shadow of an uncertain future.

I’ll Root for You

Written by Edward van de Vendel
Illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch
Translated by David Colmer

A collection of poems that’s sure to be a winner 

This delightful poetry collection is the perfect cheerleader for young athletes . . . especially ones who may not be the most athletic. Edward van de Vendel introduces readers to a world where elephants figure skate, frogs win the Diversity Olympics, and a pig quits the football team for gymnastics, even though everyone laughs at his leotard. Paired with winsome illustra­tions, the poems—sometimes silly, sometimes sincere—encourage young readers to pursue their goals, try their best, and take pride in themselves, whether they win or lose.

This irrepressibly joyful book from an award-winning team will have readers cheering for more.

Not Exactly Normal

Devin Brown
Ages 9-13
Lexile: 900LPAPERBACK; Published: 6/29/2006ISBN: 978-0-8028-5287-8238 PagesTrim Size, in inches: 5 x 7.25

Todd Farrel attends tiny St. Luke’s Episcopal School in rural New England. Each year the sixth graders finish winter term with their big social studies reports. Wanting to make his report something special this year, Todd finally decides to write about mystical experiences — something definitely not normal. After doing some research, Todd determines that he needs to have his own mystical experience.

While practicing soccer with his best friend, Nitro, listening to an unusual teacher who encourages original thinking, and giving in to his curiosity about Leda, the intelligent but unusual (in Todd’s opinion) girl from California, Todd discovers some pretty extraordinary aspects to life in his ordinary world.

Not Exactly Normal is a book about being different and about fitting in, about accepting the differences of others and seeing ways that everyone is alike. It will challenge readers’ assumptions and help them look at the world and their lives in new ways.

When No One Is Watching

Eileen Spinelli
David A. JohnsonHARDCOVER;ISBN: 978-0-8028-5303-526 PagesTrim Size, in inches: 8.5 x 11

Ages 4-8
Lexile: AD440L

When no one is watching, it’s easy to be brave — to dance and sing, growl and cheer. But when everyone’s watching, this book’s shy young narrator fi nds it far easier to hide. With her best friend, Loretta, though, she doesn’t feel shy, embarrassed, awkward, or odd — not one bit. Together they’re like two peas in a pod, whether anyone’s watching or not.

Any readers who have felt shy will certainly recognize themselves within the pages of this adorable book, which will encourage even the most timid of audiences with its celebration of the value of a good friend.