There are literally thousands of books about baseball: books about winning seasons and losing seasons, strategy and statistics, scandals and successes, and even a number of novels written by some of our greatest fiction writers. There are books written by or about players, former players, managers, owners, umpires, mascots, beat writers and fans. Joe Posnanski, who has written about baseball for Sports Illustrated and now NBC Sports, says, "There are a lot of reasons why baseball has inspired so much good writing — the leisurely pace of the game that leaves room for stories, its connection to spring and summer, the way its story has mirrored American history — but I suspect the biggest reason is nostalgia.
For our family, the longer days of spring and summer are synonymous with baseball. Many hours are spent cheering at little league games, playing catch in the front yard, and staying up way past bedtime to see if the Giants are on their way to another World Series victory. When my baseball enthusiast son struggled to find books he really wanted to read, I found tapping into his love of the game was a home run.
Play ball! The books below include both fiction and nonfiction titles for a range of ages. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.
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The baseball season is now upon us. That observation remains true today and in the intervening years our national pastime has inspired great poems, music, plays, films, novels, and thousands of biographies, autobiographies, histories, essays, and other nonfiction works. Baseball reflects every aspect of American life and culture.
Books about baseball can engage students in learning about history, perseverance, and sportsmanship. And there are so many great ones from which to choose! Here are 23 of our favorite baseball books for kids, just in time for the start of the new season!
Friedman Family Foundation. Some great books for boys and girls who love baseball — a biography of one of today's top players, a history of the women's pro league, an anthology of great baseball writing, a fictionalized journal of a negro league player, and lots of good teen fiction with baseball featured in the subplots. This list was developed by Kasha Hayes.
My son fell in love with baseball at the age of 20 months. Rather than just list books, I explain what my son finds appealing about each book or series. I include and emphasize only books he liked, even if I personally found them boring after a few readings.
Sports books for teens and tweens are a great vehicle for parent-child chats about friendship, teamwork, winning and losing, fairness, and other aspects of sportsmanship. They also appeal to sports fans who otherwise aren't into reading. Consider these top titles for your middle- or high-schooler. This novel-in-verse by Kwame Alexander won the prestigious Newbery Medal in