Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Need to know about sports? NatGeo’s got you covered.

sportsNational Geographic Kids: Everything Sports, by Eric Zweig with Shalise Manza Young, (March 2016, National Geographic Kids), $12.99, ISBN: 9781426323331

Recommended for ages 8-12

I am not a big sports girl, often to my husband’s chagrin. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the Olympics, and there are sports I enjoy watching, like fencing and gymnastics, but it’s not often that I get to watch those (usually, just during the Olympics). Many of the kids in my library are big sports fans, though, so I need to become better versed in some general sports books, so I can booktalk and show them books that may appeal to them. As always, I start with NatGeo Kids, because 1) their books fly off my shelves; 2) they’re comprehensive, with beautiful photos, and 3) they have little fact tidbits that always help with a booktalk or party talk.

Everything Sports is a great go-to for general sports info, especially for newbies who want to learn more, like me. The book is only 64 pages – not a huge commitment to a history of every sport ever played – and written by two sports journalists who also have a gift for making their complete understanding of sports readable and digestible to all. Sharlise Manza Young shares her knowledge throughout the book in her “Explorer’s Corner” feature, providing a little more background info on some of our most popular sports. There are fun activities and quizzes throughout -kids can make their own sports cards, which opens up a world of program possibilities for me, especially during World Cup season, because my Corona Kids are also devoted soccer (ahem… “football”) fans.

Everything Sports is a great add to where you’re building a strong sports collection. Display with David Stabler’s Kid Athletes and your seasonal sports books, plus any biographies on popular atheletes in your community. Just coming off of a fantastic Olympics showing, you can display from gymnastics books and talk up recent Olympians, including the Fabulous 5 (also a great opportunity to talk up the amazing diversity on this season’s team), Olympic swimmers Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, and Michael Phelps, and since yes, there is fencing in the book (yay!), let’s talk about Ibtihaj Muhammad, who set the strip on fire in Rio!


Photos courtesy of


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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