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Reading for the Win!

boy dressed in a baseball uniform holding a bat to swing

Turn a love of sports into a love of reading with books about kids’ favorite activities.

By Valerie Suttee, Richard Byrd Library Branch Manager

Complementary, Not Contradictory

With professional baseball reaching the peak of its season and football, hockey and basketball gearing up, fall is a sports lover’s dream. And, although some stereotypes may suggest otherwise, sports and reading are not mutually exclusive favorite activities.

In her article “Five Ways to Help Your Child Develop a Love of Reading” on, Isang Awah of the University of Oxford Department of Social Policy and Intervention discusses the value of connecting reading with kids’ other interests: “The freedom to select books leads to a positive attitude towards reading, better engagement with the book, and a more enjoyable reading experience.”  

For kids who may not be interested in reading, discussing topics or subjects they find exciting­ — like sports — can help spur a reluctant reader to reach for a book. Whether your child is the next Simone Biles or her biggest fan, an avid reader or a reluctant one, John Marshall Library Youth Services Manager Keri Gould has some sports series suggestions for your young sports lover. 

Suggested Sports Series

  • Mo Jackson by David Adler
  • Ballpark Mysteries by David Kelly
  • Kickoff by Tiki Barber
  • McKenna (American Girl) by Mary Casanova
  • Sports Fairies by Daisy Meadows
  • Kicks by Alex Morgan
  • Track by Jason Reynolds
  • Girls Sports Stories by Jake Maddox
  • Spectacular Sports by Matt Doeden

How to Play Paper Football

Grab a friend and play this mini, indoor-friendly version of American football!

Make the Football

Click the template image at right for a printable version. Print out the template and cut it out along the solid lines. Fold the paper into triangles along the dotted lines from the top to the bottom tab. Fold the bottom tab into the slot created by the folds. Decorate your f

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