When you reach a certain age, the last thing your kids want to hear is a story about "the good old days." While this may apply to old flames and college shenanigans, one place where reliving the past never gets old is in sports!
Last night my son and I caught a late season Milwaukee Brewer game. In a rebuilding year with a sparsely filled stadium and $60 tickets going for $10, it is sometimes hard to find the positives.
Luckily, I had just finished If These Walls Could Talk by Bill Schroeder with Drew Olson. In the book, Schroeder tells fantastic stories about some of the colorful characters and amazing Brewer teams that have been part of the baseball tradition in Milwaukee. Sometimes, when the present isn't so exciting, it's good to remind people of what was. On a beautiful night for baseball, I related to my son some of the stories from Schroeder's book, told him a few of my own memories of those teams, and bought him some cheese fries and a hat at the gift shop so he'd listen. Overall, a great night at the ballpark and a little bonding over our favorite baseball team.
Publisher Triumph Books does a nice series of books in the If These Walls Could Talk series. While it is not technically a series, they have a great selection of teams and schools that would probably fit your geographical area. The format is similar throughout. Get a former player, coach, announcer, etc that has a worked closely with the team and has a strong insider perspective, and have them write the book. The goal here seems to be to fill the book with personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes views of the people and events that contributed to the legacy of the organization.
Kids always love to see the personal side of things, so these books are a must for your library. They are also written at a level that is extremely accessible to the young adult crowd, and the writing is formatted with pictures and sidebars that always keep the pace interesting. Overall, a must add for all 6-12 libraries!
This past month, I was lucky enough to share in VOYA Magazine some lists of high interest nonfiction sports books that would appeal to the young adult audience. VOYA Magazine serves librarians and professionals who serve young adult readers. They do a fantastic job of gathering programming and resource ideas for librarians to engage the teenage population in reading.
The first part of my series published in August involves ball sports. Much like the high profile nature of these activities, they are probably the most popular sports books that teens check out. The second part to appear in the December issue will be on combat/fighting sports, and the final installment in early 2017 will be on the silent sports like running and swimming. Any opportunity to bring good sports titles into the literature playing field is golden, so I am excited about this! I have included the article below, so take a read and discover some new titles for your library or personal collection!