Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby JuggernautJ » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:07 pm

Hi all.
I have a nephew who is turning eight.
He loves football (his team won their pee wee league) and reads every day so I was hoping to give him a couple of football (history) books for youngsters for his birthday.
Sadly, those with which I might be familiar have been out of print for decades.

Any recommendations for an 8 year old?
Specifically, any football history books for that age group? It is never too early to kindle an interest in our favorite sport!

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby JeffreyMiller » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:48 am

I grew up on the Punt, Pass & Kick books, but sadly I don't think there will anything comparable in the modern NFL. A good primer for a teen would be Pigskin by Robert Peterson, but that is probably too advanced for an eight year old.
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby TanksAndSpartans » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:28 am

My daughter really likes the Who is/What is, etc. books. Unfortunately, there isn't much football. A quick search shows these two:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/317519/what-is-the-super-bowl-by-dina-anastasio-illustrated-by-david-groff/

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/692502/who-is-tom-brady-by-james-buckley-jr-illustrated-by-gregory-copeland/

She didn't read either of these, but she actually read an Olympics one that touched on Jim Thorpe.
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby RyanChristiansen » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:51 pm

The Creative Company has been publishing a series of books about each of the NFL teams for several years now, with regular updates. At 48 pages with lots of photos and graphics, they appear to be perfect for an 8-year-old. Here is a link to their latest collection.

https://thecreativecompany.us/collections/series-nfl-today
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:27 pm

Capstone has a few that seem similar to the books we grew up with. Biographies of some current players, books about "Football's Greatest Quarterbacks/Receivers/Defenders", etc.

We've found a few good books for kids on Amazon as well. Sports Illustrated for Kids has a series. There are some good ones out there.
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby Ronfitch » Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:43 pm

Never too young for North Dallas Forty or Dr. Z's A Thinking Man's Guide to Football.

Seriously, without thumbing through then to see if age appropriate, what about Leatherheads of the North or Ralph's Vagabond Halfback or Monster of the Midway?

I suggest them because they captured an era quite well, as well as each being somewhat of an adventure story.

Again, though, while I don't recall any of these being age in-appropriate for an eight-year-old, that is relying way too much on my memory (which one should never do because 1) my memory stinks, 2) when I read these three books I was not looking through the lens of a parent screening this for an eight-year-old* and 3) my memory stinks). Maybe others here can chime in on them.

When I was about that age, one book I loved was Jerry Brondfield's 100-Plus Years of Football (1975). A comic book style book that was a timeline of the history of football. I believe it focused heavily on college football, though (my memory, again). Maybe a YA line of NFL books is next for the PRFA.

* though I did give my then 15-year-old nephew an inscribed copy of Ralph's book.
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby TanksAndSpartans » Fri Sep 24, 2021 5:06 pm

An 8-year old is probably a 3rd grader. If you could hand them Vagabond Halfback, that would mean my daughter and I can enjoy the same books :D. I think in most cases, it would be a few years to get to a higher reading level. But,...

I think Monster of the Midway is a good choice at that point - I remember thinking while I was reading it that it was more of a YA book (maybe 5th grade and up). On some level of course it bothered me that there is so much of what seems like made up stuff in there, inaccurate play-by-plays, etc. but as a book for a kid, it is a fast and fun read. They'd likely find Nags an interesting/likable character and may want to learn more about the history of the game.
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby JuggernautJ » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:28 am

Thank you very much, all, for some excellent suggestions.
I went with a few of them.

I'm hoping the little tyke will like them and that they spur an interest in the history of our favorite sport!
I am off to his first tackle league game today... it is amazing to watch them grow up!

Take care and thanks you again for all the great suggestions!
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Re: Young Readers' Book Recommendation?

Postby Teo » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:14 pm

My son will be 8-years old in a couple of weeks and he likes to read my old Football Digest and Game Plan and Street & Smith’s magazines from the 70s and 80s. He is most amused, however, of all the players that changed teams back then and my father, brother and I crossed from their former team in the magazine and we wrote them in their new team. One example he likes was in 1978: the Rams had three Jacksons in their preseason roster (Harold, Monte and Rusty), yet in the regular they went to the Patriots, Raiders and Bills, respectively. Also, back then the draft picks hadn’t their number assigned yet, so we also wrote them. It was a nice way to knew the rookies.
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