Allison's Book Bag

Inspiring Others Through Sports Books

Posted on: May 1, 2014

I’ve been missing out. Even growing up, when I more openly dabbled in all reading genres, sports stories were never on my reading list. What first started piquing my interest in this field full of potentially inspiring books was twofold. First, after my husband started participating annually in Fantasy Football, sports books started showing up on his wish list. Some were rule books; others were memoirs. Second, as a teacher, I started being exposed to sports biographies when helping my students with their research papers.

For these reasons, I began taking notice of press releases such as the one a few years back from Scholastic which announced “Bestselling Author & Award-Winning Sports Writer Mike Lupica to Publish New Middle-Grade Sports Book Series with Scholastic”. For those who don’t know, Lupica has been part of the New York sports media for the past thirty year. He’s best-known for his weekly column, but he also hosts his own radio show and is a frequent panelist on ESPN’S The Sports Reporters. Recently, he was also been named New York Sports Columnist of the Year. Those are some pretty impressive credentials! As for his fiction for young people, reviewers state that the courage of his characters in solving problems can inspire. Lupica’s best-selling sports novels are on my reading wish list.

I also began saving news alerts such as one entitled “Inspiring Others Through Wrestling and Children’s Books”. This particular alert is about Richie Freeman, who apparently entering the professional wrestling circuit at a mere 5’5” and 165 pounds, but went on to put together a successful career that spanned more than eight years. As the sport began to wear on him physically as he neared his 30s and with a baby on the way, Frieman decided it was time to step out of the ring.  Now he’s the creator of a children’s book series, which promotes the theme of pursuing one’s dreams. The first book, Frieman considers autobiographical, in that he tried to show how one can step out of the box to fulfill one’s dreams, which is what he did both with wrestling and writing. His most recent one was just awarded the Literary Classics Book Seal of Approval.

Finally, I recently elected to read a sports book as part of my MOSAIC selections, and am pleased that I did. If you haven’t already read Out of the Blue by Victor Cruz and Peter Schrager, which should prove inspiring to especially those who view themselves as underdogs, please check out my review.

What do you think of sports books? If you like them, what are your favorites? How can they inspire?

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