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Get Your Sports On!

The Hot Off the Press Spotlight segment showcases new books from our current Hot Off the Press list to further assist parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and other book enthusiasts in finding engaging books for all types of readers.

These six new books from our May Hot Off the Press list are perfect for young readers who are interested in sports—from the curious beginner to the casual hobbyist to the avid sports fan. These stories incorporate self-awareness, healing, and community whether as a part of a team or on the surf by oneself. Sometimes sport can be the goal itself, while other times it is the catalyst for problem solving, hope, peace of mind, or bravery. By turns silly, introspective, and packed with facts, each title gives a unique perspective on the role sports can play in people’s lives. 

Curveball, by Pablo Cartaya; & illus. by Miguel Diaz Rivas (Disney Publishing Group / Disney Hyperion) — Fiction, Graphic Novel , Sports / Games / Recreation, Imagination / Play, Friendships, ages 7-12.

Roller Girl meets Cardboard Kingdom in this original, contemporary graphic novel from award-winning author Pablo Cartaya and New York Times best-selling illustrator Miguel Díaz Rivas.

Baseball is Elena Rueda’s entire life: She may be the only girl on her team, but she’s the best player and everyone knows it. Except . . . Elena has stopped having fun, and it’s time to leave the sport behind.

The problem is, Elena has no idea who she is without a bat in her hand. Can a summer spent with her brother’s quirky friends in an empty sandlot that offers a world of possibility show Elena who she is—and teach her to love to play again?

I Do Not Like Water, written & illustrated by Eva Lindström; translated by Annie Prime (Astra Books for Young Readers / Astra Young Readers) — Fiction, Hardcover, Humor, Science / Nature, Sports / Games / Recreation, ages 4-6.

Alf is scared of water—but he’s not about to let that keep him from enjoying summer with his water-loving friends. In this slyly humorous story, Alf creatively confronts his fears and comes up with a surprising solution.

It’s the summer and everyone is out swimming under the sun . . . well, almost everyone. While all his friends love canoeing down rivers and splashing in the community pool, Alf would rather remain on dry land. This makes hanging with his friends difficult! What can Alf do to enjoy his summer as much as his splish-splashing friends, without getting so much as a single toe wet? From one of Sweden’s most beloved children’s authors, I Do Not Like Water is an award-winning celebration of whimsical individuality and overcoming your fears.

In It to Win It, by Erin Silver; & illus. by Pui Yan Fong (Orca Book Publishers) — Nonfiction, Illustrated Prose, Sports / Games / Recreation, Social Activism / Equality / Feminism, Environment / Sustainability / Recycling, ages 7-12.

A stats and sports-packed book about how organizations, players and fans around the world are tackling the climate crisis.

Playing and watching sports can have a big impact on the environment. From skiing and sailing to baseball and basketball—sports are contributing to the climate crisis. Thankfully, sports organizations, athletes and fans around the world are stepping up and playing a role in raising awareness, taking action and changing the rules of the game to help the planet.

From innovative stadium design and zero-waste sporting events to recycling tennis balls and getting to practices and games using sustainable transportation, athletes and fans are taking action to ensure everyone can enjoy their favorite games for years to come. Whether you’re a future professional athlete or a sports fan watching from the sidelines, we can all help play for the planet!

Let’s Go!, written & illustrated by Julie Flett (Greystone Kids) — Fiction, Picture Book, Sports / Games / Recreation, Family / Community, Imagination / Play, ages 4-6.

An extraordinary book that celebrates skateboarding, family, and community, from beloved artist and author Julie Flett, winner of The New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award.

Every day, a little boy watches kids pass by on skateboards, and dreams of joining them. One day, his mother brings a surprise: her old skateboard, just for him! haw êkwa! Let’s go! Together, they practice on the sidewalk, at the park, in Auntie’s yard—everywhere. But when it comes time to try the skatepark, the skateboarders crash down like a waterfall. Can he find the confidence to join them?

Let’s Go! features:

  • A glossary of Cree words featured in the book, and a Cree refrain (haw êkwa!) repeated throughout
  • A note to the reader from Julie Flett about her inspiration for the story

This fun and touching story is a tribute to family, friendship, and perseverance. Julie Flett’s renowned art and powerful text shows a community of support is all around, ready to help each other… go!

Picture a Girl, by Jenny Manzer (Orca Book Publishers) — Fiction, Prose, Family / Community, Mental / Physical Health, Sports / Games / Recreation, ages 7-12.

Addie’s mom is good at two things (three, if you count making French toast): surfing and telling stories.

Addie and her brother, Billy, live with their mom in a shabby rental cabin in the tourist town of Cedarveil, BC, right off the beach. Their lives are a little different than some—they often visit the food bank, and they don’t have a phone or TV. For entertainment, their mom tells them stories before bed…if she’s in a good mood, or home at all. Sometimes Mama copes with her depression by drinking; sometimes, she just disappears.

When Addie wakes up one Monday, she senses a stillness that tells her Mama’s gone again. Addie knows it’s up to her to take care of everything until her mom gets back. It’s either not let on that anything’s amiss or she and Billy will be separated from one another. Once again she makes it through until her mom’s return a week later, knowing that she’s strong enough to survive alone—but she’s hoping this will be the last time.

The Super Sports Society: Vol. 1, by Bryan Chick; & illus. by Brett Radlicki (Andrews McMeel Publishing) — Fiction, Prose, Humor, Sports / Games / Recreation, Careers / Hobbies, ages 7-12.

Two best friends. One spot on the baseball team. And a giant, looming, SMELLY turd tank. What could possibly go wrong? This is the first illustrated chapter book in a laugh-out-loud funny series told in dual point-of-view that’s about friendship, teamwork, and the occasional fart joke. PFFFT. Fans of The Last Kids on Earth, Big Nate, and The Secret Zoo will love The Super Sports Society.

Eleven-year-old Tommy has dreamed of being on the Bulldogs sports team forever. The Bulldogs eat, breathe, and fart sports. They’re part of the elusive Super Sports Society in his hometown, and Tommy knows that if he makes the team, he’ll be set up for life.

Meanwhile, Pel would rather be at home gaming in the air conditioning, but his mom decided that he has to “be a role model” to his little siblings (ugh!), and now he’s trying out for the Bulldogs too. At least that means the two BFFs won’t be in competition for the spot . . . right? (Wrong.)

Join Pel; Tommy; the owner of a pickle store, Pete; a supercool girl named Clutch; a coach who wears sunglasses inside; and the rest of the Bulldogs sports team in this epically awesome illustrated book that’s packed with tons of laugh-out-loud moments.

For more great book suggestions, be sure to check out the full May Hot Off the Press list!

List compiled by CBC’s resident book connoisseur, Brooke Pisarsky. Check out other Hot Off the Press Spotlight book lists on our blog.

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