February 13, 2010

Book Review: The Greatest Moments in Sports

When I first got this book I must admit I was daunted. It is big and I wasn't sure if it would be a good book for kids. But, once I started I was delightfully proven wrong. The author never forgets that he is writing for kids. It is easy and enjoyable to read, like an issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids.

I really liked the little boxes on some of the pages that had quick facts about the sports, like the history of the NCAA shot clock for example. I learned something new about almost every sport I read about. I also loved the athlete bios that went along with most of the moments. And I appreciated that almost all sports were covered, even women's soccer!

As the author points out the greatest moments in sports are pretty subjective, but I think he nailed most of them anyway. (I do wonder why Lance Armstrong was not included...) I had a great time reading the "older" ones because the author puts a lot of little facts about each moment into the stories. For example, did you know that when Nadia Comaneci got her perfect 10 at the Montreal Olympics it flashed up as a 1.0? Neither did I, but Len Berman did and he explains that it is because the scoreboards were not made to read out three places because nodoy had ever gotten a 10 before! There is also a CD included with actual broadcasts of most of the moments. That was great addition.

As I was reading along and formulating ideas for this review I got to thinking about seeing some of these plays and wouldn't a DVD been great with some video clips. Well, my friends, we have something better...youtube. I found a bunch of these clips on youtube, even Roger Barrister's under 4-minute mile. How cool is that? But the one that I really wanted to see, the one I have always heard about but never seen is the Stanford Band play. I am delighted the author included this in the book because, as you can see, it is a great, unforgettable moment in sports.


I bought this book for my library and already have a waiting list of boys wanting to read it. And ultimately, that's what I love most about this book, it will get boys (and probably their dads) reading.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for the review copy.

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