One of the best ways to encourage children to read is to help them find books about topics they enjoy. Sports themed books are usually a big hit, especially with boys who may not love reading! With topics covering football, baseball, soccer, and others, these are our top picks for the best children’s books about sports in 2020.
Most of these are picture books about sports, but we do have a few chapter books about sports near the end for upper elementary and middle grade students.
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Sports Books for Kids
Kids Books about Basketball
The Boy Who Never Gave Up by Anthony Curcio – Our family is full of Golden State Warriors fans, with Steph Curry being our favorite basketball player! This book tells the inspiring true story of NBA superstar Stephen Curry, how he beat the odds to follow his dream.
Little Basketball by Brad Herzog – This board book is full of rhyming riddles for sporty little readers. The colorful artwork introduces young basketball fans to the elements of basketball in a fun and engaging way.
Dream Big by Deloris Jordan – This heartwarming picture book, written by Michael Jordan’s mom, tells of a child’s dreams of being an Olympic gold medalist. Any child with aspirations and goals will enjoy this inspirational story.
Kids Books about Football
So You Want To Be A Pro? by Nate Daniels – For any boy or girl who dreams of being a professional athlete, this book is a must-have. Written by former pro athlete Nate Daniels, kids will learn about the importance of hard work and dedication in not just becoming a professional athlete, but in any area of their lives.
My First Football Book by Sterling Children’s – This board book is a great way for parents to share their love of the game with their toddlers. With one word per page, little ones will learn basic football vocabulary. Also informative for adults who may not know what a running back is (wink wink).
The Berenstain Bears Play Football! by Mike Berenstain – Our favorite bear family can’t wait to watch the Grizzly Bowl! They start a game of football while they wait, and of course Berenstain excitement ensues. A level one reader, perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.
Kids Books about Soccer
Ronaldo: A Boy Who Became a Star by Steve Herman – Children will enjoy reading about Ronaldo, the boy born in a poor family who overcame obstacles to follow his dream – becoming one of the best soccer players in the world.
How to Win the World Cup in Pajamas by Kobe Nhin – This picture book is part of the Grow Grit series to help instill confidence and a strong mind in children. Great for developing growth mindset in kids.
The Field by Baptiste Paul – Winner of multiple awards, this picture book is one you won’t want to miss. Read about friends who gather to play soccer to share the joy of the game. Includes themes of teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance.
Kids Books about Baseball
My First Book of Baseball by Sports Illustrated – From the Rookie Book series, this book coaches kids through a game of baseball. Engaging vocabulary, photos of actual players, and fun illustrations will help beginning readers learn all they want to know about the ball game.
Goodnight Baseball by Michael Dahl – A sweet bedtime storybook from Sports Illustrated, Goodnight Baseball is the perfect end to a long day of ball. One of many bedtime ball books available!
My Little Golden Book About Jackie Robinson by Frank John Berrios III – Little Golden Books are a favorite of many, and this biography about Jackie Robinson is great for young readers! Learn about his childhood and how he became a MLB great.
More Children’s Books about Sports
Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David A. Adler – The kids tease Mo, the youngest kid on the team, about not being able to catch the ball. But the coach has a plan to help! Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2016.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about Sportsmanship by Howard Binkow – Peewee sports players will enjoy reading this book as they learn how to be a good sport. Tips and lessons included for parents to help teach respect, camaraderie, teamwork, and more.
Tee Time With Daddy by Kristin Dooley – A different kind of “tea time” for little girls! This sweet story about a little girl going to play golf with Daddy will get little golfers excited for their first nine.
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome – This beautifully illustrated book tells the inspirational story of sisters and tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. An excellent way to encourage children to persevere and follow their dreams.
Ball by Dr. John Hutton – This board book is the perfect sports book for babies! Introducing all kinds of balls from baseballs to beach balls, your little one will expand their vocabulary while developing a love for sports!
Let’s Play Hockey by Ginger Swift – A chunky lift-a-flap book for toddlers to enjoy. Learn the basics of hockey and all kind of hockey vocabulary. It will be a win for sure!
She’s Got This by Laurie Hernandez – A New York Times bestseller, this gymnastics picture book inspires children to chase their dreams and never give up. Written by Olympic gymnast and gold medal winner Laurie Hernandez.
Books about Sports for Older Kids
Red Zone by Tiki and Ronde Barber – Part of the Barber Game Time Books series, Red Zone is one of many books written by the retired NFL players Tiki & Ronde Barber. Not only will football lovers enjoy reading about this team as they work toward the playoffs, but they will learn the importance of honesty, integrity, and perseverance. For readers in grades 3-7.
Scholastic Year in Sports – This is a must-have for sports fans who want updated facts and stats on all their favorite teams and players! Read about the legends in all things sports-related, including X Games and other major sporting events. For grades 3-7.
Who Was Babe Ruth by Joan Holub – Another excellent book from the Who Was series, this biography tells the story about Babe Ruth’s life in an easy-to-digest chapter book. Learn about the Home Run King’s life and all that he had to overcome to get there. This was one of my son’s favorites! (Don’t miss Who Was Jackie Robinson and other books in the series too!)
Touchdown Kid by Tim Green – Cory has to face obstacles that could mean big changes in his life – both positive and negative. He learns that he has to work hard to get what he wants out of life. Written by New York Times bestselling author and former NFL defensive end Tim Green – and perfect for any fans of Mike Lupica novels!