Miss Nelson has a Field Day

Title: Miss Nelson has a Field Day

Bibliographic information: Allard, H. & Marshall, J. (1985). Miss Nelson has a Field Day. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company

Brief annotation: The football team hasn’t won a game all year but that might change when they get an unexpected, and unwanted, surprise.

Genre: Realistic fiction

Grade: 1st – 3rd grade

Readers who will like this: Readers who like sports, especially football, will like this book.

Rating: 4 – I really liked this book. The story was funny and I think that young readers would really enjoy this book?

Questions: What would you do if you came to school, and had a substitute that you didn’t like?


Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman

Bibliographic Information: Krull, K., & Diaz, D. (2000). Wilma unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph became the world’s fastest woman. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Inc.

Brief Annotation: A brief picture book biography of Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio and discrimination to win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Nonfiction

Grade Level: 1st-3rd

Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy running; readers who enjoy stories featuring strong female characters; readers who enjoy books about overcoming adversity.

Rating/Response: 4.5; I absolutely adored the story, but I found the writing to be a bit choppy and dry. The illustrations, however, were lovely, somehow managing to capture the essence of speed. This book made me frustrated with history as it is currently taught, as I had never heard of Wilma Rudolph prior to reading this book. After one reading, I am a huge fan. I think if history classes focused more on the stories of extraordinary individuals, such as Rudolph, more students would find it easy to actively engage in the subject matter.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: In this true story, the main character works very hard, and is eventually able to do something that no one thought she could do. What is something that was hard for you, but you worked very hard at until you could do it?



Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit

Keller, L. (2013). Bowling alley bandit. New York: Henry Holt and Co..

Now that Arnie has no worry of being eaten, he goes bowling with his friend, Mr. Bing. Mr. Bing is on a bowling team and is trying to win a bowling championship.

Genre: Fiction, Sports, Mystery

Grades: 2nd-4th

Audience: Parents, Students, Teachers

I would give this book a two. Though the story was okay, the premise of the entire series where doughnuts talk is completely idiotic to me. Though the message was a good one, I feel like it was just way too out there for me. I’m sure many students would like this book, especially young boys, however it was just not the book for me.

What is your favorite sport? Why?


Pete the Cat: Play Ball ( My First I Can Read)

Pete the Cat: Play Ball ( My First I Can Read)

Dean, J. ( 2013) Pete the Cat Play Ball ( My First I Can Read). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

This book is about Pete the Cat who decides to play baseball. He is not the best at the game but he always has a positive attitude when he messes up.



Readers who enjoys the Pete the Cat books; Readers who like baseball; Readers who are learning how to be a good sport.

Rate:4; I feel like this book is a great read for younger kids who are just learning how to read. I think it is great to teach children how its okay when you make mistakes at things.

Question: What are some things you have to know how to do when you play baseball?

Reading strategy: Venn Diagram

Instruct the students to form a Venn diagram comparing characteristics of a positive team player and a negative team player, then in the middle would be the characteristics they both have.

The venn diagram helps students see the relationships between things and learn how to compare and contrast between topics.


Bowling Alley Bandit

Bibliographic: Keller, L. (2013). Bowling alley bandit. New York: Henry Holt and Co.

Short annotation: This is the story of Mr. Bing and his doughnut dog and friend Arnie. Mr. Bing loves to bowl, but when his winning streak ends, Arnie and his friend try to help Mr. Bing get it back.

The genre: Sports fiction

Grade level: Second grade to Fourth grade

Readers who like this book: Children, Parents and Educators

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I really liked the storyline and all the details in the images that can be found throughout the novel. I also like that readers learn fun facts and the importance of friendship.

Question: What is your favorite sport?


All Star!

Yolen, J. (2010). All star! Honus Wagner and the most famous baseball card ever. New York, NY: Philomel Books.

Honus Wagner, one of the first five men to be inducted into the baseball hall of fame, is a true legend. It’s no wonder why his baseball card is the most famous ever! This story tells the tale of Wagner’s life; it depicts his journey through baseball and the love, passion, and committment that he has always had for the game!

Genre:Historical fiction

Grade level:2nd-5th

Readers who would like this book: Children who like baseball, children who enjoy non-fiction/historical content, children who enjoy biographical stories.

Rating and response: 4; Jane Yolen and Jim Burke make an amazing team whose true passion for baseball shines through in this work. Yolen’s descriptive yet understandable text is perfectly accompanied by Burke’s carefully aged illustrations. Both the text and the illustrations do a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the time as well as of Wagner’s life. The illustrators note at the end of the book and the authors context given at the beginning of the book set a great frame for children to be able to understand this book’s historical context, and I loved the inclusion of real Horus Wagner memorabilia on the introductory and ending pages. I think that this books is accessible to a wide range of readers, including those who are not too “sporty,” and that is what I loved most about it. Overall, this is a well-written, fun, engaging book.

Question: What makes someone a good athlete? Why?


Player in Pigtails

Title: Players in Pigtails

Bibliography: Corey, Shana. (2003). Players in Pigtails. New York: Scholastic Press.

Short Annotation: A wonderful historical fiction book about how the first women’s baseball team came together surrounding a main character named Katie Casey who enjoyed playing baseball, which was typically only something boys ever did.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade Level: 1-3

Readers who will like this book: Young girls who enjoy playing sports.

Personal response and rating: I thought this book was AWESOME, mainly because I was a tomboy myself, but also because it was a great way to get historical events into the minds of young children in a fun way. Rating: 4

Question: Are there any girl in the class who like playing sports? Baseball?