Home » Blog » Book Recommendations » Books to Hook Sports Fans

Books to Hook Sports Fans

Would your kids rather play ball than do their after-school reading? Captivating sports stories may be just the thing to grab their interest! Tales about favorite games and famous athletes could turn your reluctant readers into bookworms who never miss their daily reading goals.

1. Sporty Stories

Even young readers enjoy games! Early elementary students will appreciate the colorful illustrations and relatable tales in sports-themed picture books.

For boys and girls on summer ball teams, Dino-Baseball is not to be missed. Any kid who’s ever played in a close game will be able to relate to the action in this book.


Children don’t have to play on organized teams to enjoy sports stories. For a tale about recess games — and friendship lessons — check out Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen.

Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen

2. Favorite Athletes

By the upper elementary grades, kids are becoming stronger readers. At that point, they’re able to glean more information from the books they read. It’s a great time to introduce biographies, especially ones about sports stars.

Lerner Publishing’s Amazing Athletes series highlights famous players from nearly every sport. Try Abby Wambach for soccer players, Cam Newton for football fans, and Gabby Douglas for those who love gymnastics or the Olympics.

Abby Wambach
Cam Newton
Gabby Douglas

Another Lerner series to check out is Sports All-Stars. The featured athletes include Stephen Curry and Khalil Mack.

Stephen Curry
Khalil Mack

3. Familiar Situations

Middle school kids like to know that they’re not alone. Whether they are budding sports stars or struggle in PE class, they’ll appreciate the reassurance that other kids their age have been in similar situations. They’ll find what they’re looking for in Sports Shorts, a collection of autobiographical tales.

Sports Shorts

4. Sports History

The world of sports isn’t immune to real-life struggles. Your children can study the history of both segregation and baseball as they read Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio. The book’s reading level is geared toward elementary students, but even high schoolers will be captivated by the story.

Something to Prove

To keep your kids reading even longer, make sure they know about Lerner’s Sports Encyclopedia available through LightSail. During their after-school hours, they can comb through this resource for facts and figures about their favorite athletes.  And of course they will have access to World Book Encyclopedia’s article collection and Biography Center, and can watch videos and TED talks from athletes as well.  There’s no wrong way to check out sports on LightSail!

sign up for homeschool literacy program

Posted on 12.Dec.21 in Book Recommendations

Money back

Our 90 day money back guarantee

30 Minutes a Day + 5 Days a Week + 3 Months = GUARANTEE your child’s independent reading level will improve.*

We're here to help!

Find answers to frequently asked questions or contact us for more support.

You can email us at

How do I know what books are right for my child?

LightSail takes the guesswork out of choosing books for your child by tailoring each child’s library to their precise reading level.

By honing in on a child’s precise Lexile reading score, LightSail can match them with books that are at that “just-right” level to promote optimal reading progress.

And because LightSail contains such a wide-ranging array of content, there is always a vast selection of books for any topic or interest.

What ages/grades is LightSail for?

LightSail’s Premium and Standard subscriptions are designed for children in grades 3 through 12 (ages 8-18).

We also have a World Book Kids subscription for grades 1 through 2 (ages 5-7) and a World Book Early Learners subscription for PreK through K (ages 2-5).

Is LightSail different from an Amazon Kindle or other e-readers?

Unlike static e-readers, LightSail doesn’t just offer children books.

Every book and article in LightSail contains 6 layers of added features that let your child experience books.

By adapting to a child’s precise reading ability, offering them content that is at that “just-right” reading level to promote literacy growth, and providing a fully customizable, rewarding reading experience, LightSail unlocks the magic of reading in ways no physical book or static e-reader can.

What types of parental control do I have over my child’s activity and content?

In short, complete control.

LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features that govern every aspect of the platform from video viewing, to chats, to what content can be seen and accessed.

Additionally, LightSail’s revolutionary ChildSafe Content Controls lets parents screen and block content according to dozens of nuanced subcategories based on maturity factors, family values, and religious topics.

How can I make reading fun for my child?

LightSail incorporates gamification features into every aspect of the platform, especially reading!

By integrating badges, goals and milestones, social sharing options, motivational messages, and the ability for parents to add customizable gift rewards, LightSail incentivizes reading, writing, and learning just like kids’ favorite games.

Contact us