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Books by Tyson Fury, Matthew Syed and Jennie Finch among Bishop's Stortford College librarian Lizzie Hall's recommended sporting reads




Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...

Dear Reader. The subject of sport can incentivise the most reluctant readers to engage with books and improve literacy skills and knowledge, while reading about sporting heroes can inspire children to get physically active. It's a win win!

Here are some books about sport to read this week...

For younger readers

Sports are Fantastic Fun by Ole Konnecke

Have you ever tried pole-vaulting? What about caber tossing? This witty, illustrated explanation of all the world's most popular sports explains the rules of each sport, suggests what is most enjoyable or difficult about it and keeps an upbeat, positive tone throughout.

Sports are Fantastic Fun by Ole Konnecke (43189863)
Sports are Fantastic Fun by Ole Konnecke (43189863)

Sporty children will be able to find out all they ever wanted to know about different games and athletic feats.

Horrid Henry's Sports: A Horrid Factbook by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross

Did you know that the Olympic gold medals are made mostly of silver? What is the world's most popular sport? Did the Romans really do athletics in the nude?

Packed with freaky facts and random trivia, this is the perfect guide to everything you ever wanted to know (and lots of things you might never have wanted to know) about the world of sport - Horrid Henry style!

Horrid Henry's Sports: A Horrid Factbook by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross (43189865)
Horrid Henry's Sports: A Horrid Factbook by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross (43189865)

Look Inside Sports by Rob Lloyd Jones

A fun flap book that shows young children what goes on at major sporting events and introduces them to a range of different sports.

Scenes include an Olympic-style swimming pool, an athletics stadium, a ski slope and a cycling velodrome.

Look Inside Sports by Rob Lloyd Jones
Look Inside Sports by Rob Lloyd Jones

With over 100 flaps to lift, there's lots to discover on each brightly-coloured page and plenty to keep curious minds occupied, including hidden flaps under flaps.

For older readers

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today's athletes.

The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and Keiko Fukuda, the highest-ranked female judoka in history.

It also contains infographics on topics such as muscle anatomy, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women's teams.

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky (43189861)
Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky (43189861)

The What on Earth? Wallbook of Sport: From the Ancient Olympics to the Present Day by Christopher Lloyd and Brian Oliver

Unfold the spectacular history of sport, from the ancient Olympics to today, with this beautifully-illustrated, two-metre-long timeline!

More than 100 different sporting events and over 1,000 pictures and captions tell the unique story of sports in the world.

Broken out by type of sport - such as fighting, racing and ball games - as well as by date, the timeline allows readers to trace the origins and histories of all major sports, including Olympic champions and world record holders.

An easy-to-read chronicle, written in the form of nearly 40 newspaper articles, highlights key moments such as the first Olympic games, Jesse Owens' race wins and the first documented climbers to summit Mount Everest.

Other features include a page of letters to the editor, a 50-question quiz and a pocket magnifier to make it easier to explore all the timeline's details.

The What on Earth? Wallbook of Sport by Christopher Lloyd and Brian Oliver
The What on Earth? Wallbook of Sport by Christopher Lloyd and Brian Oliver

Unbelievable Football by Matt Oldfield

Do you think you know everything there is to know about football?

Have you heard of the psychic octopus who could predict the winner? The Lancashire Lasses who became football's best kept secret? What about he dog detective who saved the World Cup trophy? Or the superstar footballer who never actually played football?

Discover the most incredible, sometimes ridiculous, and always completely unbelievable football stories you never knew.

Unbelievable Football by Matt Oldfield (43189859)
Unbelievable Football by Matt Oldfield (43189859)

For teens

The Greatest: The Quest for Sporting Perfection by Matthew Syed

What can Roger Federer teach us about the secret of longevity?

What do the All Blacks have in common with improvised jazz musicians?

What can cognitive neuroscientists tell us about what happens to the brains of sportspeople when they perform?

And why did Johan Cruyff believe that beauty was more important than winning?

Matthew Syed, the 2016 Sports Journalist of the Year, answers these questions and more in a fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative book about the mental game of sport.

How do we become the best that we can be, as individuals, teams and as organisations? Sport, with its innate sense of drama, its competitive edge, its psychological pressures, its sense of morality and its elusive quest for perfection, provides the answers.

The Greatest: The Quest for Sporting Perfection by Matthew Syed (43189857)
The Greatest: The Quest for Sporting Perfection by Matthew Syed (43189857)

Throw Like a Girl by Jennie Finch

The evidence is overwhelming: sports help girls grow into strong women.

Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence confirm that athletic girls not only grow up to be healthier, they also learn teamwork, gain inner confidence and grow into society's leaders.

Sports help pre-teen and teenage girls make the right choices in a society that is sending them incredibly mixed messages about who they are supposed to be. Yet no one is speaking directly to these girls.

Jennie fills the role of girlfriend, big sister, team captain and mentor. A smart, credible and accomplished voice from an athlete who is strong and feminine, fiercely competitive, and fashionably cool

Jennie's message is: "Believe in yourself. Go for it, girls."

Throw Like a Girl by Jennie Finch (43189855)
Throw Like a Girl by Jennie Finch (43189855)

The Sports Book by DK

Discover everything you need to know about more than 200 sports, including all of the Olympic and Paralympic events featured in PyeongChang and Tokyo.

Get the authoritative inside scoop from each sport's leading experts, conferences, leagues and associations.

Discover game-winning insights into the strategies and tactics of the world's top competitors.

And learn all of the facts, stats and stories behind the Olympic Games - the most spectacular sporting event on the planet.

The Sports Book is perfect for any sports buffs in need of an ultimate quick-reference guide, or anyone looking to top up their sports knowledge.

The Sports Book by DK
The Sports Book by DK

For adults

Behind the Mask: My Autobiography by Tyson Fury

The extraordinary story of the rise and fall and rise again of Tyson Fury.

A Manchester lad from Irish traveller stock, born three months premature and weighing just a pound at birth, Tyson (named after his father's boxing hero) grew up to become one of the most unlikely heavyweight champions in history.

This 'dream come true' soon turned into a nightmare, however, as alcohol and cocaine abuse took hold and Tyson was stripped of his titles.

What followed was the darkest moment of his life - detailed in this book for the first time - in which he came within seconds of ending everything.

Like all the greatest stories, though, there is redemption and Tyson defies all the odds and literally drags himself to his feet.

Speaking candidly about his struggles with mental health, this is Tyson Fury as you have never seen him before.

Behind the Mask: My Autobiography by Tyson Fury
Behind the Mask: My Autobiography by Tyson Fury


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