Reading Expert Recommends List of Olympics Books for Kids of All Ages

With the Summer Olympics taking place once every four years, some kids may not remember the 2012 Olympics in London. This year’s games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, might spark some interest—and some questions—in kids of all ages.

Cindy WelchCindy Welch, the associate director at UT’s Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature believes books are a great tool to answer questions children may ask about the upcoming Olympic Games.

“Children are naturally curious and want to know what’s going on with their favorite things,” said Welch. “The Olympics are a great opportunity to watch and learn together as a family, and these books explore different facets of the games. It’s a great way to nurture reading, too.”

Welch recommends the following Olympics-related books:

Grades K–2:

  • Winners Never Quit! by Mia Hamm, two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist

Grades K–5:

  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

Grades 1–4:

  • G is for Gold: An Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog

Grades 2–4:

  • Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper by Ann Malaspina

Grades 3–6:

  • You Wouldn’t Want to be a Greek Athlete: Races You’d Rather Not Run by Michael Ford

Grades 3–7:

  • Great Moments in the Summer Olympics by Matt Christopher

Grades 4–8:

  • A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times by Benson Bobrick
  • Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics by Sue Macy

Grades 4–7:

  • The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation): The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Grades 9 and up:

  • Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory by P. H. Mullen

 

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)