Sports Illustrated Kids All Access

all-accessCindy: With March Madness upon us, I was excited to find All Access: Your Behind-the-Scenes Pass to Sports, Stars, Locker Rooms, and More! (Time 2010) on display at my local public library. I knew I had to take it home when I flipped it open to find Shaquille O’Neal’s ginormous hand reproduced on a cellophane insert asking readers to compare the size of their hands with his. The next page gives gymnast Shawn Johnson’s small but powerful hand for comparison.

I’ve already put this on order for both of my middle school libraries but it will interest readers younger and older. Peek behind Fenway Park’s famed green wall and learn how the scores and stats are still changed by hand…watch the minute-by-minute magic as the Staples Center ice hockey arena is converted to a basketball floor in under two hours…see inside a baseball.

Organized loosely by Athletes, Places, and Gear the book will fascinate sports fans. It’s an eclectic mix to be sure, including the exotic pets of Ernie Sims and others and the refrigerator contents of Grant Hill but there’s definitely something for everyone. One of my favorite spreads is another lift-and-look clear page showing the inside of Kyle Busch’s NASCAR transporter. Not only was it cool to see how the cars are stored up top by a rear door that doubles as a mechanical lift (they can have a spare car unloaded in less than a minute, but where the tools, uniforms, parts and other important auto “stuff” is stashed. The most amazing part of all of this was how much they make the poor transport driver do! Not only does he drive this huge rig across country for the races but when he gets to the location he is in charge of cooking for everyone, laying in the food, and maintaining the uniforms! I’m surprised he doesn’t have to race the car too! I hope that bed in the truck cab is sound proofed and comfortable–I’d be needing a good night’s sleep!

This book is definitely a winner…now if we could just get a few more wins out of our remaining Big Ten basketball teams in the tournament!

Lynn: This is one of those books that will have kids saying, “Cool,” the minute they lay eyes on it.  It IS cool and full of a hodge-podge of interesting stuff.  While the book is organized it is fairly loosely organized.  In the Athletes section we see inside Grant Hill’s refrigerator, Hannah Teter’s collection of snowboards and Chris Paul’s sneaker.  Kids will be fascinated and who cares if the system is a little eccentric anyway?  I especially liked the peek behind the Fenway’s Green Monster and the illustration of the evolution of football shoulder pads.  There’s definitely some product placement here but kids who follow racing will be used to that and it makes a good example if you are looking for a way to talk about this issue with students.

Be prepared for long waiting lists with this one.nonfiction_monday

Check out other great nonfiction books on The Children’s War, this week’s Nonfiction Monday host.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

4 Comments on "Sports Illustrated Kids All Access"

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  1.' Stephanie says:

    I bought this book for our collection a few months ago. I haven’t seen it since I put it on our New Books shelf, it’s been that popular.

  2. Stephanie, thanks for that confirmation of its popularity!–Cindy

  3.' Scope Notes says:

    Thanks for sharing this – sports books tend to fly under the radar of many librarians (guilty), so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this!

  4. Our kids love love this – big glossy pictures, cool facts. I love that it’s got stuff that younger kids can really get into and isn’t too text-heavy. I’d confirm Stephanie’s assessment – it’s been a bit hit at our elementary school.

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