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Olympics & Paralympics

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Booklist: Olympic and Paralympic Games

Now’s the time to inspire young readers with books all about the Olympic and Paralympic Games! From pentathlons and Paralympians to javelins and judo, there are plenty of facts and figures to be inspired by in our medal-worthy selection of top children’s books about the Olympic games…

Olympics and Paralympics: Books for EYFS (Ages 3-5)

Rosamund Lloyd
 & Richard Merritt
Non-fiction Picturebook
This fun, dynamic book introduces children to the world of competitive sports! It covers some of the world's most popular games, including football, tennis and volleyball. Packed with action flaps and simple facts, this book is perfect for curious minds.
DK
 & Lucy Semple
Non-fiction
How do little kids become sporting superstars? Find out in this inspiring board book for little ones. Everyone, from Usain Bolt to Simone Biles, was once a small child learning about the world. Read how a diverse array of sporty kids found what they loved to do, worked hard, and followed their passions all the way into adulthood. With adorable illustrations of top sports stars as typical young kids, then as superstar adults, sporting greats will seem like friends to your little one, and kids will see that sporting greatness is achievable. Meet Lionel Messi when he was a small child learning to play football, Usain Bolt before he became a super sprinter, Ellie Simmonds as she developed a love of water, and figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu when he joined his sister on the ice and became a figure skater. Let your child turn the pages and see that, like their heroes, the experiences and passions they have now can lead to incredible achievements.
Dan Green
Picturebook
Join the busy athlete as he goes for gold in this playful, interactive flap book! Ready, set, go! Can you win the gold medal? Join in and use the flaps to help the athlete to warm up, jump over the pole, dive into the pool and much, much more. With interactive action-flaps, you can do it, too! Each clever flap provides an action or scene-change to encourage children to actively engage and explore . The playful flaps are perfect for little hands to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Original concept and illustration by Dan Green.
Mo Farah & Kes Gray
 & Marta Kissi
Picturebook
From Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah and bestselling author of Oi Frog! , Kes Gray, comes a fun and action-packed picture book that will get kids reading, and running too! So, what are you waiting for? Warm up, do the MOBOT, and then ... Run on the pavement Run on the grass Run in the playground Perhaps not in class! Follow Mo on his madcap adventures as his running skills go from strength to strength. The perfect book to share and read aloud. With vibrant illustrations and a rhyming text.
Claire Cashmore
 & Sharon Davey
Picturebook
Claire Cashmore, MBE and Paralympic gold medallist, was born without a left forearm - but she never let being different stand in the way of her big dreams. Splash is based on Claire's real-life experience: this gold-medal-winning swimmer really was scared of water ... until one day, everything changed! These are Claire's big sisters. They call her Bear and ruffle her hair. And whatever Claire's sisters can do, Claire can do too ... But there is one thing Claire won't do ...The water in the swimming pool makes her feel squirmy inside. Follow her sisters? No thank you! Not today? Can Claire conquer her fears? Can she set foot in the water - and what will happen if she does?

Olympics and Paralympics: Books for KS1 (Ages 5-7)

DK
A charming children's encyclopedia bursting with fun facts about the world of sport, for little learners who want to know everything! The world is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport is a vibrant encyclopedia for curious 5-9 year olds, with a unique approach to the subject of sport that combines facts and figures with the inspiring stories of sporting legends and icons. This exciting book for children is packed with fun facts about a range of popular sportssuch as football, karate, badminton, and skiing, as well as ones you might never have heard of like biathlon or cheese rolling. Whether you're a fan of team sports, winter sports, water sports, extreme sports, and even board games such as chess and go, this reference book has it all! My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport also celebrates the unique talents, lives, and careers of sporting heroes such as Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Yuna Kim, Lin Dan, and Donald Bradman, and chronicles the most celebrated stories in sporting history, such as breaking the Four-minute mile, Nadia Comaneci's Perfect 10, and Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics. Featuring everything from obscure rules and strange equipment, to moments of triumph and sporting events like The World Cup, Superbowl, Olympics, Paralympics, and more - this is the perfect book for budding superstars everywhere. Celebrate your child's curiosity as they: - Read all about individual sports, team sports, motor sports, and winter sports - Learn the stories of sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Serena Williams and more - Discover key moments in sporting history Our encyclopedia for children is the perfect blend of striking illustrations and educational text, written in a friendly, witty and fun manner, featuring a combination of fact-files, detailed paragraphs, labels, and speech bubbles. Topics are simple to navigate - perfect for knowledgeable sports fans who want to read about their favourites as well as readers who are unfamiliar with sport and are looking to learn. Encourage early learners to go on a journey to explore a world of information, making this the ideal first reference book for kids aged 5-9 to enjoy for hours on end, whether for shared reading with the family or reading alone, this fun fact book for children also doubles up as the perfect gift for curious kids who love to learn. Tell the story of the world one page at a time, by uncovering: - Educational content written in a friendly and fun manner - Beautifully padded cover with several high-quality finishes, including padding and foil - Features a built-in ribbon bookmark so you never lose your place whilst reading
Igor Plohl
 & Urska Stropnik Sonc
Picturebook
Introduce your child to the Paralympics--where physically disabled world-class athletes exemplify strength, determination, and courage. Lucas and Eddie, two physically disabled friends, visit the Paralympics and cheer on blind and physically challenged athletes as they compete in running, swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair basketball, and more. Readers learn about some of the rules that expedite play and that even the playing field. For example, blind runners wear blindfolds so none of the competitors (some totally blind and some with limited sight) have an unfair advantage. Also, all of the blind competitors are tethered to guides. Author Igor Plohl, who lost the use of his legs after a spinal injury, is a teacher and passionate advocate for raising awareness of physical disability. As a teacher, he knows the questions children ask and how to answer them.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Lo Harris
Non-fiction
In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of time. Little Michael wanted to be the first at everything - especially if that meant beating his older brother. One day, he came home crying... he'd been rejected from the basketball team at school. With his mum's message of 'go out and earn it' ringing in his ears, Michael practised all summer. Soon he was the star of the team , going from school, to college, to the Olympics. After six titles, more than 1,000 games and exactly 32,292 points, MJ had become a sporting legend, who encouraged kids to 'make it happen!' This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the baller's life.
Minna Lacey
 & Paddy Mounter
Non-fiction
A brilliant introduction to the history of The Olympics, from the traditional games of Ancient Greece, to their revival by Pierre de Coubertin and the pomp and ceremony of the modern Games. Internet links to carefully selected websites allow children to access the very best sites to support this book and enhance their learning experience. Specially written for children growing in reading confidence and ability. Part of the Usborne Reading Programme, developed with reading experts at the University of Roehampton.
Chelsea Clinton
 & Alexandra Boiger
Non-fiction Picturebook
Throughout history, women have been told that they couldn't achieve their dreams, no matter how hard they tried. Women athletes have faced their own unique set of challenges, across countless sports and levels of play. In this third She Persisted book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women who have excelled in their sports because of their persistence. She Persisted in Sports is a book for everyone who has ever aimed for a goal and been told it wasn't theirs to hit, for everyone who has ever raced for a finish line that seemed all too far away, and for everyone who has ever felt small or unimportant while out on the field. Alexandra Boiger's vibrant artwork accompanies this inspiring text that shows readers of all ages that, no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the power to persist and succeed. This book features: Margaret Ives Abbott, Gertrude Ederle, Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, Wilma Rudolph, Jean Driscoll, Mia Hamm (and the 1996 Olympic soccer team), Kristi Yamaguchi, Venus and Serena Williams, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Diana Taurasi, Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Anna Katharina Jansen
Non-fiction
The youngest of ten children, Jesse grew up working in the cotton fields of Alabama. Discovered by his high school track and field coach, Jesse quickly rose to fame as an athlete. He went on the challenge racism on the world stage at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and made new world records. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the athlete and activist's life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people , from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Olympics and Paralympics: Books for Lower KS2 (Ages 7-9)

Scott Allen
 & Antoine Corbineau
Non-fiction
An exciting, laugh-a-minute guide to every Olympic and Paralympic sport From boxing to boccia, find out just what it takes to become an Olympic and Paralympic star in this hilariously informative guide to the games. For each sport you'll discover why it's great, why it's not so great, what skills and equipment you'll need to start practising and even how to sound like a pro! You'll learn about some of the greatest Olympians in history, events that might appear in the future and there's a helpful guide to your chances of becoming a champion. With bold, energetic illustrations and a text packed with weird, wonderful and wildly hilarious facts written by former sports journalist Scott Allen, this gift book is the funniest guide you'll find to the next Olympics!
M K Osborne
Non-fiction
Published to coincide with 2020 Summer Olympic Games, this dynamic book puts a spotlight on its featured track and field competitions, including running, jumping and throwing events. Young readers will be delighted by the stories about Olympic heroes and will marvel at the full-colour action photography. This volume also includes a table of contents, a Q&A feature, glossary, recommended books and websites and an index.
Christina Balit
Picturebook

This inspiring short story is based on the Heraean Games, a real event held every four years in honour of Hera and only open to female athletes. It is accompanied by gorgeously subtle but graphic watercolour illustrations that suit the subject matter perfectly both in style and colour palette. Readers who have enjoyed Escape from Pompeii – which has been used in classrooms for years alongside the Romans topics – will immediately recognise Christina Balit’s distinctive style….

Mo Farah & Kes Gray
 & Marta Kissi
Chapter book
From Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah and bestselling author of Oi Frog!, Kes Gray, comes a fun fiction series which will get kids reading, and running too! After returning home from a long cross-country run, it's time for Mo and his friends to decide where to go on their next running adventure. Sandwiches at the ready, the friends head somewhere beautiful, with glistening snow and sparkling lakes ... The Rocky Mountains! But crossing states is tiring work, and with lots of new creatures (and monsters!) to meet along the way, will Mo and friends ever get time for a sandwich break? Here comes Bigfoot ... RUN! Follow Mo on his madcap adventures as his running skills go from strength to strength. The perfect book to share and read aloud.
International Olympic Committee
Non-fiction
Created in association with the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, The Story of the Olympic Games brings to life the glorious history of the Games of the Olympiad. Chronologically structured and featuring up to 200 original photographs, the book charts the story of this famous global event, beginning in 776 BC in ancient Greece through to its revival in 1896 and the 27 subsequent games. The pages are packed with exclusive photographs of the action, athletes and artefacts that have defined each game, so young fans can become immersed in the world's greatest sporting spectacle in the run-up to the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Sir Chris Hoy
 & Clare Elsom
Chapter book
The first in a fantastically fun, magical cycling adventure series from Sir Chris Hoy. Fergus Hamilton is a boy with a big imagination. Living with his mum and grandad and his dog, Chimp, he dreams of a state-of-the-art Sullivan Swift and becoming the most brilliant boy cyclist in the world. So when he gets a rusty second-hand bike for his ninth birthday he can't help feeling a bit disappointed. But then he discovers something amazing when he takes it for a ride. . . Written with award-winning author Joanna Nadin, with fantastic illustrations from Clare Elsom.
Matt Bowers
Non-fiction
Find out all about Paralympic sports for individuals and the people who participate in them in this exciting photo-illustrated book. Events covered include cycling, archery and triathlon competitions for both male and female athletes with disabilities. Information about the rules of the events and how they differ from their Olympic counterparts is also provided. Along with accessible text and vibrant sports photography, this volume also includes a Q&A feature that will help to engage young readers.
Jeremy Strong
Chapter book
The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong has become a children's classic! From The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog to karate princesses and hot cross bottoms, there's a Jeremy Strong story to suit every child's sense of humour. Jeremy's readers range from 7 to teen, perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Morris Gleitzman. Streaker is a mixed-up kind of dog...with quite a bit of Ferrari and a large chunk of whirlwind. Streaker is no ordinary dog. She's a rocket on four legs with a woof attached, and Trevor has got until the end of the holidays to train her. If he fails, he'll lose his bet with horrible Charlie Smugg, and something very, very yucky involving frogspawn will happen...
Matt Bowers
Non-fiction
Find out all about Paralympic wheelchair sports and the people who participate in them in this exciting photo-illustrated book. Events covered include Paralympic basketball, tennis, rugby and fencing, with descriptions of their rules and how they differ from their Olympic counterparts. The accessible text includes a Q&A element, as well as information features such as a glossary and index.

Olympics and Paralympics: Books for Upper KS2 (Ages 9-11)

Iris Volant
 & Avalon Nuovo
Non-fiction
Run with the Olympic athletes and sweat it out in the deadly ballgame courts of the Aztecs in this beautifully illustrated and informative guide to the sports and games that have entertained people for the past 2500 years. How did the Vikings keep themselves occupied between raids? What tricks did medieval Japanese sumo wrestlers have to win their matches? With fascinating facts and detailed pictures, this book is the perfect guide to everything to do with games, from the tiniest chess pieces to the biggest sports tournaments.
Rachel Ignotofsky
Non-fiction

Women in Sport is a superbly illustrated non-fiction text focusing on exceptional women athletes who became trailblazers or game-changers in their chosen sports. Each spread contains a short and interesting explanation of a different sportswoman’s achievements and a compelling illustration with additional facts blended into the design. The artwork is impressively bold and unapologetic like many of the book’s subjects and there are also pages containing infographics such as timelines, anatomical diagrams and statistics about equality in sports. What we love is that the style and format makes the subject matter appealing and accessible to children and we therefore think it is a really important text that inspires readers to overcome barriers and go for gold.

Adam Skinner
 & Mr. Mark Long
Non-fiction
Sportopedia is your ultimate guide to the exhilarating world of sport. Learn amazing facts about all your favourite sports, and discover new ones you may not have come across before. Whether you're into team sports, target sports, track and field, or aquatic sports, this book showcases a diverse array of athletes - male, female, able-bodied and Paralympians - and celebrates the unique talents of sportspeople everywhere, making it a treasure trove for all the family to share. With basic tenets and rules as well as more niche facts all explained, this book serves as a complete encyclopedia to the sporting world. Covering ball sports , such as soccer, rugby, volleyball, lacrosse, rugby and cricket; racket sports such as tennis, table tennis and badminton; athletics and gymnastics ; target sports such as shooting, archery and golf; as well as combat sports such as judo, karate and boxing, this book covers everything from very well known activities to the more niche sporting hobbies such as boccia and kabaddi. Sport-loving kids will find hours of entertainment and fascinating information in this awesome encyclopedia.
Elizabeth Laird
Chapter book
This is the story of a young Ethiopian boy called Solomon, who has a passion for running. He dreams of becoming a medal-winning athlete. Little does he know that soon he will need to run with all his might in a race to save his grandfather's life. This inspiring story was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal.
Roy Peachey
Chapter book

Written by a teacher, this book gives a good insight into school life including dealing with mean or difficult people, the importance of consistent effort, and how to do good research to find out accurate information. It is presented in a dual narrative style and alongside Lili’s story we learn about Eric Liddell, focusing on his life after his historic gold medal win and leading up to the outbreak of World War Two.


Charli Howard
Chapter book

Splash is an enjoyable story that captures the stage of dawning adolescence and the awakening of self-consciousness that often arrives around that time. Written by Charli Howard, a body positive campaigner and model, this story explores the important theme of body image among young people.
Molly is in Year 6 and the biggest thing on the minds of her classmates is the transition to secondary school and how to fit in well there. Molly’s best friend Chloe, who is strategically thinking about how to protect the popularity status of their friendship group ready for their new school, becomes increasingly unkind and demanding…

Jason Reynolds
 & Selom Senu
Chapter book
It's not the taking part, it's the winning that counts for Patina! Patty, as she's known to her friends and family, has lost a lot in her life - her dad died when she was young, her mum has lost her legs and now she has to live with her uncle and his wife. On top of that Patty has to go to the poshest school that ever existed. Now her running team has become a relay team and independent "I can do everything by myself" Patty has to work with her team mates to win.
S.E. Durrant
 & Rob Biddulph
Chapter book
AJ's grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don't really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials. Running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster. Running On Empty is a beautiful book about false starts and emotional journeys, with hope as the ultimate finishing line. From the author of Little Bits of Sky and Talking to the Moon Cover illustration by Rob Biddulph
Adam Skinner
 & Mai Ly Degnan
Non-fiction
Slam the ball home with Michael Jordan. Scale mountain heights with Marielle Goitschel. Flip through the air with Simone Biles. Take a front-row seat and relive history's greatest sporting moments as they happened. This richly illustrated book showcases the defining moment of notable athletes from around the world in more than twenty sports, making it a treasure trove for all the family to share.

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