Ready Steady Mo!

Mo Farah and Kes Gray

A simple, rhyming text from the inspirational Mo Farah in collaboration with popular picture book author Kes Gray. Bright illustrations and repetitive text make this a popular story that is great for joining in with. 

Jamie Vardy: Sporting Heroes

Roy Apps

This sporting biography tells the life story of footballer Jamie Vardy and his inspiring  journey to become a top England player. The text is accessible, pitched well for lower KS2 or stronger readers in KS1 and is accompanied by graphic novel-style illustrations. The story emphasises the determination and hard work required in Jamie's rise to fame. 


Roller Girl

Victoria Jamieson

This graphic novel oozes individuality. It’s the story of Astrid, a middle-grade girl on the cusp of adolescence and coping with all the problems that come pre-prescribed. Roller Girl packs much in: friendship, mother/daughter relationships, being yourself and self-belief (also hair-dye), all under the backdrop of roller derby (to say it’s a sport not for the faint-hearted is an understatement).  

Nominated by Roy James, Librarian & Reader with Ks2


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Charli Howard

Splash is an enjoyable story that captures the stage of dawning adolescence and the awakening of self-consciousness that often arrives around that time. 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. While Molly is a talented swimmer with Olympic ambitions, she becomes self-conscious about her body shape and worried about what her friends think. Splash is a fresh and relevant narrative that dives into the hugely important theme of body image as well as the transition to secondary school, friendship, parental absence and the benefits of sport.


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The Frog Olympics

Brian Moses and Amy Husband

A funny rhyming book about sporting frogs by popular children's poet Brian Moses. This text carries a great message about inclusion as it tells the story of frogs of 'all shapes and sizes' coming together for the Olympic events.

Defenders: Pitch Invasion

Tom Palmer

In the ‘Defenders’ series, best-selling author Tom Palmer brings together his passions for football and history in haunting stories that are ‘super-readable’ due to their accessible layout including a dyslexia-friendly font and tinted paper. In this story, a boy called Seth encounters visions of severed heads raised high on spikes surrounding an Iron Age hill fort. Seth discovers that the heads were a means of keeping intruders out of the hill fort in Iron Age times and must find a way to face the horrors of the past that echo through the ages. 

Check out our recent blog post about the Defenders series to find out more.

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win

Rachel Ignotofsky

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.  

Also featured on: January 2018 Books of the Month

The Fastest Boy in the World

Elizabeth Laird

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. 

Hour of the Olympics

Mary Pope Osborne

A time-travelling adventure about two children who go back to Ancient Greece to witness the very first Olympic Games. This series is popular in America and is suitable for KS2.

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman

Kathleen Krull

This is the story of perseverance against all odds. At just five years old, Wilma Rudolph was paralysed in her left leg from polio and told that she would never walk again. This book tells the inspirational story of her journey from that point to how she became the first American woman to earn three gold medals in a single Olympiad. 


Victoria Jamieson

A quirky picture book about a pig who trains for the Animal Olympics. Pupils will enjoy the detailed, cartoon-style illustrations and the message about the importance of not giving up.

The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog Goes for Gold!

Jeremy Strong

Part of the hilarious series by award-winning children's author Jeremy Strong, this is the story of the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog's attempts to become a sporting champion in the Animal Games. This is a great book to read aloud.

The Story of the Olympics

Richard Brassey

This fabulous non-fiction text is bursting with facts, figures and detailed illustrations about the Olympics, from the very first Olympic Games in Ancient Greece right up to Rio 2016. There are all sorts of uses for this superb text as it offers an excellent example of an information text complete with speech bubbles, captions, fact boxes and comic strips. Highly recommended.

G Is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet

Brad Herzog and Doug Bowles

This beautifully illustrated book uses the alphabet as a basis for explaining all sorts of facts about the Olympic Games. This would make a good starting point for a project for pupils to create their own Olympic alphabets. 

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