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Fiction or nonfiction books on baseball for a 13yo?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Help! We dislike giving cash as a holiday gift but my husband's 13yo nephew's hobbies are otherwise out of our realm--hunting, fishing, and baseball. I tried to get help from his mom, and she noted that while he's not an avid reader, he will plow though any books on baseball. Any titles you know about, fiction or even nonfiction for a kid who's smart but not a bookworm per se, please post! Many, many thanks.
post #2 of 13

Moneyball

Baseball between the numbers

The baseball economist

 

All great books

post #3 of 13

 

Satchel Paige's autobiography - a fun read about an amazing baseball player:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Maybe-Pitch-Forever-Leroy-Satchel/dp/B00233UD68

 

This is a hilarious piece of fiction about a goofy baseball team:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Screwballs-Jay-Cronley/dp/0523414846

post #4 of 13

Matt Christopher has a entire series of sports novels. My son liked the ones he wrote on soccer.

http://www.mattchristopher.com/

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into all of these. I appreciate the help!
post #6 of 13

 

W.P. Kinsella writes beautiful novels and short stories about baseball, but it's been years since I read them. His passion and joy for the game shines through on every page. I honestly can't recall if they have "mature" content, so I recommend them with that caveat. Although they are adult books, the reading level isn't at all challenging. The movie Field of Dreams was based on Kinsella's book, Shoeless Joe. (Maybe a gift pack of the book and the DVD?) I really enjoyed his collection of short stories, The Thrill of the Grass. 

 

 

post #7 of 13

The The Brooklyn Nine is a really good book. I picked it up on a whim at the library and both ds and I liked it. It tells the story of different generations of a family from immigrants in the 1800s up through the 1950s. It's got 9 chapters (aka nine innings), and in each chapter baseball features prominently. But really, it's a clever story of American history told through baseball. A 13 year old is a good age for this book.

 

You might think about Keeping Score as well. It features baseball (and keeping score), as it's a story of the Dodgers in the 50s. But baseball is also a backdrop and a metaphor for the book. Our son read it last year for school and really liked it.

 

The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told is also good. I don't think that some of the stories are that "great" but it makes for interesting reading.

 

For pure non-fiction, something like Great Baseball Feats, Facts & Firsts or The Baseball Maniac's Almanac or another almanac might be good.

 

I would think that a good biography of any of the baseball greats: Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Satchel Page.... the list goes on and on and on....

 

IMO, the Matt Christopher books are far too young for a 13 year old. They're written at about a 3rd grade level.

post #8 of 13

I also recommend Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park.

post #9 of 13

 

 

IMO, the Matt Christopher books are far too young for a 13 year old. They're written at about a 3rd grade level.



If I remember correctly, the characters are all around 12 or 13?

 

post #10 of 13

My ds is very into baseball biographies.  Lou Gehrig, Bo Jackson. Roberto Clemente, Ted WIlliams are all recommended by my husband.  Some of the stuff won't be age appropriate, depending on the kid, but my 11 year old has read them all.  

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raksmama View Post



If I remember correctly, the characters are all around 12 or 13?

 



Ah yes, but you see, books with characters around 12 or 13 are written for kids who are 3-4 years YOUNGER, in terms of content, level and style. If I were a 13 year old, I'd find them insultingly easy and not nearly complex enough to hold my interest. Heck, they don't hold the interest of my 10 year old.

post #12 of 13

 

A quick look at Lexile shows that the Matt Christopher books score around 600 to 700 on the measure for readability. For comparison, Harry Potter scores around 880 to 950, Little House on the Prairie is 760, Ramona the Pest is 850. So the Matt Christopher books are definitely aimed at a fairly young and/or early reading audience. I'm not familiar with them, but they are probably in the category of "high interest, low readability" ("High/Low") books often used to entice reluctant readers to pick up chapter books.  

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
A quick thanks to the later posters, and for the clarification on the Matt Christopher books. You mamas are always a reliable source. joy.gif Cheers!
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