Monday, March 8, 2010
Touchdown: The Power and Precision of Football's Perfect Play
In my childhood, a significant portion of the books that I read were about sports. I would read about any sport, especially if the text was about the history of the sport. I know I was not alone or sports radio would not exist today. I distinctly remember reading Green Bay offensive lineman Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay and being transported to an NFL locker room. These memories were stirred by the release of Touchdown: The Power and Precision of Football's Perfect Play by Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy.
Stewart and Kennedy have created a blend of history, statistics, and iconic photographs that will please any young sports fan. The accounts of Garo Yepremian's botched pass and John Riggins's breakaway Super Bowl run brought a smile to my face as the son of a devout Redskins fan. I also enjoyed reading the first chapter about the beginnings of football and learning about the Rugby school in England where it all began. Sports are an integral part of the American cultural experience and can be used to motivate young readers.
There should be a basket devoted to sports books in any classroom library. Reluctant readers (especially boys but not exclusively) are usually drawn to these books. Touchdown is of a higher grade than the usual nonfiction sports fare and could be used to spur research writing. You could also display the beginning paragraphs of each chapter and teach how to write an introductory paragraph.