Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's March Madness, Baybeee!!!

Yes, it's March, one of my favorite months of the year. It brings the best month-long sports event of the year, March Madness, the college basketball tournament. For a whole glorious month, there are games, games, and more games. The tension mounts as schools win and lose, getting ever closer to the championship. There is almost always one major upset. There is almost always some Cinderella team who goes much farther than expected. The road to the Final Four is always exciting and the championship game keeps me up late every year. Plus, living in Charlotte, NC, we get to see the great ACC (Atlantic coast Conference) tournament. Great teams live in this conference--Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Boston College, etc.

So, this month, we thought we'd hold a March Madness of Reading. The rules are simple--the two boys who send in the most comments talking about books will win prizes. First Place will be an autographed T-shirt from the UNCC 49'ers Mens' Basketball team! Second place will be an autographed UNCC 49'rs Men's Basketball poster! Sound good? It could be yours if you send us the most book comments by March 31.We will announce the winners on April 1. Come to Imaginon to claim your prize. (If you live outside the Charlotte area, we will find a way to get the prize to you)

There's one other rule--at least one of the books you talk about must be about sports. It could be any sport and it could be a chapter book, biography, or nonfiction. And in case of a tie, we will look more favorably on the one who has sent more reviews about sports books. OK??? Get writing!! We can't wait to hear from you!

And I'll lead by example. Here are three books I've liked and some others we've written about before.

Free Throw by Jake Maddox. Jason was the center and star player last year, but Derek became an inch taller since then. Now he's the center and Jason doesn't like it. What's worse, the games depend on Derek's free throw shooting. Jason doesn't think Derek can make them. Maybe Derek doesn't thinks so, either. Will he save the games or ruin them? You've got to read this short but fast-paced and exciting book to find out.

Paintball Blast by Jake Maddox. Max Hauser knows the perfect lookout point in the paintball field. From the correct angle, no one can mark him. But one of the new kids does! Max knows he must be cheating--but how? Another fast-paced and exciting short book with a bit of a mystery thrown in. Both books have intersting things about their sports at the end of the books.

The New York Yankeesby Mark Stewart. I remember the glory days of Mickey Mantle and exciting World Series matches of the Yankees vs. the Cardinals (the teachers even brought radios into our classrooms because the pitcher for the Cardinals was Tim McCarver from Memphis, where I lived in those days) But you know what? The glory days of the yankees are still going. This book traces the history of the team that has won more World Series than any other from their beginnings in Baltimore in 1901 until today. Really interesting with lots of good baseball and Yankees information.

Books we've already reviewed:

Nothing But Net by Dean Hughes Good basketball story. Check out my review in Bookhive here.

Jim Thorpe's Bright Path by Joseph Bruchac (reviewed on 8-25-07) and Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku by Ellie Crowe (reviewed on 2-15-08) Incredible true stories of great athletes. Don't miss these!

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Greek Athlete: Races You'd Rather Not Run
by Michael Ford (reviewed on 1-11-08) The real deal on the ancient Greek Olympics with funny illustrations!

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso (reviewed 2-28-08) Another great true story--this time in a graphic novel!

All right, let's hear from you! AND--watch out for Bill's special game related to this contest this month!

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