Friday, January 20, 2017

A Sports Book For Non-Sports Lovers


I don't like sports. Not even a little bit. But I married someone who loves sports and I now have children who think the highlight of the week is Sunday Night Football. The only reason I like football is because if they're all watching it, I have more time to read uninterrupted.

But while I don't like sports, I also don't want to be excluded from my kids' interests. And one of my children is very interested in sports. He plays. He watches. He reads books about sports. He checks the stats and scores daily (even when he's not supposed to). He asks me to shoot hoops and throw the football with him,  nonstop. Although I trip over my feet just getting out of bed, I do these things with him.

I say "no" a lot. I'm not good at basketball. I don't genuinely enjoy playing football. But I DO enjoy my son and I DO enjoy getting to spend time with him. Even though he laughs at my skills, I know he appreciates my willingness and my effort.  And I appreciate his innocence when he asks me questions like, "Mommy, can you dunk?"

No, baby. This book nerd who almost wiped out in a courtroom by tripping over the strap of her own briefcase (twice), can not dunk. If you need someone who can at least come close to the net, go ask your father. 

Still, I like it when my and my son's interests intersect - and they recently did. We listened to Kwame Alexander's The Crossover on audio and loved it. As the cover suggests, it's a book about basketball. (You can also glean that from the title if you know what a crossover is. I didn't until I listened to the book.) But while basketball is the primary theme, it's also a book about fathers and sons and life.

I liked that the junior high boys in the book could be a little mouthy. As a mother to two sons, not only did I find it true to life, but I appreciated hearing how other parents handled big-mouthed kids. Even if they are fictional parents.

If you have a young sports enthusiast in your life and you're looking for common ground, check out The Crossover. It'll be a crowdpleaser.

Because it's written in verse, it's especially great to listen to. The cadence is truly wonderful. (I have a real thing for cadence.) But, a word of advice, if you choose the audio and keep listening after you drop your kids off at school, make sure you accurately note the group's stopping point. Otherwise, you'll get busted for listening ahead.

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