Each May, after students have selected their books, we ask them “What did you want that we didn’t have?”  In my first post on the feedback we received in May, I wrote about the first of our top 2 requests, graphic novels.

The second of the top 2 choices? Non-fiction sports books about current, popular, athletes and teams. Key words there: non-fiction & current!

Why are sports & graphic novels the top 2 answers to the question “What did you want that we didn’t have?”  (Hint: It’s not because we didn’t know children love them.) Answer: we can’t find an affordable source.

Children were not only shouting out “sports!”, “basketball”, and “football”. They were shouting out names of their favorite athletes and teams.  Finding a source for these books would be huge for our effort to end summer slide: kids will read these books over and over, and in many cases, their parents will be interested too. 

Highlights from the students’ wish list:

Lebron James
Michael Jordan
Jalen Rose
Adrian Peterson
Cam Newton
Julio Jones
Kobe Bryant
Georgia Bulldogs
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Falcons

How do we get books about these athletes, sports, and teams?  With an absolute maximum budget of $2 per book, we certainly won’t be able to buy them.

We are looking for volunteers to help us tackle this problem.  Many of the famous athletes have foundations to help low-income children… sports teams do all kinds of philanthropic projects… Sports Illustrated even has an entire line of children’s books, but how do we get a foot in the door?

Can you help? This is going to be a challenge for Books for Keeps for years to come, unless we change our approach and find volunteers to focus on this issue.

NBA Read to Achieve 

Basketball books! If you’ve worked a book distribution, you know how many times the children ask for this.  But how can we get on the NBA’s radar?  Surely someone in Athens has sports connections who might help?

Sports Illustrated Kids

Talk about a source for books about current athletes and teams!  Just look at this long list of SI Kids titles available on Amazon. Shouldn’t Books for Keeps have a partnership with SI Kids?  Maybe we can…  if YOU take on this challenge.

 I’ve faced those children 2 years in a row and explained to them that we don’t have any sports books.  Please, let this be the year we find the books.