Football Season Arrives: A Quick Look at “Don’t Throw It to Mo!”
Crazy but true? It is, but this is a kind of blogging I’ve never really done before. Because while my specialty is children’s literature, my new job here in Evanston, IL requires that I have a deep and abiding familiarity with books for adults. The end result? I’ve been occasionally blogging for EPL about adult titles.
Of course finding topics upon which to speak can be tricky. I’m not sure what folks want to hear about, so I’ve gone the tried and true method of figuring out what people already like and then just tying the posts to those topics accordingly. Example: Yesterday was apparently the first day of the new football season. Do I watch football? I do not. Do I read about football? I do not. But none of that stopped me from writing a post about the newest 2015 adult titles about football in all its myriad forms. If you know a football fanatic in your life and they have, say, a birthday coming up, this list may be of use to you in some way.
I cannot write posts for adults without thinking of their child equivalents, however. And football has always been a very tricky subject in the children’s room. Years ago a parent came in just before Thanksgiving and asked for any picture books we could hand over about football. Not nonfiction, mind you. Fiction. And really, once you get beyond The Dallas Titans Get Ready for Bed (which Molly Ivans reviewed for The New York Times, doncha know) the pickings are slim. I mean, there was the recent Fall Ball by Peter McCarty, Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler, and the not so recent Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by Harry Allard, but by and large baseball has a lock on the sports/book market.
This year, I was going through the usual pre-pub galleys and advanced reading copies when I saw a very slim little easy book going by the unprepossessing name of Don’t Throw It to Mo!. It was by David Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks. Good easy books are, I don’t need to tell you, a rarity. The crazy thing is that as I read the story I found it original, interesting, and a really cool idea. The whole premise is that it’s easy to fool your opponents when you’ve lowered their expectations. Particularly if those expectations weren’t all that high to begin with. I may have to stump for this one for a Geisel if nothing else. It’s succinct and very cool to read. I worry that with my reduced reviewing these days I won’t be able to get to it, so in lieu of a length diatribe, let me just say that if you choose only one football related easy book this season, let it be Adler, Ricks, and Mo himself who bring you in for a final touchdown.
Now play ball!!
(Yes, I am aware that you do not begin a football game by saying “play ball”. However, I don’t know what you do say. “Hut hut”? Just sayin’.)
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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