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UT reading expert recommends list of Olympics books for kids of all ages

Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

Nowadays, Mia Hamm, a two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist, is a dedicated mother to her three children. Her book, Winners Never Quit!” is recommended reading by Cindy Welch, the associate director at the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee. (Getty Images, File Photo)

Nowadays, Mia Hamm, a two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist, is a dedicated mother to her three children. Her book, Winners Never Quit!” is recommended reading by Cindy Welch, the associate director at the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee. (Getty Images, File Photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With the Summer Olympics taking place once every four years, some kids may not remember the 2012 Olympics in London. This year’s games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, might spark some interestand some questionsin kids of all ages.

Cindy Welch, the associate director at the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, believes books are a great tool to answer questions children may ask about the upcoming Olympic Games.

“Children are naturally curious and want to know what’s going on with their favorite things,” said Welch. “The Olympics are a great opportunity to watch and learn together as a family, and these books explore different facets of the games. It’s a great way to nurture reading, too.”

Welch recommends the following Olympics-related books:

Mia Hamm Book—Grades K-2: “Winners Never Quit!” by Mia Hamm, two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist

—Grades K-5: “Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman” by Kathleen Krull

—Grades 1-4: “G is for Gold: An Olympics Alphabet” by Brad Herzog

—Grades 2-4: “Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper” by Ann Malaspina

—Grades 3-6: “You Wouldn’t Want to be a Greek Athlete: Races You’d Rather Not Run” by Michael Ford

—Grades 3-7: “Great Moments in the Summer Olympics” by Matt Christopher

—Grades 4-8: “A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times” by Benson Bobrick

“Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics” by Sue Macy

—Grades 4-7: “The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation): The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics” by Daniel James Brown

—Grades 9 and up: “Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory” by P.H. Mullen