I just love this book…and I am not even a big fan of basketball. I am, however, a huge fan of books that provide history and sport in a format that is exciting and interesting for both boys and girls to read.
Hoop Genius: How A Desperate Teacher And A Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball is a winner! Author John Coy clearly loves his subject (he is after all, a member of the NBA Reading All-Star Team as part of the Read to Achieve program.) You can always tell when someone is writing about something they really love. And, the illustrations by Joe Morse are just the ticket for this book about rowdy boys who are always seeking a way to get rid of all the extra energy they have. You can just feel the emotions, the drive, the frustration of the characters in the book, as Mr. Naismith, who never asked to be the gym teacher, struggles to find a sporting outlet for the boys in his class.
This is a great book for introducing children to the history of basketball. It covers the basic details without getting too bogged down. I especially like the reproduction of the original rules as typed out by Mr. Naismith in 1891. It is fun to compare them to the game that basketball has evolved into today.
Check this one out and then maybe you should head outside to shoot some hoops with your children!